Innovation you told me, what a mess

Since more than 20 years the word " innovation " inflated the business media. Due to ambiguous and continuously shifting definitions, innovation is used in a lot of point of view referring to processes, as well as ideas, methods or devices[1] :

 • The process of making improvements by introducing something new.
 • The act of introducing something new: something newly introduced. (The American Heritage Dictionary)
 • The introduction of something new. (Merriam-Webster Online)
 • A new idea, method or device. (Merriam-Webster Online)
 • The successful exploitation of new ideas. (Dept of Trade and Industry UK)
 • Change that creates a new dimension of performance. Peter Drucker (Hesselbein, 2002)

As pointed out by Richard Hudson[2], editor of Science|Business, " what is this thing that everybody in business is talking about ? It's the new plot, apparently, to another war-game from Electronic Arts. It's something that dairy farmers in Chile say they want. It's in the job title of a new executive at France's Schneider Electric. It describes a new prize for erotic art in Australia. It’s in countless corporate slogans. It's epidemic now in public policy, with many learned reports on nurturing it, identifying it, funding it or freeing it "

More over, Science|Business has invented its own index of technology markets : the " Innovation Index ". It's a very simple count of the number of times that the word " innovation " appears in business media… The Innovation Index. Viewpoints, 29 November 2006, R Hudson - The problem with innovation

In its post, Richard argues for the sake of innovative industries everywhere and opened a discussion forum for innovative alternatives to " innovation ".

Why should we continue to misuse the word " innovation " ? Do we have to don't use it anymore ? Do we have to find another word ?

I personally consider innovation as the process performing the equation : Innovation = Invention * Successful Exploitation.

But the discussion is open…

[1] Wikipedia.org
[2] Richard Hudson - The problem with "innovation". Science|Business, 29 November 2006

16:18 Posted by St Wojcik in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (1) | Tags: innovation |  Facebook |


LERU argues case for prioritising public procurement

The new LERU report Universities and Innovation : The Challenge for Europe issued on Nov. 20, 2006, argues for increasing of public procurement budgets. But this comprehensive document recommends also several interesting points for universities. Universities should :

• realistically analyse where their own strengths lie and where they might best achieve excellence and economic and social relevance ;

• understand, engage and promote the optimal economic strategy for their region, and understand how their own particular strengths can best be mobilised to support regional and national economic development ;

• ensure that academic and departmental structures and their flexibility enhance and do not impede cross-disciplinary efforts ;

Universities and Innovation : The Challenge for Europe

• ensure that their processes of selecting university leaders and governance mechanisms are well designed to identify and pursue broad institutional goals in their areas of strength whilst encouraging the academic freedom that is the university’s greatest potential strength.

In Brussels-Capital Region, the strategic regional R&D domains where defined by the Ministery of Economy and implemented through the ISRIB.

But what about the other LERU recommendations ?

Full report >>

LERU (League of European Research Universities) was founded in 2002 as an association of research-intensive universities sharing the values of high-quality teaching in an environment of internationally competitive research.