In the words of Professor Roy Sandbach, innovation is "matching what's possible with what's needed... to create economic value or social good."
And with change an ever present force in business, innovation is not only critical to get ahead, but also just to keep up.
Here are some organisations who know all about the value of innovation and want to help drive innovation within North East businesses.
As the UK's national technology and innovation centre, CPI serve and support the process manufacturing industries, helping key industry leaders and SMEs to develop, prove, prototype and scale up the next generation of products and processes.
Celebrating its tenth year based at the Wilton Centre in Cleveland, the CPI work across a wide range of technology platforms, each with the potential to generate substantial impact on the future of manufacturing.
The UK's national innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board is all about driving innovation. There goal is to accelerate economic growth and deliver a better quality of life by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation and so they work with businesses to remove the barriers to innovation.
With funding to support research and development of projects from small proof of concept to large multi-partner collaborations, they can help innovation happen.