One of many ways of how to outline what will be relevant for the future of innovation is through the link of several global trends/risks and possible innovation. These create challenges for almost all nations and companies thanks to global networks. In our circumstances, there is especially important the network among R&D, universities, companies, banks or venture capitalists. This network must allow connecting people in real time and thus exploiting their comparative advantages immediately. According my experience, the main trend for the future of innovation is just in the speed of new know-how adaption and its transformation into a saleable product. This can be measured in hours (e. g. in many companies, it is less than 100 hours).
Secondly, processes of innovation are the core processes that can enable to tackle climate changes. This will be the main issue in the future. We know that it must be based on radical reductions of CO2 emissions ((30-50 %). There is a need to find several radical technology innovation that can allow transforming our energy systems in the way that will be more sustainable, also in connection with possible oil price shocks or energy supply interruptions. Possibilities are from improvement of technologies for automobiles, appliances, and power plants, through greater shares in energy supply for nuclear energy, renewable energy, and carbon capture and storage, enlargement of bio-carbon stocks to innovation of forest and soil management.
In the third place, services have become more innovative, and generate more and more innovation over time (20-50 % of all innovation), generally also with higher value-added. Although the main shortage still remains in intangible nature of service innovative activities, this will require more rigorous methodological conceptualisation and improvement of long term planning, funding, protection, technology transfer and policies for this sector.
In connection with services, world is more and more dependent on critical information infrastructure (CII). Most of countries have established CII protective organizations in regard to improve prevention, protection, detection, early warning, appropriate reaction, and crisis management. For example, The EU has earmarked 9.1 billion EUR for funding ICT for 2007-2013. But this will require more appropriate constant technological innovation and establishment of public-private partnerships, based on strong mutual trust.
In the fifth place, developed economies are a way ahead of developing economies due to the current amount of R&D investment and quality of R&D infrastructure. It is therefore important not only to increase the amount of national or FDI in R&D, but also just to improve the quality of infrastructure, quality of human resources as well as innovative capabilities of domestic companies. Another problem remains, how much/how long developing countries, which host R&D activities by TNCs, are/will able to benefit from linking up with global R&D networks? We know that higher and higher requirements for the improvement of innovation processes are demanding, therefore most of competitors and countries will have to work together so that to take advantage of the global value chain.