HOVIP - Heads of the Valleys Innovation Programme

Heads of the Valleys Innovation Programme

delivered by business people for business people


"I have gained techniques for instigating discussion and decision making and will use in future staff meetings."

Gill Clarke, Acting General Manager, Candy Stripes Day Nursery.

Joint Innovation Initiatives

  1. Training with Cardiff University

    HOVIP’s Turning Heads Club is a regional business network exclusively for HOVIP Innovation Award entrants and winners, sponsors and Steering Group.

    HOVIP partnered Cardiff University to ask the Turning Heads Club members what training they required during the recession.

    As a result of a 35% response rate four tailored marketing courses were hosted by HOVIP and delivered by Cardiff University and wider training needs identified.

  2. Local Innovation Awards

    HOVIP has sponsored local innovation awards in Merthyr and Rhonnda Cynon Taf. The aim is to further embed a culture of innovation and create an ’Innovation Ladder’.

    The ’Innovation Ladder’ involves encouraging local innovation award entrants to then enter the HOVIP regional innovation awards. Winners of the latter are then entered into the Wales Innovation Awards to further promote their business and the region.

  3. Big Pitch Challenge 2010

    Nick Hewer of BBC 1’s The Apprentice fame took a break from judging aspiring apprentices in London to judge the next generation of business talent cultivated in the South Wales Valleys, in a novel HOVIP-inspired initiative to develop students’ enterprise skills and promote businesses in the Valleys, based on a real business project.

    Nick was joined by three other judges on Thursday 25th November 2010, at Techniquest, Cardiff Bay, to cast their votes on eight teams of college students from four further education colleges in the Valleys. This was part of Merthyr Tydfil’s Global Enterprise Week in conjunction with the Heads of the Valleys Innovation Programme (HOVIP) and a project team including representatives from the colleges and the Welsh Assembly Government.

    The students presented their ideas and costed marketing plans, in front of a capacity audience, for the planned visitor centre for Rhymney Brewery which is relocating next to the Big Pit in March 2011. More than 120 students wanted to participate in the Challenge and these had been whittled down to 32 students, representing the four colleges.

    On talking about the evening Nick said: 'I thought the concept of the evening was well constructed and the calibre of the students’ presentations was excellent. The level of enthusiasm from all of the students that took part surpassed my expectations and I was delighted to be involved in such an energetic event.

    Big Pitch 2010 video - Students fired up by Nick Hewer!

    Download: Big Pitch 2010 programme

  4. Equinox-HOVIP Challenge 2009

    In a novel way to generate new ideas and create positive publicity for the former Wales International Climbing Centre HOVIP challenged Merthyr Tydfil College students to make recommendations on how to market the Centre.

    The students were given relevant training, attended a site visit and then presented their recommendations to four judges and an audience of 60 people.

    As a result, the students developed enterprise skills based on a real world challenge and the Centre gained new ideas and publicity to support a wider HOVIP initiative to attract a new main tenant, which was ultimately Rock UK Ltd.

    The Centre has subsequently been renamed the ’Rock UK Summit Centre’ with the focus shifting to an outdoor activity centre and not just a climbing wall. The idea of the Challenge is now being extended to all Further Education Colleges in the Valleys.

  5. Business Club Events

    HOVIP has supported a variety of local and combined business club events with Caerphilly, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Torfaen.

Global Academy
  • SWCC
  • BT
  • Equinox
  • HSBC Bank plc
  • Capital Law
WAG logo

Heads of the Valleys Innovation Programme (HOVIP) aims to increase the capacity for innovation in businesses in the region. Phase 1 was KEF ESF Funded and hosted by Merthyr Tydfil College. HOVIP2 and HOVIP3 is supported by the Welsh Assembly Government HoV Regeneration initiative with the 5 HoV local authorities and is hosted by Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council.

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