“Having the idea is very often the ‘easy bit’ – transforming inventive ideas into practical innovations for the market place is more difficult.” (WIN – Wales Innovators Network, 2006)
Clutching a folio of over 100 product ideas, I attended my first WIN meeting in Newtown College, confident that together with a Mid Wales team of individual innovators and inventors, their support and practical assistance would progress each idea from screen and onto the shelves of the World. Thankfully, I awoke from this dream and those ideas remained uncommercialised. The Wales Innovators Network stopped meeting in Newtown and over time, stopped their Cardiff meetings too.
But if you imagine that the innovative ways of Wales cooled in any way, think on, because although WIN may have gone WIN grows on.
When getting together with a few members to ponder on “Whatever happened to WIN?” we discovered a WIN that’s at the forefront of innovative projects in Wales, namely the ‘Wales Innovation Network‘.
Perhaps the time is right to re-open that folio of 100 ideas and break some new ground with some new inventor-entrepreneurs and product champions!
Long live WIN
Is the last dragon of Wales asleep in the Radnor Forest?
When I first visited Mid. Wales I thought I would find a Sheep Museum but instead, at Llandrindod Wells, I discovered a Dragon Museum tucked away on the left near the old fire station (in case of emergency) and before the town centre. I had assumed that it would grow to be the biggest Dragon Museum in the World – internationaly famous and a big tourist draw for the whole region, but on the occasion of my last visit to this Town, there was no sign of it … and no dragon footprints leading away from the den.
I feel that the loss of this potential gem is serious because it was obviously started by an enthusiast living in exactly the right country. If you know the curator of this Dragon Museum, or any other Dragon Museum, I’d love to know about them and eventually see a Welsh Dragon Museum on the tourist map. There are many, internationally, who share my enthusiasm for such great giants of myth, magic and might.
In November 2002, Locum Destination Consulting was appointed by the Mid Wales Partnership and the Tourism Partnership ( Mid Wales – Partneriaeth Twristiaeth Canolbarth Cymru) to undertake a review of the Regional Tourism Strategy, but on reading it I found that it just highlighted the potential for walking and cycling. I’m sure that some believe that the tourism strategy of promoting walking and cycling in Mid. Wales will work best. I believe there’s an even better future in creating more alternative enterprises, alongside farmers, that will entertain, educate and create the ‘mind & body’ health links between city and country dwellers. These enterprises will boost the rural economy, encourage the peaceful growth of cities, maintain farms, and preserve the natural environment.
“So what are these magical enterprises?”
I see the clues emerging everywhere in Wales like the largest underground trampoline, inland surfing, giant slip wires over a quarry. These are tourism wonders of the new World and I am certainly going to experience them all and help promote the fun they create.
And what of that Dragon? The oldest recorded use of the Dragon to symbolise Wales is from the Historia Brittonum, written by the historian Nennius around 820. Before that? Ask the last sleeping dragon of Wales … if you dare!