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I will be talking in favor of the democratization, and thus lowering the threshold, to participate in innovation to close the innovation gap. I am a strong believer of people who take responsibility and a government who facilitates a context in which ‘things’ are happening.
Innovation is the successful commercial exploitation of new ideas. I always thought that innovation was doing things differently, and better. Innovation comes from simple ideas and great executions, accidental or planned. It creates endless opportunities when ‘new’ becomes ‘normal’ but mostly we don’t have to be that revolutionary. It’s a given that a poor strategy greatly executed is worth so much more than a great strategy poorly executed. Everybody has potentially innovative ideas. I believe they are omnipresent. But I believe even more that realizing ideas makes the real difference. It shouldn’t however be as tough as it is today to get to that point. I hereby suggest 3 practical things the EYIF and the European Union could organize that would actually make a difference.
Democratize access to innovation!
People with no or little experience could participate the Quirky way (collaborative model) to see an engineering execution of their ideas. It’s fun and it lowers the threshold of being able to participate in innovation tremendously.
Starting entrepreneurs should get access to a network of knowledge, people and money to support them in realizing innovations and building businesses for it (from building prototypes to legal advice on patenting and export formalities).
And lastly, why not give entrepreneurs the choice to use their profit (and experience) to invest in innovative startups. The EU could manage a super angel fund in which innovation is structurally supported.
Innovation Army Duty!
Create an alternative army of soldiers that want to be indulged in a world of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit with theoretical lessons and practical courses. It could be a one-year program in which mind and soul are prepared and stimulated to create new things and start up innovative companies. This Innovation Army is a preparation to the school of (innovation for) life.
European Centers of Innovation!
Create locations for innovation. These innovation hubs should be co-creation business spaces available for free and for limited time only. In the margin hereof, stimulate network events for creative and business men. Create at least one hub in each European Country and facilitate innovation exchanges.
Focus on what matters – turning ideas in great propositions that actually work by facilitating innovation for the masses, initiated from the individual desire to participate. I strongly believe that acting is the way forward. We should create a context in which we bring the best practices of Innotour USA home. Under the motto “Would-be’s imitate, innovators steal“ we watch, learn, and implement what we’ve learned from them with our own special sauce and ideas as fast as we can, only better.
And while doing so, we continuously tell everyone how great it is, both on as offline.