ACCELERATING INNOVATION IN A CHANGING WORLD
Innovation and commercialization are primarily economic processes. Science and engineering; pure and applied research are indispensable ‘upstream’ elements – but it is the business community, and further ‘downstream’, civil society whose task it is to transform knowledge into a thriving competitive Knowledge Economy. In a knowledge-based, innovation-driven economy, science is the essential resource. Science delivers “supply”, society delivers “demand”. Scientists invent and the rest of society transforms scientific potential into social and economic benefits.
Over the past three decades, there has been a significant global shift from industrial-based to knowledge-based economies. While industrial economies focused on “moving things” to produce goods and services, knowledge-based economies “apply knowledge to advance knowledge”. As an example, it is the difference between floating timbers down a river and manipulating massive amounts of genomic data over high performance computing networks to analyze the DNA of a certain group of animal or human species.
Innovation-driven economies have the foundation and impetus to create new jobs and new value-added products and services. Global competition based on pricing alone is no longer the case for successful enterprises. Research, design and innovation are found at the core of the knowledge economy. Innovative products and services are leading the way in producing value added goods and services to societies and transforming societies as a result.