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Monday, 23 September 2019

Innovation, invention or improvement?

Friday, 18 January 2013 | Posted by: Natallia Abraztsova, European Coatings Journal

Recently I had a discussion about innovation. But when is a product really new and when is it just an improvement? I think we shouldn’t use the word "innovation” for every change of the product. I would rather talk about development or modification.

I decided to check on the true meaning of the word. Here it is: "innovare” (Lat.) means "to change”. Wikipedia defines innovation as "the development of new customers value through solutions that meet new needs, inarticulate needs, or old customer and market needs in value adding new ways.” With other words, the market sets the requirements for "innovation”.

Innovation doesn’t have a meaning of improvement because improvement means "doing the same thing better”, and innovation means doing something in a different way. So an improved product is not an innovative product.

As a rule "innovation” belongs to company’s strategy to generate more money. As a result, products with slight changes are sold as new ones. Innovation is also not equal with invention: Invention means "the creation of the idea or method itself” while innovation refers to the use of novel ideas or methods.

Anyway, the innovation process will never stop. Besides a lot of money, we need the skilled people in research and development to support this process.

What do you think about it? I would be glad to share views with you.

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Author

Natallia Abraztsova
European Coatings Journal
Natallia Abraztsova
Junior Editor
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