Is innovation just high tech?

Or demystifying misconceptions about innovation and encouraging a broader perspective

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26th July 2023

What do you have in mind when you think of the notion of innovation?

Robots, all kinds of futuristic machines, laboratories or anything else that might be correlated with high technology?

Most people have this perception too.

Innovation is often associated with the preconceived idea that it can only be linked to industries that are often inaccessible to the common person.

However, this limited vision prevents us from understanding its real potential to transform industries and, more generally, the world around us.

The aim of this article is to dispel misconceptions about innovation and to show just how much it is part of our daily lives.

Table of content

Robots, biotech and artificial intelligence

In the collective imagination, we think of the notion of innovation when we talk about disruptive technology.

It’s a type of innovation that disrupts a market by introducing a new approach, a new vision, and by challenging existing standards and models.

Throughout history, and particularly after the first industrial revolution, many innovations have been invented to revolutionise people’s daily lives.

The steam engine, the voltaic battery, the electric motor and, more recently, the Internet, information and communication technologies (ICT), the digital revolution and artificial intelligence are all examples of innovations that have profoundly changed societies.


In the Internet era, innovation is often associated with the GAFAMs (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft) because of their major influence on the technology industry and their ability to introduce disruptive products and services.

These companies have been at the forefront of many innovations that have transformed the way we interact.

However, it is important to note that innovation is not limited to GAFAM.

In fact, what is innovation and what does it refer to?


What is innovation? A brief definition

Innovation is one of those names that encompasses so many things, so many ideas and so many practices.

It can be defined as the creation of new models that bring about significant changes in response to growing needs and problems.

Therefore not just limited to science and cutting-edge technology, but to all areas of society and all types of sectors.

In the same way, it is not limited to breakthroughs and disruptive technologies, but also to all types of incremental and growing improvements.

Finally, innovation does not just concern large companies, but also start-ups, entrepreneurs, researchers, public bodies and civil society.

Innovation concerns all sectors and fields, in any country!

So it’s not just about artificial intelligence and cutting-edge technologies, it’s also about you and your own business. No matter where!

In the energy sector, innovation is included in all actions aimed at developing renewable energy sources, improving energy efficiency and adopting sustainable practices.

In the agriculture sector, it goes beyond nanotechnology.

It includes sustainable farming methods, the adoption of environmentally friendly practices, and efficient resource management practices.

And what about transport?

Do you have in mind the prototypes of flying cars?

It also concerns electric vehicles, all the car-sharing initiatives, sustainable mobility and improvements to public transport.

Innovation is all around us (and has been for a long time!)

It is actually present in every aspect of our daily lives, without us being fully aware of it, and has been for as long as we can remember.

A typical example of an innovation that has revolutionised everyday life is sports shoes as we know them today.

The idea, for many shoe manufacturers, was to combine performance and technology.

During the 1970s and 1980s, the idea was to redefine the standards of durability, comfort and performance in sports footwear, by introducing new technology into the soles of shoes.

Since then, these pioneering companies have revolutionised sports footwear.


So, convinced?

This example shows that innovation can really happen in traditional industries, in small businesses, within the reach of entrepreneurs, and that it can have a significant impact on the way we live, consume and exist.

One small step at a time.

What we do need, however, is to cultivate a spirit of innovation.

To be able to innovate, on any scale, you need to cultivate the spirit of innovation by encouraging the exchange of ideas and promoting collaboration.

It also means keeping abreast of emerging trends in new technologies.

Finally (and above all!) it’s also about encouraging a culture of experimentation by having a non-hostile attitude to change.

The idea of rethinking established models and norms and developing a degree of flexibility helps to cultivate innovation, have a positive impact and thus create value to meet the challenges set and remain competitive.

Need a hand? We’re here to help.

Inspired by this article?

Want to develop an innovative approach but you don’t know where to start?

Then you’ve come to the right place.

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