The blue economy, the term ascribed to a wide range of activities such as fishing, shipping, coastal tourism, energy, cable laying and mining, presents huge opportunities. Estimates of the current value vary from $6-$21trillion; a recent study put the value added arising from the EU opportunity alone at €500 billion, rising to €600 billion by 2020. Investment is growing, but also environmental concern. Deep sea mining is at present a small but increasingly significant element of that economy.
Nanotechnologies offer a myriad of benefits and applications with more than 1300 nanotech-enabled consumer products from hair straighteners to cleaning fluids, but they also present several uncertainties and lack extensive regulation. As more products enabled by nanomaterials are released to the market, more workers risk exposure to potentially harmful materials—whether in a lab, a factory, or a construction site. Now, occupational safety and health agencies and researchers are providing more substantial guidance for handling nanomaterials at the workplace.
Parking can be one of life’s frustrating experiences- trying to find a spot, hunting for change or an attendant to pay, or the ever infuriating experience of receiving a ticket. The “internet of things” (IoT), a combination of sensors, analytics, and communications infrastructure is transforming parking and many other everyday tasks.
Concern about how long we spend sitting is rising: new research indicates that it may be a greater health risk than smoking. Mobile technologies are also changing how we sit - badly is the answer, with new pains and problems. New lifestyles, work patterns and designs needed.
Sensory substitution is a method of replacing the information flow of one sense with that of another sense. The research dates back to the 1960s and has been used in various ways to help people with physical impairments. Biohackers and other researchers have recently adopted these techniques to enhance and extend the sensory experiences of the non-impaired with potentially practical applications, some of which might even enter the mainstream market.
Wearable technology – smart watches and smart glasses especially, but others too – are being touted as the next big thing. And the race is well and truly on with giants such as Apple and Google entering the field but also smaller companies such as Pebble and mc10. The challenge will be to overcome the geek image much wearable technology has had until now and make us ‘want’ another device. Specialist applications may indicate the way forward at first, especially in sport and health.
Governments could be described as the largest and longest running crowd-funding schemes in existence. Sadly, whereas crowd-funding is seen as innovative, flexible, responsive, bottom up, transparent, enabling – among other things; governments would be hard pushed to receive similar accolades. However, times are changing and governments are beginning to adopt some of the characteristics of crowd-funding and crowdsourcing. But there is a long way to go.
Last year I came in contact with the co-founder and advisor of the Biorrefiniria Brasil open innovation community, José Augusto T. R. Tomé. He started an interesting venture within the chemical sector, a venture focused on biorefinery. Read further to learn more about his vibrant innovation community and open innovation in general.
Finding ways to make it easier and more convenient to spend money is the aim of many innovations in the area of electronic payments. A number of innovative electronic payment alternatives are all vying to become the new standard in electronic payments and displace the long time standard, the card with a magnetic strip. Any of these new technologies could make the need to carry cash obsolete.
Booz&Co wrote in their article “The Social Life of Brands” on Strategy+Business that the value of a brand is linked with the relationships it has with its customers, creating and retaining them. For marketing, its fundamental task is managing these relationships. In a recent research by Gallup the results were striking, a 240 percent boost in performance was achieved when both employees and customers were enaged. This is exactly, in a highly technological driven business environment, digital innovation is the catalyst that improves engagement and provide means to manage relationships better, faster and in a cheaper way though digital.
With the global population estimated to reach 9 billion by 2050 the ability to feed everyone is a growing concern. Scientists are warning of food shortages if we maintain our current diets leading many to advocate for more people to become vegetarians, as vegetables are much less resource intensive than a diet which includes animal proteins. But perhaps there is an alternative- laboratory or in-vitro meat.
Between now and 2020, Chinese consumers will become the main driver of China’s economy, and probably also the global economy. The opportunities are enormous, worth billions of dollars as per capita incomes treble, and disposable income tops $10 billion per year. Meeting Chinese consumers’ needs is perhaps one of the greatest opportunities ever; it is also one of the greatest challenges, if we are not to deplete the planet disastrously; nor create debt fuelled bubbles, or high inflation.
An article on the Financial Post website triggered me to write this article. A lot is being written about open innovation and much of them focus on, as the article says “spurring innovation by bringing the outside in”. Why should you engage your employees? They are the beginning of the equation that results in profitability and happy shareholders. Michael Porter said that employees are the major source for a company to increase competence and profits. Take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers and your profits. Open innovation can be the ‘mechanism’ to do so.
Taking care of the dead is an important part of any society, and the practice reflects the prevailing culture of the living. Social change is therefore reflected in funeral changes and some of the disruptions to its industry.
Embedded intelligence and sensors are set to revolutionise many aspects of healthcare and support for older people. Some of those technologies, which are wearable, ingestible, responsive and communicative, herald significant changes and benefits ahead, and could reduce the growing costs of falls among older people.