Hervé Legenvre is part of the Project Advisory Committee and of the Independent Committee for the Socioeconomic Studies call within the ATTRACT project, and this is his latest contribution to The European Business Review.
DeepTech technologies have significant effects on the economy and are an avenue to solve many problems humanity faces. However, the vitality of DeepTech projects is linked to the innovation ecosystems in which they are embedded. In this article, Hervé Legenvre explores the role of innovation in DeepTech success using the ATTRACT programme.
Innovation is the art of abolishing distances. Innovation thrives by combining distinct, diverse, and previously unconnected capabilities and resources to solve problems. This is particularly true for DeepTech Innovation. ATTRACT is an initiative that created a Pan-European DeepTech ecosystem that spans detection, imaging, and computing technologies. It assembled around 170 DeepTech projects in an ecosystem comprising scientific research institutions, universities, business networks and hundreds of students from across Europe. ATTRACT takes the art of innovation to its next level by steering open and interdisciplinary cooperation across a diverse network of stakeholders.
Innovation as the art of combining the power of distant objects
Adam Smith’s book, The Wealth of Nations is renowned for the description of the division of labour, where the production process is segmented into a series of small, specialised tasks, each carried out by a distinct worker, enhancing overall efficiency. Smith’s illustration of this through a pin factory is well-known. Yet, the subsequent passages in this book that portray innovation as the art of linking disparate resources and expertise are less cited. He noted.
“Many improvements have been made by […] philosophers or men of speculation, whose trade it is not to do anything, but to observe everything; and who, upon that account, are often capable of combining together the powers of the most distant and dissimilar objects.”
In today’s era of high specialisation and continuing knowledge expansion, philosophers are scientists and men of speculation are entrepreneurs, but innovation remains the art of combining disparate capabilities, resources, and expertise to solve problems. This art is essential to convert scientific discoveries into economic and social benefits. Bringing DeepTech projects to market requires uniting many elements that are diverse and distinct and initially disconnected.
Read the full story on The European Business Review website.