15 November 2009

Science and innovation

Alex Pang comments here on the complex relationship between science and business innovation, suggesting that bringing the two together is a relatively recent phenomenon and one that requires certain preconditions to work:
- the involvement of 'translators' who can help make the link between science innovation and its application outside the lab
- a rich expertise in application in the culture where the science is being developed (he points to Denmark's lead in pervasive computing; Silicon Valley's in electric vehicles)
- a recognition that science research and business do operate very differently and that trying to 'squish' scientists into business thinking may be unproductive (not sure Peter Mandelson would like this one)
- the need to recognise new areas where science can have an impact, citing modelling human behaviour in e-commerce as an example. (I'll gloss over his mention of neuroimaging in advertising.)

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