Innovation in an Idea Economy:
Putting Your Money Where Your Mind Is
The Internet. Laptop computers. Wi-fi. CD burners. Laser printers. Cell phones. Innovations that have, just in the last ten years, fundamentally changed the way we do business—and even the way we live.
Often, new products are applications of existing inventions: but packaged in new, engaging, and useful ways. Every now and then a major innovation comes along, something that has a resounding effect upon our lives and spawns major industries, revenues and other new technologies: 150 years ago it was the steam engine; 100 years ago it was the car; 50 years ago, the transistor; ten years ago it was the Internet.
Our businesses and our livelihoods rely on such engineering inventions – perhaps more so today than ever before. And looking ahead, it is clear that achieving success in a global economy will increasingly rely on the ability to translate such inventiveness into commercial products and services. The reality is that the wealth will shift to those industries and those economies that foster such inventiveness and innovation. Translation - The high-paying jobs will exist in those economies that recognize the value of knowledge creation and capture, the fundamental building blocks in a knowledge-based economy. These are great ideas. It’s no longer enough to build products better, cheaper or faster. The winning hand goes to the player that is able to innovate – that is – to capitalize on its intellectual property.
We call it Innovation in an Idea Economy
At COFES 2005, we will explore how engineering innovations – and an organization’s intellectual property - can create the path for future survival in the global economy. How engineering innovations of the past can be applied to create opportunities for businesses, entrepreneurs, cultures and society.
We will also look at new challenges:
- Benefiting from the growing pool of professional labor in Asia
- The “quiet crisis” (in the words of Shirley Ann Jackson, head of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) of the western world falling behind its rivals elsewhere;
- Creating an environment where innovation is not stifled by political, cultural, or business constraints
- And cultivating a culture where the best minds are attracted to engineering and science.
Predicting the future is a notoriously dicey pursuit. But at COFES we bring together the best minds, individuals from across a range of industries, who bring insight, creativity, and experience to the table. And together we find ways to help people in the engineering software industry identify, understand, plan for, and exploit the coming economic and technological innovations.