#IIF13 Panel 2 – Instilling innovation in the nation’s DNA (videos)

14 Oct 2013

(From left) Silicon Republic CEO Ann O'Dea, ESB's John McSweeney, Fidelity Investments' Travis Carpico, the Irish Research Council's Eucharia Meehan and Intel's Philip Moynagh. Photo by Robbie Reynolds

Highlights from Friday’s Innovation Ireland Forum in Dublin, where leading innovators and employers from Intel, Fidelity, ESB and the Irish Research Council gave their views on how Ireland can lead the charge of global innovation and how it must instill innovative thinking in its education system and organisations.

Last Friday, the second panel discussion at the Innovation Ireland Forum focused on how organisations can become more innovative. It involved Philip Moynagh, director of Intel’s Low Power Embedded Processors division, Travis Carpico who is country manager of Fidelity Investments, Irish Research Council director Eucharia Meehan and ESB’s head of innovation John McSweeney.

Moynagh, who led the 70-strong group within Intel who designed and created the Galileo dev board which will be key in sparking the “internet of things”, revealed how the group had to “become students of start-ups” in order to effect change in the global tech giant and meet a tight two-month deadline.

“It was a reflection of a ‘break the rules’ attitude. We were able to leverage what’s great about Intel. It was a case of knowing our strengths and applying them.”

Travis Carpico of Fidelity Investments said that every organisation is now challenged to be innovative and a key battle to be won is taking on the “status quo police” in big companies.

“The real challenge is how do you break through the barriers in order to design, innovate and foster an innovative culture,” Carpico said.

ESB’s John McSweeney said the electricity provider faced a unique challenge in that the electricity sector has seen very little innovation in over 150 years. “There was no disruptive technology,” he said, pointing out how all that is changing now thanks to advances in clean tech and renewable energy.

“Up until this point ESB was being treated like a dumb terminal rather than an intelligent partner.”

Fortunately for McSweeney he inherited a creative, ambitious team that are now focused on the next breakthrough in energy technology: enabling the smart management of homes.

“I want to ensure ESB is part of that.”

The director of the Irish Research Council Eucharia Meehan outlined her organisation’s challenge to stimulate innovation in Ireland.

“Our role is to lead in the development of innovative people who are at the beginning of their careers,” she said, lauding universities such as DCU which is instilling entrepreneurial qualities across its entire range of courses.

“In effect, its not so much about disruptive technologies, but generating disruptive agents who will go out there and innovate within existing companies too.”

Watch highlights of the second panel discussion here:

Part 1:

Part 2:

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years