competitiveness

What is Innovation?

invention -> Innovation -> Technology Transfer -> Diffusion of Innovations

Innovation is the practice of making new concepts and ideas relevant and useful to individuals and communities of people.

This contrasts with the process of invention, through which new ideas are generated while the linkages between these new ideas and existing ideas are simultaneously uncovered. Innovation defines the context of use, while invention does not. The products of innovation are fundamentally ideas, characterized by novelty, utility and relevance. However, the distinctive feature of innovation is that these ideas, once connected with a particular context of use, at once capture the potential to add value to systems, people, processes and even other ideas.

Although new mechanisms for value creation can be unlocked through the innovation process, value is created when new products, services and processes are designed, through the integration of knowledge and the understanding of the capabilities of the organization that is poised to deliver that value.

As a result, innovation is critically dependent not only on the people doing the innovating, but also on the social networks of people connected to those innovators, whose influences inform and impact the process of discovery. (Radziwill & DuPlain, 2008)

What’s the bottom line? Innovation does not exist without people who have needs, and who are somehow connected to one another!


Radziwill, N. M., and R.F. DuPlain, 2008: A Model for Business Innovation in the Web 2.0 World. Chapter in Web 2.0 Business Models, IGI Global Publishing. Available from Amazon.

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