BUZZWORD OR LEGACY

BUZZWORD OR LEGACY

October 28, 2018

From the early days of mankind, we have witnessed the inception of things that have single-handedly changed the way we live, the way we commence business or even the way we interact. Mankind’s pursuit of travelling has changed when the wheel was invented. Fast forward to this day, men have come long past the days of the wheels; we are now fastening our seatbelts to commence a Mars-bound inter-galactic voyage. That is exactly what “innovation” is all about. Taking a minuscule idea and integrating various elements into it to form the final product – something that steers the world to a completely new path. From blockchain technology to Dr Yunus’s Bank for the poor – innovation has taken place at almost every corner of the world; posing as solutions to numerous problems that we have faced through the years. 

According to the Global Innovation Index 2018, Bangladesh is still behind by a lot among Asian countries in terms of innovation while countries like Japan and Singapore remain in the top. This is something we can gain valuable insight from. It can be one of the most dominant factors for taking the country to the next level like never before. Starting from production, process and business model, innovation can lead Bangladesh to be in its next orbit. Bangladesh needs to pursue strategies for innovation; both for building a strong economic base and nurture the talents of our present generation.

We can see so many examples of innovation around the world; starting from agricultural fields to corporate industries, those countries didn’t achieve them overnight. Also, it wasn’t like there was rocket science involved, merely a will to change for the better and create a living standard that is easier for everyone, some even including the planet’s well-being into consideration. A simple, thoughtful step towards bringing a change led many nations to establish significant examples of innovation.

Following are some of the brilliant examples of how innovation played a tremendous role to change the notion completely for some of the important sectors from all over the world.

INNOVATION IN AGRICULTURE

Tech-based agriculture is a great innovation indeed. A great example of such innovation in agriculture is AGERpoint, a tech-based startup in Florida, US. AGERpoint is using AGERmetrix software in the nut and citrus orchard and uses satellite data. It provides tree specific information like the size of the canopy or the trunk diameter. A whole new kind of farming? Yes.

Simris Alg OF Europe is a promising ingredient startup, cultivating algae as a food ingredient for the B2B market, as well as developing consumer superfood and supplemental products. The company has raised over $11 million for the expansion of its algae farming operations in Sweden. Meanwhile, Seamore Food from the Netherlands has developed pasta and bacon alternatives from seaweed.

While these three examples are considerably small start-ups, they have made breakthroughs that is larger than what we anticipate, there are so many more exciting ventures that await from them. There are also so many more examples from the west, and that is exactly why they are leading the world with the best examples. 

INNOVATION IN HEALTHCARE

The US Department of Defense has set an example of a great innovation in the healthcare sector. It has introduced a brain implant system that can help to boost the memory of sufferers of epilepsy, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease. It operates through creating a deep-brain stimulation by electrical pulses. As it has a wider potential application, it can be considered as an innovation over previous efforts of this kind of system.

As of 2018, Stanford University has officially started human trials for cancer vaccination. This has been by far one of the biggest concerns over the last few decades – cancer. While thousands suffer from this annually, no method of treatment was able to get rid of it from the core, as cancer always reemerges, with occasional lucky people who were able to not suffer more than the rest. So many families have lost their beloved over this, and the start of this particular trial is the light peeking through the mountains of despair for the whole world.

Similarly, Alzheimer’s is one of the most ill-fated diseases of all that comes with no notice. Loss of memory and living in a completely different time frame every few hours is a painfully excruciating experience, not just for the patients, but for their close ones as well. For this, the defense department of US has come out with a new “pacemaker” that can boost up to 15% memory of suffers from similar diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

INNOVATION IN ENERGY

One significant innovation in the energy sector is the Solar Window. The concept is that these solar panel windows can produce energy from the sun and converts it into electricity. These panels can help the owners to achieve partial interdependence from the power grid.

With the burning of fossil fuels, over 54 percent of the electricity is consumed globally among which 99 percent is responsible for greenhouse gas emissions. The dependence on fossil fuels can be significantly reduced is these solar windows are used widely.

Another innovation that is taking the energy world up by storm is Liquid Metal Batteries. There are various projects that can bear to shut down fossil fuel plants, however, none of them have the capacity to store these renewable energies like this liquid metal batteries. They are indeed the biggest breakthrough for the industries.

INNOVATION IN EDUCATION

There have been a countless contribution of innovations in the world of education to the extent that none can be emphasized more of the other. However, moving away from books and papers here is a few that really is out of the ordinary and in a good way.

Known as a “telepresence” robot, Engkey is a Robot teacher in South Korea which works as an English teacher. It helps address shortages of native English teachers in South Korea.

The forest Kindergarten was popular in the 1960s in Northern Europe. It allowed the children to play in a natural setting.

And then there are the classrooms in the Gems Modern Academy in Dubai that are connected with a super-high-speed fiber-optic network. On a 3D platform, the science lessons are taught that draws students’ attention and makes it easier to understand the abstract concept.

