XLR8 Innovation was a partnership between the Research and Innovation Office at Sheffield Hallam University, Creative Sheffield (the economic development arm of Sheffield City Council, now called Business Sheffield), Gripple/Loadhog and and Unfolding.
The programme was designed to introduce innovation techniques and practices to local firms by offering hands-on workshops, and creating a local Innovators Network with regular meetup events.
The full-day innovation workshops provided participants with a grounding in Design Thinking, followed by prototyping of physical/digital hybrid product designs in groups. The sessions were designed to mix up people from engineering and digital technology industries, as well as university students, and provided participants with a concrete set of tools which they could take back to their organisations and implement.
The Innovation Network events took place every two months, and brought previous workshop participants back together where they could talk about their efforts in adopting practices, participate in a masterclass on a particular topic, and present a specific problem which the group would collaboratively explore and brainstorm hypotheses.
The programme was supported by the European Regional Development Fund 2007-2013.