Building Sovereign Innovation Capabilities

sovereign innovation world map

Sovereign innovation has become of even greater importance in recent years. The pandemic and geopolitical issues have clarified the need for greater resilience and the ability to weather an uncertain future, while depending on resources closer to home.

Consequently, most countries are now investing heavily in national endeavours. These endeavours must increase competitiveness, in an ever-changing and challenging environment.

Sovereign Innovation Challenges

Building sovereign innovation capabilities is no easy task due to the complexity and scope of work. Additionally, nations face additional obstacles than they have in the past.

Slower Economic Growth

According to the International Monetary Fund, global economic growth is slowing. It dropped from 6.0 percent in 2021 to 3.2 percent in 2022. It is predicted to fall even further in 2023, reaching 2.7 percent.

This fall in growth paired with inflation means countries need to do more with fewer resources. It has never been more important than now to use available resources wisely.

Declining Working Age Population

Many developed countries have very low numbers of working age residents. According to the International Labor Organization, North America’s working population is only 5% and Northern, Southern and Western Europe is just 6%. More than half of the world’s labour force is in Asia and the Pacific.

Additionally, many within the working population aren’t actively looking for work. Much of the working population is also aging, slowing reducing the labour pool. Consequently, nations continually lose suitable innovators.

Need for Digital Infrastructure Greater Than Ever

Governments reliance on data continues to grow. They must provide the services their people need and deliver information quickly and effectively.

As a result, sovereign innovation requires a robust, scalable, and adaptable digital infrastructure, with fewer complications. Data must seamlessly flow between various governmental departments and towards relevant stakeholders.

However, innovation and data management within sovereign entities is often mired in confusion. Hierarchies can make it difficult to plot a path towards actionable innovation within the traditional tech silo.

Greater Competition

Sovereign capability in innovation ensures a nation remains internationally competitive in manufacturing, renewable energy, and other sectors. By “reshoring” supply chains, nations guard against potential disruptions.

However, countries must also maintain, employ, sustain and upgrade national capabilities across all sectors. This requires a pool of talent, technology, development and protection of intellectual property, and of course financial resources and infrastructure.

Nonetheless, as mentioned, sovereign innovation faces complex bureaucratic barriers. Plus, the culture rarely supports innovation outside of the traditional tech realm. This makes it difficult to harness, test, and implement potentially beneficial ideas as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Luckily, it is possible to build an open, transparent, trust-based relationship with an experienced innovation partner.

Pairing Entities with Sovereign Innovation

Governments can no longer rely on their existing system. They need to break the norms to maximise innovation. This involves signaling innovation as a priority, investing in human capacity, and analysing systems through a new lens.

By forging partnerships with relevant players, organisations can create outside networks. They can better use data, create checks and balances, and integrate resilience into their system designs.

Perhaps even more importantly, they can build evaluation into the innovation process, consider citizen feedback, and scale innovations that offer value.

EarlyBirds offers organisations several avenues to help build sovereign innovation capabilities. These include unique programs for ad hoc or supplementary needs, as well as ongoing transformational support and an expansive marketplace of new and disruptive technologies.

EarlyBirds Innovation Ecosystem

The EarlyBirds Innovation Ecosystem is a Business-to-Business portal connecting Innovators, Early Adopters, and Subject Matter Experts. Early Adopters are leaders or influencers in an organisation eager to identify new and disruptive technologies. They want to seize opportunities, solve business challenges, or create new products and services.

The Ecosystem has a data pool of over 4 million global innovations that may already address your organisation’s challenges. Nations can tap into a diverse talent pool within their region and beyond.

Alternatively, organisations can list their challenges and request solutions from innovators.

EarlyBirds Explorer Program

The Explorer Program is tailored towards those who need innovation as a service to supplement existing innovation programs, or to conduct innovation projects when required.

EarlyBirds Challenger Program

The Challenger Program focuses on a single organisational or technical challenge. It looks for the most relevant innovators that meet your organisational, technical, and risk requirements.

The program is run by an EarlyBirds Subject Matter Expert who identifies your key issues. The SME then searches the data pool to identify and curate options for further evaluation. The most suitable option is chosen and the SME drafts a roadmap of next steps, POC, trial, or implementation.


EarlyBirds makes building sovereign innovation capabilities simpler and more effective. If your organisation needs to plot a path towards innovation, we can help you find direction and accelerate innovation, internally and through external collaboration.

Let us help you find innovative solutions and appropriate disruptive technology. Our expertise extends to the Public Sector, Operations & Maintenance, Manufacturing, Finance & Insurance, Energy, Education, Cybersecurity, and more.

If you’re interested in partnering for success, please register at, or contact us to discuss your needs.