Innovation Strategy

Find out about our new Innovation Strategy, which begins to address our role in tackling climate change.

The Innovation Strategy sets out a vision for Guildford that embraces a digital future and promotes our town as being at the leading edge of innovation.

Our aim is to enable technological change and innovation to support local economic competitiveness, quality of life and public service delivery. We want to create a vibrant, prosperous, resilient and sustainable borough for the digital age.

Innovation Strategy 2019/20

View online our  icon Innovation Strategy 2019/20 [7.72MB] .

We are in the middle of a digital revolution, which is having a global impact. It is important in Guildford that we plan for the advantages that the new technologies can bring.

The speed of change is such that we don't know what the future holds over the next 15 to 20 years. We can only be certain that there will be massive change. Transportation, housing, energy, health and social care - and the way in which we deliver our public services - are just some of the areas that will be affected.

Approved by Councillors on 19 March 2019, the Innovation Strategy includes three objectives to build on the priorities set out under the 'Innovation Theme' of our Corporate Plan:

  • helping smart places infrastructure across Guildford

  • promoting Guildford as a location for innovators

  • improving value for money and efficiency in our services

Strategy's aims

Reflecting the dynamic nature of innovation and its ability to transform our lives, work spaces, and natural and built landscapes, this strategy will develop by following a ground-breaking annual format.

Using our financial budgeting timetable and progress reviews, we will decide the economic priorities for innovation and investment in future years.

This will be achieved by talking to the public, local businesses, our staff and partners in public sector organisations. These contributions will help us realise our vision for Guildford through an adaptable, innovative, sustainable and vibrant economy.

Our strategy will promote the development of high-quality support networks to support new technologies and systems. We will also raise awareness of how social and technological changes are influencing current and future planning and investment decisions, including the evolution of how we live and work.

We are one of many organisations influencing the borough's development and much of our work involves working with partners and stakeholders. The University of Surrey is leading academic research into many areas of innovation; the Royal Surrey County Hospital is also pioneering research; and Guildford and its surrounds are home to many companies leading the way in new digital technologies.

We have built good links in recent years within the academic, research and business communities. We will continue to align our activities to promote cooperation and build on our local strengths.

Climate change

As we have recently acknowledged, there is evidence showing that human activity has resulted in global climate change that threatens our future. It is clear that we must change our lifestyles immediately in order to slow and reverse this damage. In our position as a local authority, we have a crucial role to play in both leading by example and influencing the way that the residents and businesses of Guildford Borough live and work.

The Climate Change Task Group we have set up has agreed that there are a series of important plans that need to be developed to help the borough reduce carbon emissions and adapt our town and surrounding countryside to future climate changes.

Appendix 2 of the Innovation Strategy sets out a framework for operation of the Climate Change Task Group, describing our ambition and setting out what we need to do next to develop our plans and to measure and manage our activities over the long term.

The Climate Change Task Group will work closely with our Innovation Strategy Board to promote sustainable smart living. In this way we will make sure that our communities benefit from clean air, a natural and healthy environment, power resilience, minimal flood risk, and that everybody is aware of the risks of climate change and the ways in which its effects can be reduced or removed completely.