Innovation at many different levels of science, society and economy turns to be the key factor for transforming national and regional economies. The main question is how can we interpret innovation more effectively, and then, how can we use it in our everyday lives for achieving economic growth..?
The U.S. economy retains myriad sources of innovative capacity — but not enough of the innovations occurring in America today reach the marketplace, according to a major two-year MIT study presented at an Institute conference on Friday. The report, by MIT’s commission on Production in the Innovation Economy (PIE), found that potentially valuable innovations occur throughout the advanced manufacturing sector — from academic labs to shop floors — and in companies of all sizes, from multinational conglomerates to specialized “Main Street” firms. However, there are still holes in the “ecosystem” of advanced manufacturing in the United States — gaps that particularly inhibit innovative smaller firms. The PIE commission suggests that new policies, partnerships and programs can help create innovation-based growth and jobs.
“If we want to stay strong in innovation, we must regain our strength in manufacturing,” MIT President L. Rafael Reif said in his introductory remarks at the event. At the event, Reif also announced his interest in creating an Institute-wide initiative on innovation, intended to strengthen MIT’s ability to move ideas to real impact. Reif noted that MIT will also continue to conduct research on innovation, and will engage with the government on activities like the White House’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP), a federal effort to strengthen domestic manufacturing. All of this activity represents a marked shift in the way advanced manufacturing has been regarded in the United States. After years of declining production in the sector and job losses — the United States now has 12 million manufacturing jobs, Reif noted, down from 17 million in 2000 — there has been an upturn in manufacturing activity within the last couple of years, and new support for the industry.
(Artist & Furniture Designer, Tom Price)
On the other hand, we have to identify business environments which are positive or negative toward innovation. If we again, take the US as our case study, we have the following results:
Entrepreneurs starting a business often look for environments where innovation and growth flourish, whether it’s a tech epicenter like Silicon Valley or a university-saturated place like Boston. CRN’s analysis of the best and worst states in which to start a solution provider business included identifying the states with the best and worst business environments for innovation and growth. The study looked at the growth rate of a state’s gross state product, entrepreneurial activity, inventor patents and other indicators, as well as the percentage of engineer- and scientist-held jobs in a state’s workforce and the percentage of high-tech industry jobs. The rankings were developed using data from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation’s 2012 New State Economy Index, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’ June 6, 2013, gross state product report and CNBC. The metrics were weighted to reflect their importance to solution providers based on the results of a February 2013 CRN study conducted among 250 technology solution providers.
More importantly, Albemarle and other global corporation set the stage for creating a global economy which could be more oriented toward innovation:
Albemarle focuses on growth and innovation with realignment of global business … – PR Newswire (press release)
Delivering on its commitment to sustainable growth, Albemarle Corporation ALB -0.87% announced today that it will realign its global business units, effective January 1, 2014. The new organizational structure is designed to increase customer focus, enhance innovation and accelerate growth. The company’s assets will be aligned within two global business units (GBUs). The Performance Chemicals GBU will include Fire Safety Solutions, Specialty Chemicals and Fine Chemistry Services, consolidating the company’s bromine, mineral and custom manufacturing assets under one business unit. The Catalyst Solutions GBU will include Refinery Catalyst Solutions, Performance Catalyst Solutions and Antioxidants. Each GBU will have a dedicated team of sales, R&D, process engineering, manufacturing and sourcing, and business strategy personnel and will have full accountability for improving execution through greater asset and market focus, agility and responsiveness. The new structure will also facilitate the continued standardization of business processes across the organization as part of the company’s ongoing One Albemarle strategy. Matt Juneau will serve as senior vice president of Albemarle Corporation and president of Performance Chemicals. Mr. Juneau has over thirty years’ experience in the chemical industry and has held leadership positions across all of the Albemarle businesses and global sales during his career with the company.
But, how can we better understand innovation practically? Look at the football and hockey fields to understand how effective emerging technology is on connecting people, data, processes and many different things, by taking advantage of the Internet:
On football fields and hockey rinks across the nation, an increasing number of mothers and fathers are receiving data on their smartphones – sent wirelessly from helmet sensors – about whether their child has experienced a head impact that could result in a concussion requiring additional medical evaluation is necessary. This emerging technology is but one example of a new wave of innovation that is forming – the connection of people, data, processes and things to the Internet. This “Internet of Everything” has the potential to transform dozens of industries and create innovative ways of working, manufacturing, learning and managing complex systems. With these changes come opportunities to create new businesses, new innovations, and new jobs. Cisco estimates that there is some $14.4 trillion in value at stake over the next ten years with the adoption of the “Internet of Everything.” This means a potential 2 percent increase of global GDP every year for the next decade. In agriculture, for instance, this means that real-time decisions can be made about irrigation water flows to maximize crop yields. In the oil and gas industry, this means that operations can be made more efficient so that fuels get to where they are needed at the right time, with increased safety, minimal leakage and reduced downtime. And in transportation systems, this means streamlined traffic and safer highways, as well as supply chains that are more efficient, less wasteful, and less costly.
Finally, it is becoming clear that innovation is the “key” for entering the next phase of our global economy. It starts with an idea. Then, we have the implementation stage and finally, current technology and the Internet most of the times, complete the whole effort. Innovation is here…