The Economist published a special report on innovation on the October 13th-19th 2007 issue of the magazine. The report is broken down to seven articles spanning 20 pages and I don't want to distill it too much, so I will break it down to seven posts.
Something new under the sun
Something new under the sun | Economist.com
Innovation, long the preserve of technocratic elites, is becoming more open. This will be good for the world, argues Vijay Vaitheeswaran
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Highlights / Digest
- "The energy and car industries have not been innovative in many years because they have faced no real crisis, no impetus for change," [Vinod Khosla] inists. (Mr Khosla helped to found Sun Microsystems)
- Larry Page, co-founder of Google, had earlier hosted a gathering of leading environmentalists, political thinkers and energy experts to help shape an inducement to get things moving: the Automotive x Prize, to be unveiled in early 2008. The organisers will offer at least $10m to whoever comes up with the best "efficient, clean, affordable and sexy" car able to obtain the equivalent of 100 miles-per-gallon using alternative energy.
- Rapid and disruptive change is now happening across new and old businesses. Innovation, as this report will show is becoming both more accessible and global.
- North America still leads the world in research spending, but the big labs' advantage over their smaller rivals and the developing world is being eroded by two powerful forces.
- Globalisation, especially the rise of China and India as both consumers and, increasingly, suppliers of innovative products and services.
- The rapid advance of information technologies, which are spreading far beyond the internet and into older industries such as steel, aerospace and carmaking.
- One way to arrive at a useful definition [of innovation] is to rule out what innovation is not. It is not invention.
- New products might be an important part of the process, but they are not the essence of it.
- Clever ideas have always been everywhere, of course, but companies were often too closed to pick them up. The move to an open approach to innovation is far more promising.
- "We firmly believe that innovation, not love, makes the world go round," insists John Dryden of the OECD.
- With manfacturing now barely a fifth of economic activity in rich countries, the "knowledge economy" is becoming more important.
Read the full article on Economist.com