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ViVet innovation workshop resources now available

The RCVS ViVet innovation initiative has published the resources used at its recent innovation workshops for the benefit of those who were not able to attend either event.

The first of the innovation workshops took place at the Moller Centre in Cambridge on 16 January and was led by professional innovation consultant Greg Dickens MRCVS from Innovia Technology who was also joined by guest speakers Andrew Francis, the founder of South Coast Cardiology, a visiting specialist referral service, and Adrian Nelson-Pratt, founder of the Emerge Veterinary Project, a coaching and personal development product aimed at improving veterinary wellbeing and performance.

The first workshop introduced tools and techniques to help individuals and organisations think creatively about how to identify needs and opportunities for innovation in the animal health/ veterinary sector, and how to turn an identified need into an idea. Attendees were given practical advice on how to find opportunities, brainstorming and assessing ideas.

The second session took place on 20 February and built on the theme of the first workshop with information on how to develop an idea and bring it to market. The first part of the day, led by Greg Dickens and fellow veterinary innovator Guen Bradbury, looked at how ideas and concepts could be tested to gain feedback and then refined.

The second part of the day saw RCVS Director of Leadership and Innovation Anthony Roberts talk to delegates about how to develop and refine business models to maximise your product or service’s success and the power and impact of business model innovation. This session addressed issues such as identifying and segmenting your customer-base, how to reach and communicate with your customers or clients, and how to best organise and exploit the resources at your disposal to provide a sustainable competitive advantage.

This session also covered the vital role of storytelling in winning support and funding for an idea, how to successfully pitch for funding and other forms of support.

Anthony Roberts (pictured right) said:  “I’m delighted that feedback from these inaugural innovation workshops showed that attendees found the sessions useful, informative and, most importantly, inspiring as regards developing their own ideas, services and products.

”The topics we covered, however, are relevant to all veterinary surgeons and nurses, and for this reason we’re sharing all the he resources from both events on the ViVet website”.

One of those who commented positively on the workshop was Rachel Dean, Director of Clinical Research and Excellence in Practice at VetPartners who said:

“Today was really interesting; I was encouraged to go to the event by my company. The best bit about today was meeting other people that also see that we need to innovate, and need to try and work out how we do that in various different settings.”

Another delegate, equine vet Malcolm Morley, added: “I came on the course thinking that I had some innovative ideas that I wanted to take further, but actually I realised that on the course I learnt ideas that would apply to other aspects of what I do. So I’m going home with take-home messages for other things too.”

The materials from the workshop are available to view and download from the resources section of the ViVet website.

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ViVet launches new Innovation Workshop Series

A new series of Innovation Workshops is being launched by ViVet – the veterinary innovation network run by the RCVS – to help provide veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses with the tools needed to turn ideas into innovations.

To be held in Cambridge in January and February next year, the innovation and creativity training programme will cover a broad spectrum of innovation methodologies across two one-day courses. Delegates can choose to attend one or both courses depending upon their experience and stage in the innovation process.

Guen Bradbury & Greg DickensThe courses will be led across two days by veterinary surgeons Guen Bradbury and Greg Dickens (pictured) both experts in supporting innovation.

The first course, on 16 January 2019, will introduce tools and techniques to help individuals and organisations think creatively and guide participants through the innovation process from identifying need, selecting an idea and developing it into a concrete concept.

The second course, on 20 February 2019, will cover how to test ideas and refine solutions, how to develop  business models, and how to win support and funding to maximise the chances of the innovation’s success.

Anthony Roberts, Director of Leadership and Innovation at the RCVS says: “Our ideation workshop is not just for entrepreneurs or innovators, it’s to give vets and vet nurses the tools and techniques to create new ideas or nurture existing ones. These could be ideas for starting a new business, a new product, new content, or even just inventive ways of talking about or marketing an existing product or service.”

Each full-day course costs £100, including course materials, certificate of completion, lunch, and all refreshments. Booking the full workshop, ie both courses, will attract a 10% discount.