The Essa Academy in Bolton provide all the students an iPad and the classrooms there are equipped with cutting-edge digital projectors. There, the students can design their own digital courses and the classes are organized with Apple’s iTunes U.

Different than what we are used to? That is a given. Slowly but surely the world of education is changing into a more flexible, creative and effective mode for all kind of students and teachers.

INNOVATION IN BUSINESS

A tremendous takeover in the business innovation has been done by Google. It has introduced Google Duplex as a new technology that will conduct natural conversations to carry out real-world tasks over the phone. It will make sounds like human beings and the voice will sound all natural. Now, this is what people take it as, and will be able to take over call centers. However, how soon this will be feasible is still not up to date as this concerns a lot of oversea job-market, and a lot needs to be considered for economic stability.

In any business model, the most critical rule to follow now is to have certain innovation steps to maintain any business standard and to have the better grab at their target audience than their competitors. Among them remains Customer Centricity, Micro Economy, API Economy, Smart Machines, Self-Services, and Online Security. These are very simple, yet expected of all business models from their customers, otherwise, it becomes very easy for them to change organizations offering them these flexible services.

PARADIGM SHIFTS IN BUSINESS MODELS

It is often seen that a key innovation acts as the catalyst behind changing a particular industry. Think about Apple. How Job’s pursuit of a user-friendly computer system have not only changed how PCs are used in households, but have also spearheaded the smartphone industry. UBER simply created a bridge between the vehicles and the smartphone users. Fast forward a few years, the entire global transportation industry has seen the impact of UBER.

INNOVATION IN BANGLADESH

Now the question comes, does Bangladesh really lag behind in Innovation? The answer will be a definite ‘No’. The country only needs to find out the possibilities that can bring out a significant change for the betterment of themselves. With the 163 million population and some promising sectors, Bangladesh can be the next big game changer within the next decade. Despite the limitations, the possibility is huge for Bangladesh only if some of the things are taken proper care of. Agriculture is a must sector which demands to have extra attention. If some of the parts in this sector can be automated, innovation can not only change the overall picture but also can be one of the major sources for generating revenue. However, private sectors need to give more attention to customer needs and demands; only then innovation can be possible. Even changing a product design drastically cannot always be the ultimate speculator. Our education policies should be updated and the engagement of some creative minds here is a dire necessity. Our young generation is talented enough. They can bring the change in such a way that may bring the best out of something good. Challenges are there, opportunities are there. The only things needed are some fresh ideas regarding anything which can bring about significant changes. For this, youth engagement is very much necessary. A country’s well-being is very much dependent on this. Fresh, young people and ideas can pave the way to the success of something new and exciting. Only then, proper innovation can be possible for a country like Bangladesh.

Innovations here may not be as big, tech-savvy scientific break-through, however, over the past few years, Bangladesh has had an amazing set of innovative start-ups that are enough to change the daily lives of people here, creating a positive impact all over. Just to give a brief on some of these amazing work, here are a few:

Telemedicine – a lot of companies have taken health care seriously and looked into the areas deprived of a proper health care system. Doctorola is a healthcare startup that allows you to book an appointment at a nearby location. Numerous other startups have also entered the healthcare industry over the years; unveiling immense potential and room for improvement in this particular industry.

Architecture – Cityscape Tower is one of the few towers in Dhaka city that uses green architecture by using its very own self-sustaining power and water supply. It ensures that the building uses 40% less power consumption and reduces water wastage by 60%.

Online Opportunities – Many of us have taken the internet for granted however the truth remains that its use has only grown over the last decade, and the internet has greater influence in our lives than others. Starting from health care services to grocery shopping, a lot of it has become online based, so did crucial things like banking systems and transportation. While they may be common in the west, these smaller impacts have definitely helped Bangladesh grow more into an international standard even if it is not the absolute best.

Innovations Inspired by The West – There has also been a lot of projects that have been inherited from western innovations; among many Uber and Pathao remains the most heard and iconic. The ICT department of Bangladesh are trying their best to make Bangladesh Digitalized, and overall with the target set for 2025, the country’s current performance, they are not far off.

The term innovation is vast and diverse as it touches all aspects of every genre that can be thought of, and that is exactly how it should be. Revolutionizing such a broad term, people are working hard every day; if ten ideas are accepted every day, thousands fail. Most importantly, innovations don’t get fully molded into its final shape overnight. It takes years of planning, uncountable all-nighters and unthinkable resilience to ensure the innovation that you have thought of turns into reality. Think of any great innovator throughout the years – Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs or even Elon Musk – everyone had to go the extra mile to make sure they leave an everlasting impact on the face of Earth. That is what innovation is all about. It’s about changing the world and the lives of the ones who dwell upon it.

Written By Farhat Zishan

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