Innovation - Term Overview

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To innovate is to be immersed in the new, in the novel, or in the vanguard. In fact, the word innovation is etymologically composed of several Latin voices, the central ones being in, "between" or "in", and novus, "new".

Another definition for innovation as the "action and effect of innovating" or, in the more specific field of commerce, as "creation or modification of a product and its introduction into a market". In addition to the commercial field, it's possible to find this term in contexts as varied as technological, business or educational.

Innovation is a constant in human history. Since ancient times, human beings have tried to create new tools, acquire new knowledge or improve what they already have, applying their ingenuity and, of course, their most urgent needs.

This feature has become even more accentuated in recent centuries, when science and human reason have given our species an immense ability to discover the deep workings of the universe and apply it to solving our daily problems.

Characteristics of the innovation

Broadly speaking, innovation can be characterized as follows:

- It always has to do with the discovery or invention of a new way of doing things, or a new way of understanding what already exists.
- It can arise by chance or accidental (for example, the accidental discovery of penicillin) or it can be the consequence of a sustained and systematic effort, that is, of research and development (for example, atomic energy took decades of theoretical testing and experimentation).
- It occurs in practically all areas of human endeavor.

It can be of two types, depending on its mode of emergence:

- Closed innovation, when all the innovators belong to the same organization.
- Open innovation, when the finding is the result of the synergy of the dispersed and independent efforts of many individuals belonging to different groups.

Technological innovation

Technological innovation is the invention or development of novel technologies, which often results in more sophisticated tools, previously impossible capabilities, and new knowledge. It's a concept of the contemporary approach to science and technical technological scientific result of the great revolution that occurred since the second half of the nineteenth century and until today continues to accelerate its march.

Technology allows us to adapt the world to our needs, instead of adapting ourselves to the pre-existing world. It's an important consequence of our ability to reason.

In this sense, innovation is part of the logical process of scientific and technical advance, insofar as a new tool allows the obtaining of new knowledge that in turn allows the manufacture of new tools and so on. This feedback loop is precisely the engine of innovation in the area.

Educational innovation

In the area of teaching and learning, innovation is the introduction of new physical or conceptual tools, or new transformative practices, as part of the current educational process, in order to improve, update or enhance it.

This usually occurs in the hands of new cultural, scientific and / or technological paradigms, as a way of adapting society to new trends, since in this way future generations will be able to count on an up-to-date educational process.

Educational innovation usually occurs in two different ways:

- Through the renovation of existing elements as part of the school process (update),
- Or also as a consequence of the resolution of internal problems or internal needs of the educational system itself.

Business Innovation

In the business world, "innovation" is the implementation of a new idea or concept in the production process, thus creating a service or a product with added value that can be marketed within a market niche.

Put more easily, business innovation has to do with the ability to introduce new ideas and concepts to economic activity, creating new goods or services or solving existing problems in the productive circuit.

Innovation is a highly sought after and central element in the life of companies, which compete with each other to achieve the greatest economic benefit. An innovative concept or innovative tool introduced into a business niche can completely transform it. For many organizations it can mean the difference between success and bankruptcy, depending on how well they adapt to change.

In the economic field, innovation can translate into:

- New goods or new services that didn't previously exist.
- New tools that facilitate, lower the price or enhance an existing economic activity.
- New economic niches or ways to anticipate future niches, or even ways to transform an existing niche.

Creativity and innovation

The creativity and innovation are concepts that should not be confused. However, the difference between one and the other can be subtle, since they are closely related concepts. TO

In this regard, the words of the American Congressman William Coyne (1936-2013) are often quoted: "Creativity is thinking of new and appropriate ideas, while innovation is the successful application of ideas within an organization. In other words, creativity is the concept and innovation is the process ".

This means that creativity is the exercise of the very conception of a novel idea, in the abstract. On the other hand, innovation always implies a practical criterion, that is, thinking about the way in which these ideas would allow solving a problem. There is the difference between both concepts.

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