Team work is the fuel for innovation and success

Simon Jewell
Managing Director,
Capability Solutions,
BAE Systems

When faced with a challenge it is necessary at times to search deep within ourselves to find the resolve to go on. As I write this, the last of the Chilean miners are being brought back to the surface to the embrace of their families and rescuers. Their dignified patience sets an example to us all. And yet what we witnessed was not just a story of 33 men trapped underground, but of their families that refused to believe that they were lost, of their rescuers who worked tirelessly to enable their escape, and of a nation that refused to give up hope.

The result was a triumph of determination, resilience, passion and pride. It was also the work of a team. To me this reinforces what perhaps we already know, but too easily forget, that when times are difficult, not only must we search within ourselves, but we must also reach out to embrace the support of others.

The challenge for the rescuers was also one of engineering, creating a novel solution to reach those trapped below. Innovative thinking and the passion to over-come challenges defines many successful engineers. We must harness these qualities and encourage the next generation of the engineering community to excel. Through industry initiatives such as the one BAE Systems calls Skills 2020 we will invest in developing talented individuals and establish collaborative networks between universities and small and medium enterprises to enhance and share capabilities across science, technology and engineering.

“This year’s entrants to the awards again demonstrate that there is no shortage of good ideas within the UK”

Since their inception, The Engineer Technology and Innovation Awards have rightly focused on the importance of collaboration. This year is no exception with many examples of wide-ranging teams from the private and public sectors, and academia coming together to solve challenges across a range of sectors and domains. Alongside collaboration, innovation and exploitation were also forefront of the judges’ minds as they sought to differentiate the entries.

This year’s entrants again demonstrate that there is no shortage of good ideas and invention within the UK. They also show a real focus on developing the exploitation routes necessary to deliver commercial success. Inevitably this will be challenging and we, as judges, can only hope that the oxygen of publicity generated by these awards will in some way help the successful entries achieve the outcomes they desire.
On behalf of the judges may I wish all the entrants good luck in the competition.

BAE Systems is the main sponsor of The Engineer Technology and Innovation Awards