The Human Factor In Innovation

We’ve picked out the following points from The Global Innovation Index 2014 as being of interest to us.

1. The theme of this year’s Global Innovation Index Report concerns how to nurture the essential human factor in human innovation. That means an appreciation that creative and critical thinking, an appetite for risks and thinking entrepreneurially are important for the innovation process.

2. Educated people make good innovators, and deep technical skills are required for disruptive innovation.

3. Whilst ‘brain drain’, i.e. emigration of skilled people, is detrimental to a country, diaspora networks can be of benefit. Migrants can act as a bridge to investors and institutions with technical skills.

4. The BRICS countries have their strengths, but as yet they are not showing the ‘holistic’ improvements needed in their infrastructure which will lead to them being top innovators.

5. The US is ranked 6th in the world in according to innovation efficiency ratio, being hindered by weaknesses in tertiary education and low levels of student exchange with the rest of the world.

6. Many countries are in the process of ‘catching up’ which needs to occur through imitation and technology acquisition rather than their own R&D. However technology transfer is not simple, requiring a complex set of skills and organisational structures before it is successful. The presence of a large poorly educated population is the primary reason for poor innovative performance.

7. More recent view of innovation recognises the contribution of a wide range of disciplines, and not just science education. Good arts teaching is also important. In particular teaching methods in the visual arts are close to those that nurture skills useful for innovation.

8. The recent expansion in the Indian educational system has been impressive. However now the issue is one of ensuring the quality levels of tertiary education. In addition the humanities and social sciences have been neglected.

The report can be found here.

Our IPKat post on last year’s report can be found here.

You may also wish to see related articles 10 Observations on the Success and Failings of University Tech Transfer and Top 10 Points on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.



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