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The word innovation is used in many ways. However, it is clearly defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as « the use of new ideas and methods ». Beyond the idea, a new solution must be used, commercialized, purchased or deployed to be innovative.

In a world where knowledge evolves at full speed, innovation requires teams composed of people with varied profiles. In addition to being grounded in the reality of the field, these people must be skilled in interdisciplinary, collaborative and creative work.

This is why, all over the world, we are talking of innovation zones or hubs. These meeting places allow scientists, creative people, managers and business people to innovate together.

The most innovative countries are those allocating over 3% of their GDP in research and development. What does changes the game, however, is the share of private investment. And, let’s face it, it’s not always there. Some companies do not see the need and the added value of innovation. For others, the risk is too important. Also, the human skills required to do so are often lacking.

More and more people on the front lines of innovation have master’s or doctoral degrees. These advanced studies are critical. Today, the ability of countries to innovate is measured by their graduate degree rates.

Since it is difficult to be good at «everything», it is best to work together. Scientists and their rigorous methods need to collaborate with expert and user people to create healthier and more sustainable living environments.

It is expected that in the next 15 years, more discoveries will be made than we have made since the beginning of humanity. The next wave of innovation promises to be a great one. It’s up to us to make a strong commitment to it, to make wise choices for the future. Because innovation is a promising way to meet important societal challenges, whether they are demographic, economic, climatic or linked to social equity.

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