Stages of innovation - from invention to systemic

There is often a misunderstanding of the differences between invention and innovation and it is important to recognise that there are three key stages of innovation:



This is about the generation of new ideas e.g. new ways of teaching and learning or new ICT solutions.

Early Innovation

This is all about the early practical application of new inventions, often focused in specific areas e.g. a subject discipline or speciality such as distance learning or work-based learning.

Systemic Innovation

This is where an institution, for example, will aim to embed an innovation institutionally. 


In other words, project teams might well introduce new ideas for teaching and learning but the true “innovation” is about how these ideas go beyond the pilot/test phase and are applied and adopted appropriately throughout an institution.


One could therefore argue, that sustainability and embedding are an essential element of any innovation!