To read further information about the course – including the programme, venue, timings and directions – and to register, please visit the event’s dedicated Eventbrite page.

ViVet: inspired by #VetFutures

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Innovation project celebrates first anniversary

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ landmark innovation project ViVet is celebrating its first anniversary with the publication of a new regular feature highlighting innovators and influencers in the veterinary and animal health sector.

ViVet was launched at the Innovation Symposium at the Warwick Business School in The Shard in September 2017, featuring a wide range of speakers drawn from the world of technology and innovation in areas such as healthcare, scientific research, business and finance and, of course, veterinary science.

The ViVet programme itself grew out of the recommendations of the Vet Futures research project and is designed to ensure veterinary professionals are engaged with innovation and technological development in the animal health sector.

Since it launched last year, blogs and case studies have been published on the ViVet website and the RCVS team, led by RCVS Council member Chris Tufnell and Director of Leadership and Innovation Anthony Roberts, has been talking to audiences both within and without the veterinary professions about the project and veterinary innovation in general.

Events spoken at have included the British Small Animal Veterinary Association Congress, Federation of Veterinarians of Europe Conference in Brussels and the Veterinary Public Health Association/ Association of Government Vets ‘Embracing Innovation’ Conference.

To celebrate the year since the project started, ViVet has now launched a brand new resource called ViVet Bites which are short interviews with innovators who are making waves in the profession through technological development, new business models and other inspiring ways of working.

The first person to be interviewed for ViVet Bites is Sam Joseph, co-founder of StreetVet, which has some 300 volunteer veterinary surgeons and nurses providing free veterinary care to animals owned by the homeless community in a number of cities across the UK.

In his interview Sam talks about how he and Jade Statt started StreetVet, his thoughts on the future of veterinary innovation and how vets can use their problem-solving skills to become innovators.

Dr Chris Tufnell, who is leading the ViVet project, said: “We are delighted that Sam has agreed to be our first ever ViVet Bites interviewee and his story demonstrates that innovation isn’t just about new pieces of equipment or software, but is about new ways of thinking about how veterinary services can be delivered – including to some of the most vulnerable in society.

“I am also very proud of the work that the ViVet project has been undertaking in the year since it has launched. Throughout the year, together with Anthony Roberts I have met many people working in the innovation and healthcare space, learning about current and future trends in innovation and providing regulatory advice and support.

“We have a very exciting year to look forward to with some upcoming events and competitions. Make sure to regularly check in on this website and to subscribe to the ViVet e-newsletter for news and events and to keep up-to-date with the latest blogs, case studies and ViVet Bites.”

A podcast and a webinar featuring Chris Tufnell and Anthony Roberts speaking about the ViVet project and what it means are also available to download from the resources section of the ViVet website.

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Innovation Symposium reports and videos now available

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons has recently updated its bespoke ViVet website with written reports and videos from the programme’s recent Innovation Symposium where the initiative was launched.

The ViVet programme grew out of the recommendations of the Vet Futures research and is designed to ensure veterinary professionals are engaged with innovation and technological development in the animal health sector.

ViVet was launched at the Innovation Symposium which took place at the Warwick Business School at The Shard in September and saw delegates working in the veterinary, health technology and/or innovation space gather to hear experts in the field.

Among those speaking were:

  • Professor Richard Susskind, a technology advisor to government and business, on the impact of exponential technological development on the professions;
  • Christopher Woolard from the Financial Conduct Authority on how regulators can support innovation;
  • Dr Umang Patel from health technology company Babylon on how telemedicine can support and enhance clinical standards;
  • Professor Dimitrios Spyridonidis, from the Warwick Business School, on the relationship between innovation and disruption;
  • Dr Guen Bradbury and Dr Greg Dickens from innovation consultancy Innovia on how practices can embrace technology;
  • Dr Adam Little, Director of Veterinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Texas A&M University on veterinary innovation in the North American context; and,
  • Anthony Roberts, Director of Leadership and Innovation at the RCVS, who introduced the delegates to the College’s ViVet project.

