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SSIA Summit - “Smart Technologies, Smart Products, Smart People: What does it need to shape globally impactful innovation?”

The first panel discussion at the SSIA Summit 2016 brought 4 of the speakers together with 2 highly experienced speakers from research and academia, trying to provide the answer to the session's under the eye-catching theme of "Smart Technologies, Smart Products, Smart People: What does it need to shape globally impactful innovation?"
In getting the discussion energized, all panelists agreed strongly on the expectation that many of today's exciting and commercially successful technology drivers will be obsolete and potentially forgotten in 2 decades from now.
Prof Yoon Soon Fatt, Chair of the NTU's School of EEE gave a clear statement on the universities' role on preparing young students for this expectation on changing the paradigms faster under an increasing pace of innovation. "I see myself as someone being responsible for shaping the right innovation mindset for our young students", he said, claiming strong ownership for mentoring young talents to be part of future entrepreneurship.
Xilinx' CTO, Ivo Bolsens openly shared his views on an innovation culture from his observations in the Silicon Valley. He identified the commitment and dedication of innovators as an essential success factor for innovators. Not giving up after a failure is an important attitude for successful entrepreneurs. Just trying to avoid failures and playing safe will not make you survive as an entrepreneur in the Valley.
Ariel reminded the audience of the nature of innovation to not only cover products and technologies. According to the model he had also earlier described in his speech, an important aspect of innovation is also the innovation of processes, procedures and flows as well as the quantitative analysis of its results. Without putting emphasis on the innovation frameworks, large companies will not be able to successfully progress in the future, he stated.
Referring to the role of Singapore for impactful innovation, Tan Geok Leng, CEO and founder of an High Tech start-up focusing on AI driven analytics, gave evidence on Singapore's superior opportunities for piloting and test-bedding of new technologies. In his previous role as CTO of Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), Geok Leng had been a driver for new technology breakthroughs like Fibre-to-the-Home and open national WiFi-networks, known as Wireless@SG. Technologies, which helped to shape Singapore's reputation as an Infocomm hub and a driver for the rolling out of new technologies under a national charter.
In a very interactive discussion with the audience, all penal members emphasized on the role of the industry and its leaders for engaging young talents and for creating their excitement for an innovation industry. Young talents are seen to be the best guarantee for an impactful innovation culture.

 

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Article contributed by:

ULF SCHNEIDER

President of SSIA