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Definition of Innovation

Innovation is the embodiment of a useful idea in the marketplace.

Innovation —the process of putting ideas into useful form and bringing them to market.

“The test of a first­rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind
at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald
“The Crack­Up”, 1936

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The following is an annual report prepared by the Government of the UK to help policy makers prioritise support and funding for new scientific and technological advances. The report is titled, "Innovation: managing risk, not avoiding it", and true to its name, it calls for an approach that balances technological advantages with economic growth as well as responsible governance. A very interesting read! Link to Article.

  •  Innovation involves more than just physical products. Some 78% of the UK economy is in services, where innovation plays a key role.
  •  Technological improvements will increase productivity by as much as 25% and will generate a predicted $3.7 to $10.8 trillion for the world economy by 2025.
  •  As digital access increases, it is estimated that four billion people will be online by 2020, using up to 50 trillion gigabytes of data.
  •  Risk of failure is an intrinsic aspect of innovation.
  • Psychological factors shape the decisions people make about innovation.
  • Innovation and the associated flow of ideas,products,services and people are likely to continue to provide significant opportunities for progress  but these same trends are also likely to be associated with increasing systemic risk, complexity and uncertainty.
  • As our world becomes increasingly interconnected and complex, we become increasingly vulnerable to systemic risks
  • Many of our greatest inventions have come through partnerships between states and corporations.
  • Policy makers and societies need to prepare for the inventions that 
          will emerge and disrupt the global economy.
  • The volcanic eruption showed how a single shock can cause widespread impact.
  • Flooding in Thailand interrupted the production of electronics, cars and soft drinks.
  • Governments must look beyond five-year terms to ensure genuine preparedness and resilience.
  •  Powerful technologies put more power into fewer hands.
  • The products in use today have never been safer. However, the regulatory systems themselves have become more complex, more time consuming and considerably more costly.

    Technology foresight has contributed to government support for the development of innovative technologies for over 30 years.

    It is clear that French society encounters problems when debating regulatory frameworks for new technologies.

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Frugal innovation

"Innovation is an activity or process which may lead to previously unknown designs pertaining either to the physical world (think of buildings or infrastructure), the conceptual world (for example conceptual frameworks, mathematics, logic, theory, software), the institutional world (like social and legal institutions, procedures and organizations) or combinations of these which - when implemented - expand the set of options." 

Frugal innovation or frugal engineering is the process of reducing the complexity and cost of a good and its production. Usually this refers to removing nonessential features from a durable good, such as a car or phone, in order to sell it in developing countries. Designing products for such countries may also call for an increase in durability[1] and, when selling the products, reliance on unconventional distribution channels.[2] Sold to so-called "overlooked consumers", firms hope volume will offset razor-thin profit margins.[2] Globalization[3] and rising incomes in developing countries may also drive frugal innovation.[4] Such services and products need not be of inferior quality but must be provided cheaply.[5]
In May 2012 The Financial Times newspaper called the concept "increasingly fashionable".[6]
Several US universities have programs that develop frugal solutions. Such efforts include the Frugal Innovation Lab at Santa Clara University and a two quarter project course at Stanford University, the Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability program.[7]

Serving the World’s Poor, Profitably (Article)
- Fully 65% of the world’s population earns less than $2,000 each per year—that’s 4 billion people. 
- Consumers at the bottom of the pyramid pay much higher prices for most things than middle-class consumers do.
- The critical barrier to doing business in rural regions is distribution access, not a lack of buying power. 
- Clearly, poor communities are ready to adopt new technologies that improve their economic opportunities or their quality of life. 
- Businesses can gain three important advantages by serving the poor—a new source of revenue growth, greater efficiency, and access to innovation.
- Markets at the bottom of the economic pyramid are fundamentally new sources of growth for multinationals. And because these markets are in the earliest stages, growth can be extremely rapid.
- Shared access creates the opportunity to gain far greater returns from all sorts of infrastructure investments.