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Boost Innovation and Creativity using Diversity: Insights from a top innovative country


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Back End Innovation Boston 2012 Invited Talk

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Boost Innovation and Creativity using Diversity: Insights from a top innovative country

  1. 1. and Creativity Boost Innovation using Diversity: Insights from a top innovative country Laurent MiévilleDirector of Technology Transfer & Past PresidentUniversity of Geneva Association of European Science Technology Transfer ProfessionalsBack End of Innovation Conference Boston, Oct 10th, 2012
  2. 2. Plan of the PresentationWhy Innovation and Creativity matterProximity & Diversity as key drivers for creative collaborationHow Switzerland uses proximity and diversity to boost itsinnovation capacitySpecific ExamplesDiscussion & lessons learnedConclusion
  3. 3. We are in an Innovation-Driven Economy Factor-Driven Investment- Investment-Driven Innovation-Driven Economy Driven Economy Economy Economy• Cheap labor / natural • Start of University-Industry • Supply of scientists and ressources research collaboration engineers • Companies can absorb best • Quality of research available foreign technologies • University-Industry research collaboration • VCs • Intense local competition • Ability to innovate at world’s technology frontiers • Create unique product designs • Sell products and services globally Source: Porter, M. 2002 Global Competitiveness Report, World Economic Forum, Geneva
  4. 4. The Need for “smart” R&D
  5. 5. Where to get new ideas? How companies approach innovation McKinsley Quarterly, October 2007
  6. 6. In the past…. Source Cash . June 14, 2007
  7. 7. Now….
  8. 8. Work Together or Fail AloneProblems are getting harder…..  Functions are becoming increasingly specializedButMost promising ideas lie at the intersections of disciplines  Collaboration is key
  9. 9. Work Together or Fail Alone19,9 million peer-reviewed academic papers & 2.1 million patentsover five decades:• Level of teamwork has increased in >95% of scientific subfields• Average team size has increased about 20% each decade• Multiple authors receive >2x as many citations than individuals• Top papers > 6x more likely to come from a team Source: Wuchty, Stefan, Benjamin F Jones and Brian Uzzi. 2007. The Increasing Dominance of Teams in the Production of Knowledge. Science. 316(5827): 1036-1039.
  10. 10. Why diversity is so important ? • Debate in a group generates more creativity • Being exposed to different views expands our creative potentialWe reassess our initial assumptions and try out new perspectivesSource: Nemeth, C.J. and Nemeth-Brown, Better than Individuals? The potential benefits of dissent and diversity for group creativityIn P. Paulus and B. Nijstad (eds) Group Creativity. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2003).
  11. 11. Promote cross-collaboration…. …..through researchers proximityInterdisciplinary Science Building Regeneration Medicine Lab, UCSFColumbia University Research Collaborative Ctr Rockefeller UniversitySee for example: Lee K, Brownstein JS, Mills RG, Kohane IS (2010) Does Collocation Inform the Impact of Collaboration?PLoS ONE 5(12): e14279. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014279
  12. 12. How Switzerland uses proximity anddiversity to boost its innovation capacity
  13. 13. Swiss Innovation Rankings EU Summary Innovation Index Global Competitiveness Index World Competitiveness Scoreboard Switzerland Switzerland 5,72 Hong Kong 100,0 Sweden 0,755 Singapore 5,67 USA 97,8 Denmark 0,724 Finland 5,55 Switzerland 96,7 Germany 0,700 Sweden 5,53 Singapore 95,9 Finland 0,691 Netherlands 5,5 Sweden 91,4 Belgium 0,621 Germany 5,48 Canada 90,3 UK 0,620 USA 5,47 Taiwan 90,0 Iceland 0,603 UK 5,45 Norway 89,7 Netherlands 0,596 HongKong 5,41 Germany 89,3 Austria 0,595 Japan 5,4 Qatar 88,5 Luxembourg 0,595 Qatar 5,38 Netherlands 87,2 Ireland 0,582 Denmark 5,29 Luxembourg 86,1Source: European Innovation Scoreboard, 2011 Source:Global Competitiveness report, 2012-2013 Source: IMD,World Competitiveness Yearbook 2012
