Alan Neilson, the Founder and Executive Chairman of VerseOne Group, explains the motivation behind the fund.
The world is rich with original ideas. After all, we are creative beings by nature. So, why then is true innovation such a rarely found gem? Perhaps it is what I call the 'innovation gap'. If we understand innovation to be the meeting of original creative thought and focused action, without the action, ideas remain just that – ideas. The innovation gap therefore is the chasm that often exists between ideation and doers bringing these into fruition.
This is precisely the rationale and the motivation behind the VerseOne Innovation Fund. To offer real-world expertise, funding, and continued mentorship to those with ground-breaking and brilliant ideas for delivering real innovation and effective change within Social Housing, Healthcare, Local Authority and wider commercial markets.
We’re all witnessing how Innovative digital technologies in particular are increasingly playing a significant role in driving the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of service delivery across all market sectors. Smart devices, personalisation of the user experience, and real-time data delivery have enabled the customer-driven adoption of self-service and channel shift—from face-to-face interactions and analogue technologies, to online digital interfaces.
VerseOne has been setting the agenda and championing digital innovation within our key markets of Social Housing and the NHS since the foundation of the business over 14 years ago. Making innovative use of technology to drive enhanced community engagement, was one of the founding principles of VerseOne—and this principle has continued to be front and centre in our approach to the provision of products and services to our customers. This precept has continued to be a way of life in everything we do for our customers, so that the resulting business solutions that we provide are intuitive, easy to use and offer real improvements for our customers and the communities they serve.
Validation of the effectiveness of our principle of innovation is the hundreds of solutions that we have provided to our customers in Social Housing, the NHS and the broader commercial sector—who in turn have used these to provide critical services to millions of their customers. We can justifiably claim innovation is in our DNA.
Being innovative isn’t just about applying technology for the sake of it: rather, it is taking a "customer centric" and collaborative approach as to how new digital technologies and methodologies are best blended to create outstanding business solutions—solutions that make a real difference and which deliver tangible benefits. We’re not claiming that being innovative is unique to us; but, rather, that it is the unique way in which we approach it that has enabled us become recognised leaders in our chosen markets.
Although we are fortunate to have some of the brightest and most creative people in the industry working at VerseOne, we wouldn’t have been able to deliver innovation, in the way that we have, without the support and active engagement of our valued customers and business partners.
The VerseOne Innovation Fund is therefore a further extension and a more focused approach to this successful, collaborative model. The fund is intended to encourage—and bring to fruition—innovative and impactful ideas, with contributions from anyone from within the sectors we specialise in or, indeed, the broader market. To support this initiative we have set aside dedicated funds specifically for exploring and, if suitable, nurturing, integrating and embedding any such ideas into our portfolio of products and services—so that these could be fast tracked into our customer solutions.
So if you work in, or have close involvement with, the Social Housing, NHS or other market sectors we operate in and you have a great and innovative idea that you believe will make a difference then, please, get in touch—we’d love to hear from you.