By ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI and PAUL WASSERMAN via NYT Opinion
By ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI and PAUL WASSERMAN via NYT Opinion
Many believe that entrepreneurship cannot be taught. However, great entrepreneurs are not born with something special, simply they make great products. And the process of making a great product can be taught. This week I had the chance to attend a seminar of Bill Aulet from MIT in which he presented his book Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup. It is a systematic and clear guide on how to launch a great and innovative product. I recommend it to first-time and serial entrepreneurs who are looking for a solid product-market fit.
In this post, Lambert van Nistelrooij illustrates the cohesion policy, the largest EU instrument for creating jobs, and boosting longer-term growth prospects, while at the same time reducing regional imbalances, delivering economic, social and territorial cohesion. To read the full article, click on the link below.
Lambert van Nilsterooij, MEP, Member of the Committee on Regional Development, Member of the Delegation for relations with the countries of South Asia, Chair of the K4I Forum of the European Parliament Governing Board during the Breakfast Debate on Funding from a Regional Perspective.
Over the past twelve months, I've been deeply involved in the promotion of the innovation dialogue on the European scene. Aware of these tough economic times, my aim was to facilitate the interaction between innovation stakeholders and EU decision-makers for a better exploitation of Europe’s diverse potentials. In particular, through the organization of dedicated events, I encouraged the debate on specific topics and offered our public and private partners a better positioning on the European scene able to strengthen their profile and enhance their trans-European integration. In the embedded presentation, I describe our most relevant initiatives held at the European Parliament in Brussels during 2011.
In this interesting post, Aaron Levie says that the only companies or products that will succeed now are the ones offering the lowest possible level of complexity for the maximum amount of value. A good lesson for European companies that are struggling to compete in a globalised world and an inspiring approach for the European Commission that is designing more effective innovation strategies to support small businesses. To read the article, click on the image below.
Last October 11th, at the European Parliament in Brussels, I participated in a dinner debate organized by Knowledge4Innovation on the occasion of the 3rd European Innovation Summit. The title of the debate was “Transatlantic innovation cooperation in a globalized world”. Among the guest speakers there was the Deputy Chief of Mission at U.S. Mission to the European Union, Thomas J. White. During his speech he underlined that the justified attention to the impressive growth of China and other emerging economies should not make us forget that the U.S. economic relationship with the EU is the largest and most complex in the world. Just to give some figures, the United States invest in Ireland around three times more than they invest in China as well as the EU investment in the U.S. is about ten times more than in China. The economic volume of transatlantic trade and investment is certainly a driver of economic prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic but nonetheless Europe and the United States risk lagging behind in today’s global, innovation-driven economy. Regaining competitiveness undoubtedly requires an increased cooperation across the Atlantic supported by a fresh set of innovation policies and procedures.
Another guest speaker was Diego Canga Fano, Deputy Head of the Cabinet of the Vice-President of the European Commission Antonio Tajani. Arguing that the fabric of the European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has a huge economic potential in the field of technological innovation, he stated that innovative SMEs are the real starting point for re-launching the EU economy. Therefore, the European Commission has foreseen a substantial increase in funds for European SMEs with high innovation rates and a higher propensity to intra-EU and EU/U.S. export. He also pointed out that in the EU there are about 24 million SMEs, and if each SME succeeded in generating one new job then the effect would be transformative for Europe. Of course, this is an ideal goal that may be in part achieved if the EU manages to adopt new development models. Especially in the case of small businesses, effective solutions should be identified to turn the current adversity into an opportunity to innovate and create new products and services. Rather than a linear planning, the European Commission should encourage flexibility in thinking and action and thus facilitate the adoption of cost-effective solutions also with limited financial resources.
Some days ago I ran across an article talking about Jugaad, a unique approach to innovation, that entrepreneurs and enterprises are practicing in complex emerging markets like India. Jugaad is a Hindi word that roughly translates as “the gutsy art of overcoming harsh constraints by improvising an effective solution using limited resources”. Jugaad innovators are modern alchemists who transmute adversity into opportunity, and in so doing create value for their organizations and communities. Within a framework of deep knowledge and experience, they are able to innovate in a resource constrained business environment. Thus, in today’s tough economic times, Jugaad may represent a new formula to innovate Europe faster, better and cheaper.
October 6th 2011 was the first anniversary of the Innovation Union (IU) flagship initiative, one of the cornerstones of the Europe 2020 strategy for growth and jobs of the European Commission. Over the course of the past year a number of key milestones have been reached. Nonetheless, the European Union is still lagging behind the U.S. and Japan in its capacity to convert knowledge into innovation. To tackle global challenges, it is clear that Europe needs to make a step change in its research and innovation performance.
Breaking away from traditional compartmentalised approaches, the EU should focus more on challenges and outcomes to be achieved. Moreover, to help attain the ambitious goals of the Europe 2020 strategy, the Innovation Union must involve all regions thus avoiding an innovation divide between the strongest innovating regions and the others. The major challenge is to bring the less developed regions at a high level of competitiveness.
When I was in charge of the Laboratory of NMR Microscopy at the University of Trieste (Italy), my research group, with limited financial resources, was able to compete with leading research laboratories in the U.S. thanks to the presence of researchers from less advantaged regions. In particular, they were mostly unknown Slovak scientists and engineers with a strong theoretical background but with little opportunities to fully exploit their potential. With their fundamental contribution, the laboratory was able to accomplish important scientific results that culminated in 2001 with its recognition as ‘Ground-based facility for tissue NMR’ by the European Space Agency. Now, in charge of a knowledge-based organisation, I am adopting the same sustainable and competitive approach to better exploit existing resources and nurture talent in different European territories.
In a similar way, the European Union should promote the creation of a European innovation eco-system able to foster synergistic relationships of people, knowledge, and resources across Europe and bet, above all, on the not yet exploited potential of less advantaged EU territories.
Co-founder & Managing Director at ARCHES - Advanced Research Centre for Health, Environment and Space