The innovation learning journey is a platform that aims to help the world’s top universities share knowledge and research on innovation, thus advancing the scientific mind. For example, a joint forum of the National University of Singapore and Tsinghua University, which have invited experts from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), to discuss various aspects of innovation. The forum has shown huge success in understanding how innovations work across different disciplines and nourishes collaborative relationships between scientists in a globalized world. The innovation learning journey in Singapore is known to have the following benefits;
1. To give people a better understanding of the mechanics of innovation
This is especially important in Singapore, which has been ranked 36th on the Global Innovation Index. Innovations have always played an important role in helping us build a better life, but the understanding of innovation is still lacking among Singaporeans.
2. To bring about better collaboration and networking between universities
Cooperation between universities is important because it will help advance research and knowledge on innovation from smaller players such as Nanyang Technological University to big players like the National University of Singapore. The eventual goal would be to provide more world-class education services to students and also create jobs locally for graduates of these top universities in Singapore.
3. To strengthen Singapore’s position as a top place to do business
Innovation is crucial to the future of Singapore. It is important that we develop and nurture it, and create a more globally competitive ecosystem for doing business here.
4. To cultivate an innovative work environment
An innovation learning journey will help build up a positive work culture and environment; something that is becoming increasingly important in today’s workplace market. The key to an innovative workplace is the person or team at the helm; this will make the organization better able to innovate both in terms of products or services, and processes, increasing efficiency in productivity.
5. To inform Singaporeans about the potential of innovation
In many societies, people are under the impression that innovation is reserved for only the top universities or large companies like Google and Samsung. The truth is that anyone has the potential to develop an innovative product or service; a baker in a coffee shop might develop new ways of baking cakes, a café owner might discover new ways of brewing coffee, and a taxi driver might write an app for finding your way around. If we could encourage more Singaporeans to be innovative, discovering new solutions to problems that had been unsolved before – it would not only encourage individual growth but also help drive economic growth too.
6. To give more freedom and responsibility to universities
Innovation is not a top-down exercise; it must be driven by individual universities, and the cultivation of their research capabilities would allow them to drive innovations in a creative way.
7. To encourage a more innovative ecosystem for doing business
Innovation does not have to be a product-based exercise; innovations in terms of processes, solutions, or infrastructure would be just as effective and possible. Innovation learning journey in Singapore can help business owners and entrepreneurs to think from a different perspective when solving a problem, create better solutions and provide more value to their customers. This is important if Singapore wants to become one of the top places for doing business in the world by 2015 and 2015, as announced by the Prime Minister of Singapore in his 2011 National Day Rally speech. And this is only possible through innovation, as we move towards a service-based economy instead of one that is mainly product-driven.a