Post #2: Innovation at the coal face - Heptagon Capital – Production

Where do future trends begin? Perhaps an obvious question, but one with an obvious answer, in our view: with innovation. This topic is timely in two respects…

Post #2: Innovation at the coal face

Where do future trends begin? Perhaps an obvious question, but one with an obvious answer, in our view: with innovation. This topic is timely in two respects: first, since it is subject to much discussion at the World Economic Forum, currently underway in Davos; and second, since we spent a morning earlier this week with academics from several leading British universities. In summary, innovation is alive and kicking.

This message was particularly reinforced by the conference we attended in London at which academics from universities including Cambridge and Edinburgh presented some of the projects in which they were currently involved. We were impressed with the plethora of new ideas emerging, ranging from stem cell science to agtech via the internet of things and blood-testing. Nearly every speaker noted that falling costs (of gene sequencing, data storage etc) had led to an acceleration in their research efforts in recent years. However, another comment of note was that many of the academics felt that it remained a challenge to commercialise fully their innovation, with the debate still open whether to partner with corporates directly or alternatively with venture capitalists. US universities, it was felt, were generally more advanced in this respect.

These comments were of interest in the context not only of some of the keynote speeches in Davos, but also given the simultaneous publication by Bloomberg of its Annual Innovation index. This evaluates countries based on patent activity, tertiary education, technology company density, productivity and R&D expenditure, among other criteria. The US ranks 8th compared to the UK at 18th. Interestingly, South Korea comes top of the list, followed by Germany, Finland, Switzerland and Israel completing the top-five. While these country rankings may be unexpected to some, it is worthwhile to consider that people and their intellectual capital can/do cross borders. Being global matters; being innovative matters more.    


The document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or any recommendation to buy, or sell or otherwise transact in any investments. The document is not intended to be construed as investment research. The contents of this document are based upon sources of information which Heptagon Capital believes to be reliable. However, except to the extent required by applicable law or regulations, no guarantee, warranty or representation (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this document or its contents and, Heptagon Capital, its affiliate companies and its members, officers, employees, agents and advisors do not accept any liability or responsibility in respect of the information or any views expressed herein. Opinions expressed whether in general or in both on the performance of individual investments and in a wider economic context represent the views of the contributor at the time of preparation. Where this document provides forward-looking statements which are based on relevant reports, current opinions, expectations and projections, actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. All opinions and estimates included in the document are subject to change without notice and Heptagon Capital is under no obligation to update or revise information contained in the document. Furthermore, Heptagon Capital disclaims any liability for any loss, damage, costs or expenses (including direct, indirect, special and consequential) howsoever arising which any person may suffer or incur as a result of viewing or utilising any information included in this document. 

The document is protected by copyright. The use of any trademarks and logos displayed in the document without Heptagon Capital's prior written consent is strictly prohibited. Information in the document must not be published or redistributed without Heptagon Capital's prior written consent. 

Heptagon Capital LLP, 63 Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HS
tel +44 20 7070 1800
fax +44 20 7070 1881
email [email protected] 

Partnership No: OC307355 Registered in England and Wales Authorised & Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority 

Related Insights

Featured Insights
Featured Insights08 April 2021

Season 3, Post 14: Fake steak and test-tube tomatoes

Next week marks the reopening of London’s restaurants – at least for outdoor dining – for the first time since December 2020. Menus will likely be full of the joys of spring; perhaps an asparagus starter followed by some young lamb. Needless to say, your author already has several reservations in his diary. While not […]

Learn more
Featured Insights
Featured Insights01 April 2021

Season 3, Post 13: Life on Mars

Plans are afoot to build the first human city on Mars. Yes, you did read that sentence correctly; it is not an April Fool’s Day spoof. Spanish design firm and think-tank ABIBOO released plans last week for a conceptual city on the red planet that would see construction commence in 2054 with the intention for […]

Learn more
Featured Insights
Featured Insights25 March 2021

Season 3, Post 12: At the nexus of innovation

Your author has spent his last two afternoons virtually in New York. It’s obviously nowhere near as exciting as being in the city itself, but the NEXUS:ISRAEL Dealmakers’ Summit was arguably the most interesting online event I have attended in the last year. Organised in conjunction by Landmark Ventures and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, […]

Learn more

Get The Updates

Separated they live in Bookmarks right at the coast of the famous Semantics, large language ocean Separated they live in Bookmarks right