Thursday, November 14, 2013

Planning an Innovation Competition?

So, you have decided to hold an innovation competition and get some creative ideas from experts all over the world, or from specific communities of interest; or you might be using it as an indirect marketing tool to create awareness of your product.

The biggest issue I see with some of the innovation competitions, is the expectation the companies have from participants in terms of understanding long and complex jargon, so much that what they want participants to do almost gets lost in the long description. So, having a clear ask is a key, but that does not mean you cannot spice it up. Titles like “Your chance to design for your Olympic hero” or “Ever thought you would have a green idea?” can do the trick.

I believe whoever runs the innovation competition does not have an expectation to really get to a breakthrough innovation using the entries they get; but if they do, then they most probably, will not succeed. However; if they have expectations to find the ingredients, ideas, starting point of the thoughts which eventually result in some sort of innovation then they are on a right track.

Have you used innovation competition for marketing? If not, then you must. Companies are using it to cover many aspects of marketing. When someone is running an innovation competition, the first impression it sends out to the market is that the company believes in innovation. This subtle but very powerful message, then can take on a role of engaging the curious population; on the way it creates the awareness of the product or a service and then in the last it can also end up getting some good ideas, problems, improvement suggestions; which can then be taken forward by the company to make measurable difference to the bottom line.

Open innovation competition is far more suitable for fetching real innovations into the company and has a slightly different tone, in terms of formulating the brief. It also has different ways of reaching out and engaging the participants. While innovation competition would ideally have a cash reward, open innovation would also have a mechanism to license, buy or co-develop the solutions. Pointing out this little difference; that it is good to know what your goals are and accordingly make the right selection, organize and execute.

ideaken can help in running an innovation competition for your organisation.

Monday, September 30, 2013

What does collaboration mean to you?

Collaboration is a term no organisation is ignoring in today's hyper connected and globalised world.  But the word means different things to enterprises depending on their priorities.  For some - it could mean as simple as enabling employees to work together to break silos.  For some others - it could mean breaking boundaries and enabling partners, customers and even general public to work together for a common cause.  It could be a mixture of all of this or some of this depending on the confidentiality requirements of the project.

It takes time and energy - We live in a hyper connected and a world built on instant gratification.  We expect immediate results and want to know the results of our initiatives  immediately.  Unfortunately collaboration projects are more complicated than that and takes time to show results.  While it is possible for results to show immediately in small controlled groups (for example collaborating with a group of employees), collaboration with a larger set especially those based outside your organisation takes time before it yield results.  So keep the faith!

Trust is paramount - Reflect on this.  When was the last time you revealed details to an outsider on your first meeting in an enterprise setting?  Collaboration calls for exchange of ideas and some knowledge about your corporate environment.  Due to this, it flourishes fully only when trust in either parties is established.  Though you can help build trust by creating a conducive and transparent environment, it does take time.  So do define the rules and be consistent.

Feedback is important - Since campaigns take time to show results and building trust is important, how do you keep the collaborators engaged?  One of the best ways of doing it is through continuous and regular feedback.  You need to spend your time and energy giving feedback to your collaborators and motivate them to help you.  It also conveys a message to them that you care and are serious about this.  It is also a great way to build connections and understand the pulse of your collaborators.

However small you must celebrate successes - Collaboration needs to be treated like an investment or a plant that needs to be nurtured.  You need to treat collaborators as your extended employee team and work on encouraging and celebrating even their small successes initially.  It is equally important to think from the collaborator's perspective rather than only your own.  Remember true collaboration happens only when there are win-win equations created.  One-sided relationships don't last long and will never realise the true potential of collaboration.

Involve senior management - Collaboration is a strategic initiative.  There is only so much that middle or lower managers can achieve.  Hence it pays to involve senior management and get direction from them on your future collaboration initiatives.  Ideally collaboration projects are best driven top down to ensure that the message is driven throughout the organisation.  In some cases, it also helps to show some initial success starting small to convince the top management which then helps to build the business case.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Why Collaborative Research gaining momentum?

Innovation might be the ultimate aim of R&D activities in general, at academia however focus is on education, research and ultimately the placements for their students.

R&D is a very logical one step just before one systematically innovate something; of course lot many innovations happen without any R&D at all. After visiting approximately ten prestigious academia in last six months, I have come to a conclusion that for Asian academia innovation is a good to have thing and not must have, now, that may not sound that good a news, but I don’t see anything wrong about it, especially post I put it through a perspective, perspective of if innovation is the need of hour to make things go around. Now I am not stating that innovation is not happening, I am only pointing out that it is yet to cover some distance! Which it will when non Asian countries stops innovating enough.