  14. 14. The Other Federer: Year 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011 1 2 3 IMD WEF 4 5 Rank 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13Technology Transfer Ranking Switzerland
  15. 15. Benchmarking CollaborativePartnering 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 250 200 Switzerland Iceland 150 Sweden Denmark 100 Finland Norway Evolution of public- Netherlands private co-publications 50 per million population EU 0 Source: European Innovation Scoreboard, 2010
  16. 16. Swiss Innovations 1300 B 21, first quartz calibre 1967 Seiko 35 SQ Astron, first quartz watch, 1969
  17. 17. Swiss Innovations20 km / g = 5’385 km / l = around the globe with 8 l gasoline Guinness World Record in fuel efficiencyShell eco-marathon record holder 3’836 km/l of gasoline (2005)
  18. 18. Dense network of world class research
  19. 19. Diversity attained through specific events Students Entrepreneurship Week Startup Weekend Pre-seed Workshop Researchers Creativity Center KTT Dialogs LGIS Meet Co-Create Co-Develop
  20. 20. Lake Geneva Innovation Society 2008: Health and nutrition in the developing world 2010: Added value of Affective Sciences for the Economy and Society 2011: Current Perspectives on Ageing 2012: Smart and New Materials • Based on the Oxford Innovation Society • Promoting Innovation and excellence in public-private partnerships • Power networking events assembling 60-100 leaders from the Lake Geneva region’s academic institutes and industry
  21. 21. Dialogs on Knowledge and Technology TransferThe Economics of KTT April 3rd- 4th, 2008, GenevaOptimizing KTT pathways for unmet therapeutic needs Oct. 29th, 2009, Boston• Establish direct contacts and exchanges between stakeholders active on research on knowledge and technology transfer (KTT)• Provide a better mutual understanding and insights on the complex KTT processes, their implication and role on academic research as well as the economy.
  22. 22. Geneva Creativity CenterThe Geneva Creativity Center offers is a collaborative space to stimulate andgenerate ideas.Its objective is to provide an opportunity for researchers and industrial partners toexchange and confront their needs, ideas or problems and share their respectiveknowledge.
  23. 23. Pre-Seed WorkshopThe Pre-Seed Workshop is a 2 ½ day “build-a-company” event which ralliescommunity talent and resources to1) investigate the commercial potential of new technologies (developed primarily at universities, corporations, and major research centers) and2) transform the more promising candidates into pre-seed stage companies.
  24. 24. Nurturing Diversity:Promoting entrepreneurshipin the School of Liberal Arts
  25. 25. DiscussionWhat are the main outcomes of such partnering experiments ?What is the appropriate model for companies to supportcreativity ?Can we further enhance these models ?
  26. 26. DiscussionWhat are the main outcomes of such partnering experiments ?What is the appropriate model for companies to enhancecreativity ? There is no “one fits all” format. As a general rule, the deeper the interaction, the smaller the group size Build trust through networking events before engaging in co- creation or co-development Carefully select and place guests
  27. 27. DiscussionCan we further enhance these models ?Beyond face to face: testing online collaboration platforms (BEI platform) http://www.atizo.comNot yet there but there is potential (any positive experience ?)
  28. 28. ConclusionsIn an innovation driven economy, smart ideas are keyCompanies must nurture and support creativity using diversitySwitzerland is providing a very fertile ground for creativity• Close Proximity of Universities and Companies• Well trained and diverse workforce (4 national languages)Swiss Universities have build upon such fertile grounds bydeveloping multiple opportunities for students, academic andindustry researchers to meet, create and develop innovations.As consequence its innovative capacity is now one of the best
  29. 29. Working in partnership to support innovation Thank youAssociation of European Science & Office of Technology TransferTechnology Transfer Professionals Unitec-University of GenevaKoninginnegracht 22 24, rue Général Dufour2514 AB the Hague 1211 Geneva +31 70 392 63 74 Ph: +41 22 379 03 50