Videos of all of these talks plus the panel debates about telemedicine, big data and veterinary technologies currently in the pipeline, in addition to written reports of each, are available.

The site also has a number of blogs and case studies which look at areas of innovation in the veterinary profession and examples of how practices can best embrace technological and business development to enhance the service they provide and animal health and welfare.

Recent articles include the impact of 3D printing of veterinary orthopaedics, what the veterinary sector looks like from an outside investor perspective, how technology is creating alternative career paths for vets and how vets can best fuse online and offline interactions.

Anthony Roberts, RCVS Director of Leadership and Innovation, said: “The inaugural Innovation Symposium was a huge success, bringing together some of the best and brightest in the veterinary innovation sector, with great speakers, fascinating issues and an overall atmosphere of positivity about how the veterinary sector can move forward.

“Through ViVet, the College will now be working to provide support and advice to the professions on how they can both embrace innovation and also influence it so that it works in the best interests of animal health and welfare. We will also be examining our regulatory framework to make sure it is fit for purpose as far as supporting and encouraging veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses to make use of the full range of technologies are concerned.

“If you are interested in regular updates about the programme then please visit the website to sign up to the ViVet newsletter.”

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Ambitious programme to encourage veterinary innovation launched

At the inaugural Innovation Symposium held in London today (Wednesday 20 September 2017), the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons launched ViVet, an ambitious and wide-ranging programme designed to ensure veterinary professionals are at the forefront of innovation in the animal health sector.

ViVet was inspired by Vet Futures, the research initiative run jointly by the RCVS and British Veterinary Association. This research identified the need for veterinary professionals to seize the opportunities offered by innovation to transform the way they work and to widen access to veterinary services.

Managed by the RCVS, ViVet (derived from the Latin word ‘vivet’ meaning ‘it will thrive’) will provide a variety of resources and support to help the professions keep pace with change and remain at the forefront of animal healthcare provision.

Chris Tufnell, RCVS Senior Vice-President, helped develop the scope of the ViVet programme during his presidential year. He said: “This is an ambitious project for the College to embark upon but also very important for the future relevance and survival of the professions. Technology in the animal health sector is developing rapidly, such as the growth of telemedicine, wearable and implantable devices to gather health-related data from our animals, and low-cost genomic sequencing.

“These technologies could have a disruptive effect on the veterinary sector, so it’s important to encourage and support veterinary input at an early stage to enable the professions to shape their development and ensure that animal health and welfare is a foremost consideration.

“ViVet will help veterinary professionals to engage proactively with innovation in animal health, so that they can embrace and drive change and are not side-lined by it.”

Accompanying the launch of the project was the launch of its website which already contains a number of resources – including blogs and case studies – to showcase new technologies and innovative business models.

Anthony Roberts, Director of Leadership and Innovation at the College, said: “The aim of these resources is to help veterinary professionals harness the immense opportunities that innovation can bring to animal health and welfare by providing practical advice on areas such as launching new products and services and, in turn, encourage innovators to think about how the expertise and knowledge of the veterinary professions could input into new technologies.

“Furthermore, the programme will also help the College gain insights into the animal health market and how it is evolving. This will allow us to develop a regulatory framework that is relevant and adaptable to 21st century technology, while continuing to foster and support responsible innovation.”

ViVet will also continue to organise events like today’s live-streamed symposium, which brought together thought-leaders from across the animal health, technology and business sectors, and provided a forum to discuss the opportunities and threats presented by innovation in the veterinary sphere, the impact it may have on the professions and how they are regulated.

Further details about the RCVS Innovation Symposium, including the full programme and speaker profiles, are available at www.rcvs.org.uk/innovation. Videos of speakers and a written report of the proceedings will be available from the ViVet website in due course.