Innovation Community Lab

ICL (Innovation Community Lab) is a six-month development programme funded through the European Regional Development Fund.

Created alongside Nottingham Trent University, ICL supports early careers graduates working in the Nottingham region to develop the skills they need to innovate within their organisation, and develop the skills required to progress into a managerial position.

“In the workshops, Gradconsult brings the case studies and exercises to life, they engage and tailor their approach with each delegate and the buy-in they receive is reflected in the success of their work.”

- Emmie Studencki, Business Services Consultant, Nottingham Trent University




83% of ICL participants have positively improved their confidence levels around innovation

73% of participants felt that the programme had a positive impact on their capability levels to innovate

68% of participants said that ICL had a positive impact on the culture of the organisation towards creating, presenting and implementing new ideas


Participants took part in monthly, half-day workshops, where they:

  • Undertake facilitated activities
  • Meet speakers from a range of backgrounds
  • Develop coaching skills
  • Build a local network of early careers professionals

The participants are also expected to take ‘knowledge transfer activities’ back to their business after each workshop, and run the activity with their colleagues. These might be, for example:

  • Idea generation
  • Product pitching
  • Change management exercises
  • Negotiating and influencing
  • Project planning

They are designed to ensure that the workshop learning goes beyond the individual attending and permeates into the participating business as a whole.

The programme has been hugely successful to date:

Both the participants’ and line managers’ evaluations consistently demonstrate that participants’ competency and confidence around innovation has improved as a result of the programme, and that there has been a noticeable shift in the company culture.