30 Apr 2012

Driving the innovation economy

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An article published in The Khaleej Times. Hari Kesavan, Founder and Chairman of UniPropitia,  writes on the unmistakable opportunities for innovation in the UAE. An excerpt from the article:

Mankind is living in times of opportunities unprecedented. Two major drivers that have brought us to this point are invention and innovation.

Together, these complementary forces will yet shape the way we live, learn, communicate and do business in a world that is becoming increasingly interconnected. And if the future belongs to innovators, then the UAE should now accelerate the perfecting of the ecosystem that will enable it to strike for that gold.

Wikipedia defines innovation as “the creation of better or more effective products, processes, services, technologies, or ideas that are accepted by markets, governments, and society. Innovation differs from invention in that innovation refers to the use of a new idea or method, whereas invention refers more directly to the creation of the idea or method itself.”

Thus, though the creation of the light bulb was a historic invention, its innovation into a compact fluorescent and LED version, which is longer-lasting, less energy-intensive and brighter is also revolutionary.

Innovation is increasingly being recognised as the key driver that can deliver economic progress and foster healthy competitiveness across nations. In that sense, innovation has taken on a much broader meaning, as it is no longer the exclusive domain of R&D laboratories and science. Today, innovation has assumed vital social and business dimensions, especially so in the emerging areas of the world, where most of the earth’s population lives, and wherefrom must come the bulk of the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. It is no co-incidence that countries that are highly prosperous are also very active on the innovation front. Throwing light on this co-relation is ‘The Global Innovation Index 2011,’ (GII) published by Insead, one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools. As per the GII’s rankings, twenty-eight of the top 30 nations that excel in innovation are also high income countries. And while the UAE too enjoys one of the highest GDP in the world, it was positioned 34th out of a list of 125 countries when it comes to innovation overall.

Read the complete article