(Edwin Herbert Land)
While the world evolves and societies change with the logic of globalisation, countries have to deal with consequences of the 2008 financial crisis. In this context, “innovation” is used as a key word expressing a solution for competitiveness, economic growth and recovery.
What is innovation?
To understand and measure the actual impacts of innovation, it is necessary to accurately define it. Innovation is used for expressing the implementation of novel ideas into new products, services and methods. These can be entirely created or can result from the improvement of existing solutions. In any case, these new products, services and methods are proposed either to respond to an existed need, or to respond to a need created by the solution itself.
The Oslo manual, proposed by OECD as a methodological guide for collection and analysing data on innovation, defines four types of innovation: (i) product innovation (a good or service that is new or significantly improved), (ii) process innovation (a new or significantly improved production or delivery method, (iii) marketing innovation (a new marketing method involving significant changes in product design or packaging, product placement, product promotion or pricing) and (iv) organisational innovation (a new organisational method in business practices, workplace organisation or external relations).
Innovation aims at answering existing needs or needs created by the invention itself. The main objective of innovation actors is thus to propose new solutions for facilitating end users daily-lives. As for an example, we can think about the mobile phone, which was not used and not useful 30 years ago, and which is today an everyday tool for most people who want to communicate easily and faster. We can also mention innovations in the health sector, which have demonstrated their positive effects on human health and well-being, with, for instance, the creation of the artificial heart, allowing patients suffering from cardio-vascular diseases to live longer.
End-users gather all kinds of people including individuals, or professionals from the industry, public institutions, health sector, etc. There are just as many of innovation actors and creators. Whether technological or not, innovation always results from a deep study conducted by private or public institutions. When technological, the innovation is based on research and development activities carried out by an enterprise, or an applied research institute (based on results obtained through fundamental research).
Innovation funding also comes from different sources. Private actors sometimes decide to fund their research, development and innovation activities on their own funds. Public research institutes often benefit from public funding for performing this kind of activities. Funding can be from different natures (subvention, loans…) and granted by regional, national and European organisms (the European Commission notably funds collaborative projects through programs including Horizon 2020, Erasmus+, LIFE, etc.).
Different kinds of organisations (private or public, regional or nation) propose their expertise to support to innovation actors in their
– Market study
– Development strategy definition
– Processes to follow to get public grants.
Euroquality offers its expertise to innovation actors willing to participating in collaborative projects and getting financial support with the aim of making their ideas come useful inventions.