If we observe a small child playing with a mould of clay in his pre-school classroom, we would be amazed with the variety of things he can prepare out of it. From no prior knowledge about any clay model whatsoever, the child tries to build his own unique creative talent by using his own skills and by grasping from whatever is around him.
Innovation is closely associated with this kind of thinking, basically allowing freshness of ideas and re-creating something to suit modern day needs and requirements.
The concept of Innovation
Innovation can be broadly described as an impending idea or impetus or flow of new and unique thoughts that help re-create/research/ improvise an invention to suit technological advancement and modern day human needs. For example, Thomas Alva Edison invented the electric bulb in 1879. The bulb that he invented in 1879 is definitely not the same bulb that we use today in our homes.
The invention was done by Edison. But repeated innovations on the invented ‘bulb’ have given us many versions of new bulbs. Today we have the latest bulbs in our homes that carry the touch of modernity and are results of latest technological research. Put together, innovation is invention blended with modernity and sound technological advancements that stand the test of time.
Invention Vs Innovation
If we go back to the electric bulb example, Edison created a ‘raw’, ‘unique’ entity, which he called ‘the electric bulb’. He used his entire mind to come up with something new, unknown to society at that time, so it was an outstanding achievement that he came up with something that would light up our places and spread new ways of thinking. He put in efforts to radiate light with the help of electric energy.
The combination of light energy and electrical energy gave rise to a new form of ‘invention’. Scientists, over so many previous decades have worked on making the electric bulb more effective and to keep pace with the latest technological advancements. This is what is called ‘innovation’ or in simple terms, ‘improvisations to create new versions of an earlier invention’. Innovation is not a stagnant phenomenon.
Every other day we can use new kinds of bulbs flooding the market. People all over the world work on using new technologies and new research themes to come up with something new, this is innovation. The concept and inner working of the bulb remain the same, yet new versions that alter the working model of the bulb get created, every time an innovation happens on it.
The wheels of economic growth
Without innovation, we cannot keep pace with the growing needs of modern human beings. If we were to travel in classic, vintage, slow cars of the earlier century, we would reach work every day by taking a good three hours to and forth from our office.
Everybody demands speed in working. So, speed is something that an innovation brings in an invention. Processors that were used many years ago can simply not be used today, basically because their speed was too slow and their space was too less. The fastest processors available today are an example of how technology can change the very scene of an invention and help build a totally new technological space for a country.
As the country innovates more and more, the use of technology becomes even more rapid and our lives become even more simplified and more machine-friendly.
Innovation increases complexity in inventions to make life much simpler and easier with machines. To increase efficiency of machines in our everyday life, to make our lives simpler with the use of machines, to crunch time in doing tasks manually and instead replace machines to perform them at greater speeds for us, innovation is essential. Developed countries have the latest and most advanced technologies available at their throw.
This actually forms the backbone in their economic development. The wheels of economic development are actually driven by the progress a country makes in advancing its scientific knowledge and technological use. Increased use of technology brings about rapid use of scientific research.
Research enables ideas and ideas stimulate innovations. Thus, at the grassroots level, a country can be seen making huge progress if it is technology-enabled at every step of its country’s growth.
The trigger of social welfare
We have now understood how innovations affect a country’s economic growth positively. To bring about a social change in our society, we need great minds that leverage the use of technology and dissimilate their learning drives into as many fields of social importance.
The invention of ‘computers’ was a great boon to the human race. ‘Digitizing’ many key functional aspects of governmental services has enabled the country in becoming a citizen friendly nation. Today, right from reserving a railway ticket to the most advanced banking services happens with the click of a button. These are direct results of ‘innovations’ that happen every other day and they are made available to a larger section of society to derive its benefits fruitfully.
Social welfare can be broadly described as an act or a bundle of acts that help enable the society become more citizens friendly and implement policies that help in the welfare of a larger section of our society. Innovation is happening everywhere around us. We are taking technology to the most inaccessible areas of human life. Technology is acting as an impetus in transforming millions of lives.
But social welfare can actually be achieved, only when these innovations can be made reachable to the most remote corners of our country. If they are made available only to big cities and the rural and remote pockets are deprived of its benefits, then it might not bring about a transformation in terms of social welfare.
Bridging this gap is the work of our political system. Innovations are enabled by scientists and researchers and people from the scientific world. But policies in governmental practice should be framed such that they reach out a larger area of public life, so that they attain the goal of social welfare for all.
Incubation centers and innovation management
Many higher centers of learning are building incubation centers on their campuses to encourage students to think freely, differently and uniquely, by inducing scientific temper and making use of their technical knowledge. Students are provided full support to economically fund innovations and help them achieve higher technological goals.
This directly effects in economic growth and social welfare of the country. These innovations need to be streamlined, registered, patented and licensed to avoid misuse and conduct itself within the legal framework of our constitution. Hence innovation management practices have to be adopted to inculcate healthy practices and strike the right cord in terms of technology transfer.
Innovations in everyday lives have changed our lives, transformed our thinking, and enabled technological interference at every aspect in a good way. They help in attracting funds from other nations and help in building a strong economic foundation for our country.
The masses or the greater part of the society will ultimately reap the benefits of technological innovations. Our country is surging forward with other developing nations and has of late, become a big technological hub of innovations and innovative thinking.