Innovation is the process of having new ideas, developing them into practical solutions and implementing them into equipment or processes in order to improve network performance or customer service. It will provide more flexible solutions that are better, cheaper or quicker than the current ways of doing things. The RIIO-ED1 Network Innovation Incentives and the Government’s Carbon Plan have and will continue to bring huge change and significant opportunities to innovate. Innovation does not have to be on a large scale; sometimes improvements can be achieved through evolutionary change, involving incremental improvement to existing methods.
We rely on innovation to maintain our position as a frontier performer in network performance and customer service. Innovation is targeted at all of the key outputs safety, cost efficiency, customer service, reliability and environment. In the past innovation has proved beneficial by allowing us to continually improve in these areas. Future innovation will allow us to continue these improvements and will also help us to address the challenges brought about by the Carbon Plan.
Our innovation project portfolio has enabled us to deliver significant learning to the wider business as well as other network operators. We have delivered over 100 innovation projects over the previous and current price control period, which has enabled significant changes in how we operate our business providing benefits to customers. Key examples of this is the learning as part of our Low Carbon Networks Hub project that has enabled us to roll out Active Network Management (ANM) across each of our four licence areas, and flexibility services now delivered through the Flexible Power brand was created as part of the Entire NIA project, which developed technical and commercial requirements to utilise flexibility as a service to avoid asset investment requirements.
We continue to innovate and ensure third party access and collaboration on our projects is achieved, most notably through our established third party call for projects. This Strategy also sets out our key priorities and challenges during the remainder of RIIO-ED1.