Entrepreneurs must ride crests of their own waves


25 Mar 2009

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As the global economic momentum has faded, firms can no longer ‘ride the waves’ created by others, the founder of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) has warned.

Companies must take a twin approach to innovation to survive and grow in the current economic climate, according to renowned technology innovation expert, Professor Erkko Autio.

Autio is one of the founders of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) initiative and chair of Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship at Imperial College London.

He will share his expertise and insights at the inaugural InterTradeIreland Innovation Lecture at UCD. Organised by NovaUCD, this lecture takes place on Thursday 2 April at 6pm in the William Jefferson Clinton Auditorium, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4.

“Firms need to build their own momentum for innovation, rather than riding the waves created by others. In addition to identifying market needs and adapting their products or services to meet those needs, firms must also find ways of prompting the market to lock in to their innovations ahead of others. If this successful, two-way adaptation is achieved, spectacular growth may follow, even in challenging times.”

The lecture is being delivered as part of the InterTradeIreland All-island Innovation Programme. This programme, a partnership between InterTradeIreland, Queen’s University Belfast, NovaUCD and the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change at NUI Galway, aims to promote and encourage innovation across the island of Ireland.

“Survival and innovation go hand in hand in the current economic downturn,” said InterTradeIreland strategy and policy director, Aidan Gough.

“As markets contract, businesses need to become more innovative in aligning their products and services to market needs. InterTradeIreland can provide assistance to help develop innovative cross-border partnerships between companies and third-level institutes, which can deliver new market solutions,” Gough added.

By John Kennedy