Emerging Frontiers

Emerging Frontiers is an initiative within the Excellis Group. It comprises emerging ideas, trends and technologies that require an evolutionary approach for widespread adoption.

Emerging Frontier Initiatives seek to generate benefits across a wide spectrum of aims and goals. The majority of commercial profits arising from these are reinvested into generating further enterprise, societal and environmental gains.

The sections below detail our current themes. Moreover, the Emerging Frontiers ideas bank has a growing pool of over a dozen innovative themes/projects, which are being assessed for potential future inclusion.

We welcome value-adding partners (corporates and social organisations, as well as individuals or experts in their fields) from around the world to collaborate or link-up in the Emerging Frontiers Initiatives (EFIs). To find out more, or to register your interest or offer suggestions, please contact us.

Opportunity SME Observatory (OSMEO)

Opportunity SME Observatory (OSMEO) is an ambitious and innovative programme for promoting excellence in publicly funded projects.

Commercial Driver & Rational for OSMEO

As part of Excellis’ Emerging Frontier initiative, the planned duration of OSMEO Phase 1 is three years. During this period, OSMEO will provide an independent and transparent assessment on the effectiveness and impact of various publicly funded projects aiming to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Through regular monitoring, consultation and solicitation of opinions, OSMEO aims to establish a constructive dialogue with the key stakeholders and the wider business community. Thereby, garnering excellence and optimum return on investment from publicly funded projects.

Since OSMEO will not rely on any public funds, it will be able to assert its full independence and represent the true voice of the various stakeholders involved in publicly funded projects.


The initial scope of OSMEO will be London (UK) wide; covering ongoing and future projects, as well as those completed within the last three years. It will also include national programmes that have a significant bearing on London based organisations. It is envisaged that future phases will extend OSMEO to become a UK nationwide initiative, with a view to extending it even further to the rest of the European Union.

SME-facing programmes across all industry sectors will be considered by OSMEO. Sectors of strategic importance will be given initial priority, and these would include high-technology manufacturing (including aerospace), creative industries, healthcare, food and hospitality, retail, ICT (including video games) as well as cross-cutting regeneration projects.

OSMEO Goals and Objectives

OSMEO is utilising a flexible and transparent methodology in order to ensure a high degree of stakeholder engagement, as well as adaptability to any future changes in public policies and funding instruments. Initially, the main goals of OSMEO will include:

  • Redefinition and realignment of what constitutes ‘Value for Money’ in publicly funded projects and programmes aimed at SMEs.
  • How, and to what extent, publicly funded programmes complement or synergise with the wider policy goals, objectives and aspirations of the citizens and policy makers. For example, EU 2020 (Lisbon Strategy), The Big Society (UK), etc.
  • Ensuring that the target SMEs or SME groups who are purported to be the end-beneficiaries of publicly-funded programmes are actually deriving real, tangible and lasting benefits from such programmes.

Additional goals of OSMEO would include:

  • Best practice guidelines for ensuring 100% impartial and independent interim and post project evaluations. For example, assessment of publicly funded projects (especially ERDF, ESF) that are (or have been) evaluated by self-selected evaluators, albeit through a public tendering process.
  • Ensuring that procurement practices that are actually adopted by publicly funded SME programmes are fair and equitable, and provide equal opportunity to all suppliers (particularly SMEs), and not just the preferred or predetermined ones.

Publicly-funded stakeholders who wish to contribute, collaborate or offer suggestions on OSMEO may contact us.

Emerging Ideas, Trends and Models

Emerging Ideas, Trends and Models focus on exploring and market-testing new ideas, practical approaches, technologies and business models for assisting enterprises; as well as providing an independent vehicle for addressing specific industry related issues in a holistic manner.

Initiative: Innovate with Web2i

Innovate with Web2i provides a framework for developing new and innovative business models. It uses a methodical and holistic approach to establishing a synergistic business eco-system consisting of "service + solution + business network" domains.

The demonstrable benefits of the Innovate with Web2i approach include low-risk, high-affordability, and rapid access to emerging technology capability. In addition, members of the ecosystem are able to adopt new business models for their own marketing, business networking and sales channel consolidation or diversification.

Transforming Industries

Our goal for the Innovate with Web2i initiative is to catalyse key changes at the industry level, whilst recognising that such a large scale and high complexity of change presents opportunities, challenges and risks that are not normally encountered in organisation-level transformation initiatives.

Web2i Case Study in Designer/Luxury Fashion

The highly creative, dynamic and competitive nature of the designer/luxury fashion industry presents a unique set of challenges (including environmental and fair trade), which have not been previously addressed for various technical, cultural and logistical reasons.

In particular, brand development and online retailing are still prevailing challenges for emerging and independent designers (mostly SMEs). Even the more established designer brands are experiencing significant cost pressures within their operations and supply chains, as well as from the global competition.

Achieving Wider Impact

As an exemplar of user-centered innovation, our work in this area continues to stimulate a host of other initiatives and complements many others. For example:

  • EU 2010 Consultation Green Paper:
    Unlocking the potential of cultural and creative industries, a multi-stakeholder consultation by the European Commission's Education and Culture Directorate-General.

  • The 2008 global eco-fashion competition and sponsorship organised jointly by Cartier, McKinsey & Company, and INSEAD; as well as a fresh crop of 'social fashion' (and even interior designer) websites.

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