The Future Of Innovation ... A Key Opportunity For Europe

Dr Sylviane Toporkoff

The future of innovation is crucial in many fields among others health, food, energy, environmental issues, quality of life, Innovation is changing rapidly, in response to globalisation increasing complexity and growing awareness that new ideas can come from anywhere. Collaboration, convergence and interdisciplinary research are the future of innovation. The problems to solve are just too big for an individual brain! See the success of Open-source software development.

We understand in Europe that It is impossible to compete with countries like China and India on cost alone. Innovation is the key and should be based on originality, quality, service, safety, environmental responsibility...........

We should turn the challenges of globalisation into opportunities and in these days of economic crisis there is a common understanding that Innovation is the key.

Innovation should happen not only inside organisations but also be a collaborative process including the end user and anybody that can add knowledge.

A new culture should be developed in order to foster innovation continuously. Among others, in such a complex system of cross-licensing and alliances a serious question should be raised i.e will patents still be relevant?

We all know that stockholders focus on investing on short-term transactions only at the expense of building for the future. We need change!!

If we want a future in our Society, especially in Europe, we should boost innovation with real Finance. It is crucial to create investments by the private as well as the public sector on a long term in particular for SMEs that very often are the most innovative actors.

It is important to understand that Innovation in all sectors of our societies is more than just the result of research and development. It also depends of the capability of creating new ways to think and very often SMEs are more appropriate to create the proper environment to do so. Of course it requires among other challenges to get rid of bureaucracy which is time-consuming and destructive to creativity. There is no future for innovation as long as bureaucracy will slow down so many intelligent initiatives.

Today, the future depends on the ability to create a culture that supports and promotes innovation including a change in education. Political leaders should be more aware of this.

The future of innovation requires new skills. Will the education system be able to provide them?

We need a high quality of education at all levels. Not only in management, finance and marketing but also in science. Investment in human capital is more and more important in order to create a knowledge based economy. It is especially important to invest and give continuous support (companies as well as governments) in young minds (including women), i.e even before university, and introduce them to science and a new creative way to think.

Pop and football stars have an international recognition, people who innovate should get the same !!!!

As Albert Einstein said “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing”

Article © 2009 Dr Sylviane Toporkoff. All rights reserved.

about the author...

Dr Sylviane Toporkoff

Dr Sylviane Toporkoff

affiliation:   Université Paris VIII; Institut des Etudes Européenne

position:  Professor

country:  France

area of interest:  Economic development, Innovation and ICT/ Shaping the Future

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other books and writings by

Dr Sylviane Toporkoff

E-Government, E- Democracy

Globalization and ICT : The Role of Government, Private Sector and Civil Society in an Information Society For All, ASEM Globalization and ICT

NET TR@VAIL

New Jobs & New Technologies

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