Innova Press Launch Speech

By Richard Peacock

Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you very much for joining us today to mark this exciting occasion. It was almost exactly one year ago today that I sat in this very building with Mr Cai and FLTRP’s senior management to begin discussions about setting up a new UK publishing company under the auspices of FLTRP. At the beginning, our plans were somewhat vague, but over the months, our vision for the new company has become much clearer, and we are now confident that we have created a Launchpad for something really new in the world of publishing.

Between myself, Mr Terry Phillips, Innova’s Business Development Director, and Mr Shirong Chen, our Senior Vice President for China-themed publishing, we have almost 100 years of working in publishing. We have, together and separately, been responsible for a wide range of projects and companies, but we can genuinely say that this venture is the most exciting enterprise that we have ever undertaken.

You may ask: why does the world need another publisher for ELT and CLT? Our answer is that the world of English and Chinese language learning and publishing is changing: firstly, in the way in which students wish to interact with learning materials; secondly, because we now know from research much more about how English and Chinese are structured and how they are taught than we did when the current major ELT courses were written; and thirdly, also from research, because we know that students have different language learning needs according to the end use of their learning.

But still the question arises: why do we need a new ELT and CLT publisher? Because the mainstream publishers seem to be stuck in the past. Firstly, they are stuck in terms of the content of main courses, still preparing students primarily for travel and tourism. And secondly, they are stuck in terms of delivery, trying to adapt existing print courses to digital, rather than embracing the new world. In other words, we need a new publisher for a new ELT and CLT world.

The name of our company tells you that we will be innovative, basing materials for students and teachers on research and evidence about language, about language learning and about student needs. The logo for the company, which you will see in a minute, is designed to convey the message of disruptive publishing: the initial “i” reinforces our vision of turning publishing on its head.

When we began discussions, we thought that the company would be essentially just an FLTRP operation. But since then, we have been joined by Hujiang and by New Oriental. So together with FLTRP, Innova Press is in a uniquely powerful position to establish itself as a major international player in publishing. We are indeed privileged to be working with such influential and cutting-edge partners. As I believe the Chinese saying goes, all things are difficult before they are easy, and the coming year or two will involve a lot of hard work and many challenges. But with the support and good will of our partners, we are confident that we will achieve our goal of becoming a leading and truly innovative international publisher.

Thank you very much!

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