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Posted 30 April 2009

Global economic downturn means firms can no longer 'ride the waves' created by others, says innovation expert

To survive and grow in the current global economic climate, companies must take a twin approach to innovation, according to Finnish-born Professor Erkko Autio, Chair of Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship at Imperial College London, who delivered the inaugural InterTradeIreland Innovation Lecture at University College Dublin.

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, says Professor Autio, spectacular growth may follow, even in challenging times.

How to Build Momentum for Innovation by Professor Erkko Autio


Professor Autio has held academic research and teaching positions at London Business School, CERN, Helsinki University of Technology, University of Sussex, and the Asian Institute of Technology (Thailand). He has served on the Board of Directors of several companies, notably in the ICT sectors.

He has advised and consulted widely in the areas of venturing, innovation, mobile ecommerce, and technology and innovation policy. Since the 1980’s, he has gathered hands-on research experience from dynamic high-tech start-ups in Silicon Valley, Cambridge (UK), several European countries, and in South-East Asia. During his tenure at London Business School, he helped launch the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) initiative. He still has an active co-ordination role in this high-profile initiative that currently spans approximately 50 countries, including Ireland.

The InterTradeIreland Innovation Lecture is part of the InterTradeIreland All-island Innovation Programme which is a partnership between InterTradeIreland, Queen’s University Belfast, NovaUCD and NUI Galway. The programme aims to promote and encourage innovation across the island of Ireland. It enables international expertise and best practice innovation to be shared with business leaders, students, academics, knowledge transfer professionals and policy makers across Ireland via innovation lectures, seminars and master classes.

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Global economic downturn means firms can no longer 'ride the waves' created by others, says innovation expert