21st sep, 2011

New study questions focus on hi-tech innovation

Yesterday I read a very interesting article in Danish newspaper “Information” about the ongoing debate over what the Denmark is going to do create jobs in the future. The present theory is to educate as many Danes as possible and beat the countries competing with low costs with our brain power.

A new study by Asia New Business Creation and innovation analyst Peter Hesseldahl indicates that this strategy could be all wrong. As Hesseldahl explains the theory is to drive the innovation car with 120- 260 km/h instead of the developing countries that only wants to drive below 120 km/h. The problem is however that the innovation consumers interested in the very expensive innovation developed at 260 km/h is only a small part of the consumers. The middleclass of innovation consumers are satisfied with innovation developed at slower speeds because it’s affordable.

Combined with a dazzling speed from idea to market the Chinese companies are taking over the markets I many areas.

The conclusion is that if we want to compete in the future our brain power is not enough. Hesseldahl speculates whether we will have to create more companies like Netto and Ryanair instead of B&O and Vestas.

One problem with this development however is that the BRIC countries storming forward in the global economy have an innovation problem – or rather the results of their innovation poses a problem. Companies in countries like China learn from innovation already made and produce new innovation that is not breaking new ground but is based on the old ways. This means that fx the Indian Tata car is a cheap car doing all what a car is supposed to do – but lack features like safety and environmentally friendliness. This means that a whole fleet of new cars are cruising the streets of India polluting like its 1980. This poses a dilemma for the western countries who wants the developing world to cut its CO2. This is only possible if the developing countries get access to green technology at a competitive price and would result in BRIC companies outcompeting developed countries once more.

So what do you want growth or climate?

Thanks to Maria for the heads up.

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