EDANA Interview

synergistic effort moves everyone forward

A recent interview on Textile World’s website had EDANA’s Scientific & Technical Affairs Director, Marines Lagemaat, asking question of keynote speaker Omar Hoek, executive vice president at Ahlstrom-Munksjö.

They were speaking about how difficult it is to manage innovation and many companies used a stage-gate process.  Mr. Hoek commented that the desire to manage using a stage-gate process came from wanting a clear predictable target and trying to organize efforts around current business infrastructure: structural, budgeting and accountability.

Also, he said that today we see many different types of innovation: fast pace and sometimes slow-paced, random behaviors, existing versus new technology, with or without external partners and more. “
It gets very complex,” he stated, “to make a one size fits all model for … innovation.”

It’s true that business loves predictability and structure. Innovations are often “revolutionary” or disruptive and so appears at odds with predictable core systems and structure. But nothing is further from the truth. Innovators love to take things that appear to be at odds and create synergies. That’s one of the things I love most about innovation.

So what do I mean?

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Structured Innovation – Inventiveness as a methodology

fantasy representation of enzyme in channel

A computer has invented! And it wasn’t just blindly following an algorithm. As I understand it, a computer called “Adam”* was programmed to carry out the entire scientific innovation process on its own. It formulated hypotheses. It designed and ran experiments. It analyzed the resulting data and then decided which experiments to run next. The computer incorporates artificial intelligence. This robotic system made a novel scientific discovery with virtually no human intellectual input (2009) and can utilize the scientific method.

Most of us who are serial inventors go through the innovation process so quickly, it seems like a single stroke of brilliance (I say with a modest tuck of my chin). But in fact, if we break down what is happening, there is a step-by-step process and this process has been studied for over 60 years.
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Solar Energy Creates Quite a Firestorm

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Wow, my comments on solar energy really upset some people.

They thought I entirely bypassed the largest single issue related to the viability of solar power as a significant contributor to our “power portfolio”, which was:

“how much energy per square meter is even available?”… the flux density of solar radiation at Earth’s orbit around the sun is a FIXED VALUE… people need to accept it… And no degree of engineering prowess can alter that fact. No technological leaps can change that. Nothing, short of altering the sun itself, or relocating the orbit of Earth… can alter that… You’re treating this like a PSYCHOLOGY ISSUE. It’s not. It’s a “cost/benefit analysis” issue, plain and simple… It will never become anything more than a “marginal” addition to the overall power generation pool…

The rest of the conversation got nasty, condescending, and increasingly irate. LinkedIn is usually more professional than that, but I had to respond even though I knew it would upset folks further because there were some glaring mistakes and I couldn’t let them be marginalized or dismissed as unrealistic, uneducated, or stupid.
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Could solar power energy be the future? Why? What will it take?

blog_solar__sky and panels

Recently on LinkedIn Professor Phillip asked this question to the group:

“Could solar power energy be the future? Why?

Sunlight is the world’s largest energy source and the amount that can be readily accessed with existing technology greatly exceeds the world’s primary energy consumption. Sunlight is free, clean, endless and technically exploitable in most of the inhabited earth.

Whilst today in the UK, solar power is only economical in high value niche applications, growth is being achieved where subsidies are available. Projections show the potential to achieve economic viability for a significant generation share, particularly in emerging economies.

How do you think solar power will be integrated in the future?”

My answer was the following: Anytime a significant new energy source is proposed for mass consumption, it faces two huge barriers to entry.
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Innovator’s View of Best Practices 4

PART FOUR IN A SERIES – Important Points about Best Practices

As we said previously: Best Practices are solutions that have worked in the past and represent old knowledge. Best Practices have a context for success.

If you are looking to best practices, you had better understand the Psychological Inertia of your situation so you understand (before time, effort, and resources are expended) if their context for success will work within your context for success.
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Welcome to Innovation Scientific

first_blog_of IS

See how to become a professional innovator and hear about using step-by-step methodologies & tools to develop your natural talent for delivering breakthrough results (for you & your teams) at an accelerated pace for a wide-spectrum of business, government, and human problems. Become the go-to innovation expert when people are stuck. There are 60 years of science behind the processes of invention & problem-solving.