Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Education Is Key to Innovation

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Education Is Key to Innovation

Article excerpt

Byline: By SUE SCOTT

A WIDESPREAD and woeful lack of basic science understanding is one of the main barriers to innovators bringing products to market, according to one inventor speaking as a major campaign was launched today.

Middlesbrough's Derek Foxcroft, who is in the process of securing proof of concept funding to take forward his idea for a hydrogen fuel cell to cut costs and emissions in cars, said there was a need to educate those in a position to back or scupper innovation. Many failed to grasp fairly basic advances in technology. "When you take them out of their comfort zone they don't want to know," he said. "But where would we be today if science hadn't taken people out of their comfort zone?"

The North East Chamber of Commerce will call on businesses today to come forward with their experiences of developing innovative products and processes so it can identify where the barriers are to innovation on Teesside.

Head of policy Ross Smith said: "When you say innovation it conjures up this image of men in white lab coats - and there's some fantastic innovation by the men in white coats - but it's absolutely not the case that you have to have a Phd to be an innovator or that you'll ever appear in New Scientist. …

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