What is innovation

noun in·​no·​va·​tion |  ˌi-nə-ˈvā-shən  

1: the introduction of something new
2: a new idea, method, or device
3: change made to an existing product, idea, or field
4: ability to execute new ideas into a process, product or service

To be called an innovation, an idea must create value and must satisfy a specific need.

What is the difference between innovation and invention?

The words innovation and invention overlap semantically but are really quite distinct.

Invention can refer to a type of musical composition, a falsehood, a discovery, or any product of the imagination. The sense of invention most likely to be confused with innovation is “a device, contrivance, or process originated after study and experiment,” usually something which has not previously been in existence.

Accelerating innovation

(coming soon)

Who can innovate?

Anyone can innovate:

  • individuals
  • companies
  • organizations
  • institutions
  • governments

Business innovation

(coming soon)

The ethics of innovation

Emerging technologies offer enormous opportunities to do good. Companies, institutions and individuals need to address however the ethical implications of their innovations. Governments, on the other hand, need to establish clear ethical governance frameworks and guidelines that would ensure fair and unbiased participation while stifling innovation and slowing down progress.

Example topics:

  1. Privacy issues in surveillance technologies
  2. AI ethics: algorithmic decision making, automated diagnosis
  3. Data ownership and access
  4. Food quality and distribution
  5. Biomedical research: gene editing, cloning


The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (UK)