By Reem Abdallah (@Reem096)
Innovation began with man since the beginning of time. A solid definition is difficult for innovation because it has been defined and redefined many times, and it differs from one person to another and one company to the other. According to (Pontiskoski and Asakawa, 2009), innovation is “the use of new technological and market knowledge to offer a new product or service that customer will want.”
We cannot pinpoint to when was the start of innovation; however, we know that we cannot survive without innovation. Going back to year 1750, when Benjamin Franklin first discovered electricity, that was a breakthrough invention and first of its kind. That was a platform for further innovations and discoveries. From there on further, breakthrough innovation has been created to enhance new products and develop it further.
Most innovations, people did not know they actually needed them in their everyday life but now became major part of their living. Let us take the example of Google, Facebook and YouTube. These websites became part of our everyday life. They were created for certain purposes and now we cannot imagine if they did not exist.
Innovation is a major factor in any company’s success; it does not just bring them growth but also new customers’ acquisition. Companies’ success can be measured throughout the centuries with their new innovative products. The persisting question that companies ask today is not “should we innovate?” but “how should we innovate?”
Innovation can be achieved in various ways. There is “Product/Service Innovation,” which is introducing new or sustainably improved product/service to the market, which can create a new line business for company/marketplace. “Process Innovation” is another form of innovation, implementation of a new or significantly improved production or delivery method; this can include innovation in the supply chain or marketing method.
Another form is model innovation, which is divided into two. “Breakthrough Innovation”: radical innovation that is by launching “first of its kind” product in the market it is in or in the region. This type of innovation is created by few people/firms. “Incremental Innovation”: a product with enhanced features and usability; product innovation is when a firm/person takes an existing product that is available in the market and enhances it to make it an innovative product.
Inventions are another form of innovation. The UAE has seen many inventors that received global recognition and appreciation for their inventions.
One of the inventions by Dr. Awad Alkhalaf, Dr. Husein Elmehdi, and Dr. Ibrahim Kamel was the portable ultrasonic instrument that can be used to distinguish meats that were slaughtered from those which were killed using other methods. Another invention by them that received global appreciation was the portable ultrasonic instrument used to distinguish pig meat (pork) amongst meats of other origin.
Inventions are not only secluded to companies and academic but also students. As an Emirati student, Khalid Mohammed Al Shammari designed a great invention that will help save lives and hopefully reduce the UAE’s car fatality rates. Khalid designed an electronic wiring from the seatbelt/ fastening and linking it to the car engine and the gearbox enabling the driver to switch on the engine and move the gear only when the seatbelt is fastened.
Lets not forget the solar powered wheel chair invention by the Emirati Haidar Taleb. Haidar broke Guiness Book of World Records by recording longest distance traveled in a solar-powered wheelchair. Haidar broke the record after he completed his journey of 80 miles in his chair in a 14-hour trip from Abu Dhabi to Sharjah.
Who knew we would ever eat a shawarma with Thai peanut sauce or alfredo sauce? Yes, Wild Peeta has done that. They brought in a generic shawarma that we have been eating for years and transformed it. After this fusion invention, a generic shawarma will never taste the same again.
Switch Restaurant in The Dubai Mall has also changed our acquired taste of burgers with their “Camel Burger” addition. The camel burger has been seen with a lot of skepticism but is now considered as a delicacy, which the restaurant is being known for.
Innovation is everywhere around us whether its small or big. Human beings are the greatest innovators and through companies, opportunities and the proper resources, people can grow their innovations. We live in an age of technology and enhancement but these only come because people grow or are allowed to explore & given the right resources to enhance these innovation. The UAE has seen great innovations because it gave their people a window of opportunity for their inventions and provided them with great support. These innovators were just people with great ideas whom defied the world and brought their ideas to life. I believe if you have a great idea, go ahead, work on it and be the innovator you should be.
June 2011’s issue:
Here We Start – Community Talk – Food for Thought – Just Another Undergrad
Living Through The Eyes of Art – Microscopic Me – Scenes From Life
Society of Tomorrow – To The Point – Words, Observations, and Ramblings
Reem aims through her quarterly column to explore issues in society and discuss emerging new trends. Listen to other people’s thought and view their perspectives about the subject. Then raise questions and form unbiased conclusions about it.