If creativity is the wellspring of human development, innovation – the theme of this newsletter - is its economic twin. Uninterrupted progress in applying advances in science and technology, sometimes by leaps and bounds, sometimes in baby steps, is the source of gains in productivity and rising living standards that we take for granted. Think of the horizons opened up in recent years by the advent of the personal computer, the internet, the smartphone.
Innovation may be A Good Thing, but making the most of it is easier said than done. We believe that successful innovation cannot be dissociated from an organisation’s business model. Building on that insight, we lay out the five questions we always put to clients seeking to innovate. How, for instance, does innovation fit with the economics and culture of their organisation? A related article also emphasises the need to go back to basics when considering how to deploy artificial intelligence, society’s next Big Innovation, which is already grabbing the public imagination thanks to ChatGPT. Our advice? Work out what you want to use it for, learn by testing, and develop in-house AI guidelines.
In another pair of articles we dive into the role innovation can and must play in achieving net-zero carbon emissions.
Our work in this field shows that innovation can help transform energy systems and reduce the cost of decarbonisation – as demonstrated by rapid technological advances in ever-cheaper renewables. We also look at data policy, a neglected aspect of the fight against climate change, and argue that the systematic application of innovative economic principles and tools could promote more sustainable data usage.
Finally, we explore how high levels of innovation and technological change are posing new challenges for competition authorities, which are generally ill-equipped to evaluate mergers of firms in fast-evolving markets. We argue that they could develop new tools to sharpen their assessment of such tie-ups without either distorting the competitive playing field or stifling innovation.
Innovation award launches at Frontier
At Frontier we also practice what we write about. We have launched our very own Innovation Award.Discover more