Embracing New-age Technology in R&D & Innovation
The ability to create fire using rock and twigs by early humans and hominids revolutionized life and encouraged humans to embark on a continual pursuit of experimentation and discovery. Between 3,000 and 1,200 BCE, mathematics, astronomy, and medicine evolved, forming the basis for exponential conviction to understand nature, and develop and harness technologies for the progress of society.
Today, the world is evolving at an extremely rapid pace and innovation increasingly lies at the heart of this change. Increasingly, global firms are investing in R&D led innovation, making it the cornerstone of their strategy for long term sustainable growth.India is progressing well on these lines. According to the Economic Survey 2022, India’s ranking in the Global Innovation Index climbed 35 notches, from 81st in 2015-16 to 46th in 2021.
The rise of digital technologies and open digital platforms used in material informatics has changed the innovation outlook as a whole
Technology as a Driver and Enabler of Innovation
The success of businesses today lies in the differentiation of having a sharp nimbleness of speed to market, bringing together collaboration of resources like never before and innovating for the right outcomes. A relentless focus on excellence in the core, while seeding innovation for the future along with harnessing the best of science to serve customers and communities, will set the excellent apart from the rest. There has been a mindset shift, which makes our future promising.With India’s increasing spending power and access to information, technology has provided avenues for businesses to diversify and expand. Given the dynamic environment in which we live today, industries across sectors are catching up with the pace innovating, and redesigning ideas. The big surge in innovation, powered by emerging technologies,began years ago, but the recent wave encompasses artificial intelligence (AI), synthetic biology, nanotechnologies, data analytics, machine language and quantum computing, among other advanced technologies.
Science has made it possible for industries to effortlessly embrace these technologies. The rise of digital technologies and open digital platforms used in material informatics has changed the innovation outlook as a whole. R&D teams have moved beyond the implementation of fragmented standalone systems and are now pursuing cross-functional and cross-value chain integration using technology to support and connect the entire innovation process. For example when AI is being used to empower materials innovation, a plethora of advances are being uncovered that include rapid low-cost formulations by evaluating, optimizing, and assimilating ingredient recipes and domain knowledge. India, China, and the United States are all strong representations of how embracing technology leads to innovation, which in turn returns in economic growth.
New Technology for Sustainability
With environment consciousness driving consumers’ choices, achieving sustainability through innovation is becoming the future for industries across the globe. The conversations around this are no longer about how to create a sustainable sector, but are more about how innovation through R&D, heralded by the sector, can lead the way for a better sustainable world at large. Today, society plays a major role in pushing governments and companies to become more conscious about protecting the environment. Hence, the role of innovation in companies is moving from product innovation to enhancing functionality, customizing products and adapting to new market opportunities catering to the needs of customers.
Embracing the Change
Technology will play a key role in finding longterm sustainable solutions to minimize permanent damage to Mother Earth. R&D and Technology for a sustainable world, has to be embedded into the social, political and industrial outlook.
1)Realtime access to health of operations, including equipment, emissions, and supplychain. It opens a world of rapid action to quickly detect and track quality issues, and monitor the efficiencies and effectiveness from cradle to grave of products/services.
2)Delivers opportunities in developing circular economy models, resulting in restorative or regenerative designs to positively impact sustainability principles and save our planet.
3)Realtime focused solutions: for instance, Digital Farming using AI and Crop Monitoring System, can harness the power of Space borne Remote Sensing & AI tools,delivering precision farming solutions resulting in targeted use of fertilizers/crop protection products, and optimal use of water, resulting in improved yield and better nutritional content in the crops. The agri sector is accepting the technology shift and changing the R&D landscape.
All technological and scientific advances must hold promise for first, a significant social impact, then economic benefits backed by increased efficiency, and enhanced productivity across a host of sectors.This would be the sustainable promise we can offer our planet and our future generations. A strategy based around green, sustainable innovation can sharpen a company’s DNA, and transform an organization’s mindsets, culture and processes to live excellence as a way of life in all dimensions of innovation.