Monday 29 March 2021

Innovation Seminar paves the way towards the Innovation Excellence Awards

Innovation should involve more diverse groups and target a wider range of ages (particularly the elderly), people of colour, women and non-binary groups. Expect in the next five to ten years more automation of innovation and hyper personalised products. “How did they know that I needed a potato peeler that can also play the Sex Pistols?” joked Alf Rehn, Professor of Design and Management at the University of Southern Denmark, speaking from the Copenhagen waterfront.

“Snatching Victory from the Jaws of Defeat” was the title of a Zoom-connected evening with members of the Stationers’ Company in association with Kogan Page publishers. ”Necessity is the mother of invention, but what are the pitfalls, as well as the opportunities afforded in such trying times?” was the theme addressed.

Alongside Alf Rehn was Jeremy Dalton, who heads up the PWC London team focused on XR technologies (virtual reality, augmented reality) and Bradley Leimer, a specialist in banking technology who was speaking from San Francisco. Stationer Oliver Gadsby chaired the event.

There was a belief that after the initial shock of the global pandemic, innovation continued and many creative thinkers thrived because they had more time to continue developing and using innovative technology. Many who hadn’t previously engaged with new technology learnt to embrace it, including the mass of teachers who had to set up YouTube channels and other teaching platforms to reach their pupils. The elder generation were forced to keep in contact with families using new technologies they had previously resisted and the rise of contactless and online payments nearly irradicated the use of cash.

The panel advised Innovators to look for more sustainable solutions and expressed a hope that innovation would make the world a better place, with technology allowing for investment choices that improve sustainability throughout our communities. New technology might make insurance and banking available to a wider global audience. Jeremy Dalton said that not only technological innovation but innovation in new ways of working and the mindset shift has made businesses more open to XR technologies. Instead of asking why they should engage with the technology, they were asking how do we work with this technology? Virtual reality can help collaboration, offering a really good alternative when time, money or other limitations means a face-to-face meeting is not possible.

“We have a lot of technology. We need to learn how to use it intelligently,” suggests Alf Rehm.

Print, paper, packaging, publishing, design, digital marketing, and education are capable of great innovation and it has been recognised by the Stationers’ Company with the annual Innovation Excellence Awards. Last year, as the pandemic took off, the Awards had to be suspended but this year it’s back and it’s not too late to enter.

There are seven categories for entry and from the winners of these an Innovator of the Year will be selected.

  • Business Process
  • Communications and Marketing
  • Customer Experience
  • Product Design
  • Product Performance
  • Service design
  • Start-ups.

The awards are free to enter and companies do not need to be affiliated to the Stationers’ Company. Sponsors of the Awards again this year are Picon, the trade body representing suppliers of print and paper equipment, and Mathys and Squire, ranked Tier 1 in the Legal 500 and one of the most highly regarded specialist intellectual property firms.

You can access an entry form at The 2021 Stationers Innovation Excellence Awards. The closing date for entries is 14 April 2021 (6pm). The awards presentation will take place on 22 June 2021. 


For further information please contact: Ruxandra Oprea, Office Support Assistant, The Stationers’ Company. T: 020 7246 2513 E: and follow @stationerscomms |The Stationers’ Company, Stationers’ Hall, Ave Maria Lane, London, EC4M 7DD.

About The Stationers’ Company

The Stationers' Company is the City of London Livery Company for the Communications and Content industries. The Company’s mission is to be the most effective independent forum in the UK Communications and Content industries, actively contributing to the strategic development, success and education of these industries. The majority of our members work in or supply the paper, print, publishing, packaging, office products, newspaper, broadcasting and online media industries.


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