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Innovation: Over-Hyped, Under-Powered

Published by CME Manitoba on May 11, 2014

Innovation: Over-Hyped, Under-Powered
by Kevin Lusk, Innovation, Technology, Senior Executive Leadership Champion

The buzz word is innovation. Day in and day out, innovation has become everybody’s favorite. We hear over and over that Canada must innovate to survive, Manitobans must innovate to compete in the global economy, and that we can do it because after all, Manitobans are inherently innovative. Innovation is something that CME also is focused on.

This discussion of innovation in some respects has things fundamentally backwards. It does not make sense to talk about innovation as if innovation was an end in itself. We can innovate forever but if we can’t translate that innovation into something substantial that adds to the economic output of our companies, it does little for any manufacturer and by extension, for our province. Key questions are: What do you want to make or build or sell? Who is your market? Where is your market? In the end, what is your passion?

When it comes to innovation, Manitoba is rich beyond most provinces with innovative resources every manufacturer and processor should take the time to get to know.  Sadly, many have not. Innovation-supportive resources such as the Industrial Technology Center (ITC), Red River’s Technology Access Center (TAC), the Composites Innovation Center (CIC), the Orthopedic Innovation Center (OIC), Innovate Manitoba, Life Sciences Association of Manitoba (LSAM) to name a few, are some of the best in the country. Oddly enough CME finds that a significant portion of those companies that we assume are innovative  have the technology and have the ability to launch a word class product, are not. In part it is because they have never acquainted themselves with the very enabling resources paid for by their taxes that would enable them to become world class. When it comes to innovation resources, a key role that CME plays in Manitoba is creating awareness of these resources among manufacturers and processors.

Do you have an opportunity or a product that you are struggling with? CME might not have the answers……but we know where to get them. If you are thinking about innovation, consider giving CME a call. Perhaps we can assist your or point you in a better direction.

 

Contact Kevin Lusk, kevin.lusk@cme-mec.ca for more information.

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