When you’re turning on your fan or firing up your laptop to get some work done, you probably don’t spend much time thinking about where that power comes from. But all of that thinking comes to the forefront of your mind when there are massive disruptions to that system.
The scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change only grows stronger. The most recent word from scientists is that the present warming of the globe is "unprecedented" in the last 2,000 years. Some 99% of scientists stood in agreement on this in 2011, and now the scientific community has declared there's "no doubt left" that human activity is warming the earth.
The industries of manufacturing and energy are poised for more disruptive change perhaps than any other industry. These companies are impacted by sustainability issues, consumer attitudes and behaviors, digitization, 3D printing, emerging automation and technology, and so much more.
In spite of the new explosive capacity for growth in both the energy and manufacturing sectors, “And only 24% of energy professionals consider their company to be ahead of the competition.” This disparity exists for a number of reasons, but often because a company’s innovation capabilities are not aligned with a repeatable innovation process. So what are the key inflection points for manufacturing and energy innovation?
Did you know that you’re multitasking at least several times a day? That’s right! It’s enough if you cook, listen to music, and check your Facebook at the same time. Fortunately, it’s not fatal.
More so now than ever, people are holding businesses accountable for the effect they have on the environment. With many areas experiencing the consequences of climate change, people are supporting companies with green initiatives. What can your business do to help the environment and your customer acquisition and retention? Here are 10 innovations that will make your business greener overall.
As our population grows and we use more natural resources than ever, the issue of renewable energy sources becomes ever more pressing. Innovation isn’t only important in the business world, it’s also crucial for ensuring the future of our planet.
For many years, companies were convinced of the competitive advantage of closed research and development. They jealously protected their intellectual property behind closed doors and dramatically revealed it to the public after years of development. This old model has since been replaced by open innovation.
The IoT (or "Internet Of Things") is becoming a more popular topic of conversation these days. Many have already realized this with regard to individual use (say, through fitness trackers) or "smart homes." But the IoT can also have a huge effect on the workplace - here's how.
What is the real value of participating in innovation programs? In this article Rob Hoehn looks at his favourite example, working with the Department of Energy. They started by asking the public what the most pressing problems were when it came to making solar a cost-competitive resource for every citizen and then asked that same crowd to come forward with possible solutions to the top-voted problems.
The Nordic countries have a high number of start-up companies but are struggling with scaling their entrepreneurs, start-ups and innovations to global large-scale operations and companies. Yet, one Nordic company namely Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems managed to become world-beater within the global wind turbine industry. But but after 2008 Vestas has experienced a near death experience and is struggling for survival. Vestas’ story holds important lessons for other Nordic companies, not only within the renewable energy industry. It will here be argued that had Vestas paid more attention to what the management guru Peter Drucker labeled the five deadly business sins Vestas might have avoided getting into dire straits.
Synthetic biology moves us from reading to writing DNA, allowing us to design biological systems from scratch for any number of applications. Its capabilities are becoming clearer, its first products and processes emerging. Synthetic biology’s reach already extends from reducing our dependence on oil to transforming how we develop medicines and food crops. It is being heralded as the next big thing; whether it fulfils that expectation remains to be seen. It will require collaboration and multi-disciplinary approaches to development, application and regulation. Interesting times ahead!
Photosynthesis is ubiquitous, but not easy – for humans. Although plants do it, humans find it more of a challenge: but we are making progress on a number of fronts. The potential long term is almost limitless supplies of low carbon energy; clean fuels for cars, planes and ships; and fundamental change to the nature of the global economy.
Clean water and clean power, especially in remote areas of Africa and other developing nations, are critical challenges. One piece of technology, Microbial Fuel Cells, (MFCs) could help address both problems, and bring the additional benefits of mobile communications - changing the lives of millions. In one incarnation, it might also reduce the scourge of malaria.