3 Keys to Smart Innovation

January 14, 2015

Is Your Idea Bulb Burning Out?

We've come to a point where information isn't just open. It's pouring through the windows, spilling on the floor, and drowning out most of the important insights.

With more than 1.5 trillion dollars spent on R&D in 2014(Battelle’s 2014 Global Funding Forecast), it has become impossible for one person to keep up with everything, and, as the flood of information continues to rise, it will only get harder to find the knowledge that matters most.

Smart organizations know that success means riding this information wave. Here are 3 keys to ensure that your R&D group can do it right:

1.) Information is organized - Even the best R&D departments can’t stop information overload. Instead, top organizations like The Cleveland Clinic rely on a system of tagging, sorting, and tracking every new discovery. By taking a methodical, structured approach to knowledge management, research departments are able to redirect the flow of information, and channel it into something useful.

2.) Knowledge is shared - Of course the best catalog of information is pointless if no one else can see it. Good research programs promote idea sharing, and they encourage scientists to see what their colleagues in other departments are working on. Open collaboration is about more than a shared building or office space. True innovation requires different perspectives and the sharing of expertise.

* According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 65% of polled scientists don't know which topics their colleagues are working on.

3.) Work isn't duplicated - Johnson & Johnson has always had a world class R&D department. But when they began tracking and sharing research data, administrators uncovered vast inefficiencies. J&J was able to save hundreds of thousands of dollars simply by avoiding doing the same work twice. This point may seem obvious, but with hundreds of studies taking place simultaneously and with the increasing globalization of major research projects, it has become more and more common. Information isn’t just more abundant; it’s harder than ever to manage.

With the growing pace of R&D spending, and the increasing complexities of managing information, there has to be a better way to find the knowledge that's relevant to whatever it is we are trying to do. These three keys are part of the equation to more efficient and faster innovation.

Wellspring will be hosting a series of intimate roundtable discussions across the country this year. We will bring together leaders from academia and business to discuss the challenges of incubating new technology, governing the research process, and curating the information that bombards us every day.

These are educational events intended to facilitate discussion between leaders in the R&D space, and to promote a dialogue between business and academia. To request an invite, please click here.



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