Collaborative research is a derivation of traditional research where the activity of research is more open for the inputs from diverse entities. It also allows a research topic to be arrived at collaboratively.

Collaborative research is gaining momentum because it aligns well with the core goals of academia viz. Education, Research and Placements. Here is how.

People are the real source of education, and when you supplement your research with diverse experiences from around the geography; you are able to relate what you read in the books far better than you would do without such interactions.

It is usually the skills like creativity, social interactions and management which makes education of any use, when you collaborate, you learn these skills.

Our education system is broad based, meaning we study bit of many things and do not go really deep into one thing. Collaborative research provides opportunity for someone not doing a full time research to slice it up and go deep into a specific topic.

Hence Collaborative research makes better education.

In today’s fast pace world, a proven technology is a outdated one, similarly if research takes too long then by the time it finishes it probably is outdated. Key is to join forces and bring it out fast.

Anything beyond a basic research needs more talent than an individual can bring in, though he or she can learn all of them but there is hardly a possibility to do so in a given time and constraints.

Ultimate aim of any research is to unearth something which is yet to be unearthed. And not every piece of knowledge is documented nor will it in the future. Collaborative research provides better changes of tabling something which is yet not tabled.

Hence Collaborative research makes better research.

Industry know how and networking are better options to get placed then another aptitude test at the campus placements. Who does not want be free from limited options placement provides?

Your rank must not be the only measure to get placed, participating in collaborative research provides additional credential which has tangible benefits during studies. For placements and beyond. 

Collaborative research provide students take the guess work out and present more realistic findings, socialise and network, but more importantly this experience prepares them to come out of the theoretical world early and fish for themselves.

Hence Collaborative research makes better placements.

Be it Basic research, Applied research, Product research or Market research, be it a long duration or short, be it for a topic of your interest or kind of, be it with monetary benefits or not so much – look out for a collaborative research opportunity.

ideaken provides opportunities for collaborative research for academia, professors, students, industry players and research institutes, please get in contact with us at

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Crowdsourcing Pitfalls and possible Remedies

Crowdsourcing has received a fair amount of coverage in the local business circle that any business leader may be tempted to believe that he can throw most of his business challenges or creative needs to the crowd and he will get the optimum results in no time. Frankly this is far from true, and unless one is treading with cautious and right knowledge Crowdsourcing might disappoint and results in scepticism.

To sum it up – Just the way how outsourcing began few decades ago and reached current so called mature state, Crowdsourcing needs to be developed by companies with a long term vision in mind and the focus should be to identify, experiment, adapt and fine-tune strategies to derive the maximum benefit from this initiative.

Let us look at common pitfalls and their possible remedies.

Pitfall 1: Just like the dotcom snag ‘if you build it they will come’, Crowdsourcing faces a challenge in believing ‘if you ask, they will tell’

Remedy: Today the information inflow for an individual is reaching alarming high, I delete most of the things pushed to me, and try to ignore everything around what I am perusing. So, to get a slice of that attention span, you must select your target crowd. And you can do that by carefully creating a list of attributes which you think some of which an individual must have before you ask for participation. This preparation does not mean that you would have means to actually pinpoint those characteristics, but this will greatly help in rejecting avenues not to go after.

Pitfall 2: Now that I have an opportunity to ask, why settle for anything less than the sky!

Remedy: You must not make it too easy or too difficult for someone to contribute, challenge them but don't overwhelm them. Keep it too simple, but not so much that you get bombarded with so many solutions that you will struggle to separate the gems from the others.  Make it too complicated and you are bound to miss your target crowd because of their low attention spans or even overawe them. 

Pitfall 3: If I am getting a revolutionary solution then I might decide to pay something for it.

Remedy: Easiest way to get over this issue is to simulate and put yourself on other side of the equation, would you bother to spend time on something which does not promise clear evaluation and reward criteria?
Pitfall 4: We are always open for collaboration and receive great ideas, check our website there is a section for submitting an idea.

Remedy: Yes, it is nice that you have a open call open always, but barring few companies which you can count on fingers, how many of them have any ideas coming their way? Fix for this is to have a very specific challenge statement, which has clear end date, sufficient rewards, and clear promotional plan to the right crowd. 

Pitfall 5: How many ideas or solutions will I get?

Remedy: Though how many ideas or solutions you get might be a immediate need to show in the status report but see how quickly you can get on to bottom like and ask – will it be better than my current plan of getting ideas and solution, will it be less time consuming and will it cost me less.

So, there you are, do tell me if you have another interesting Crowdsourcing pitfall you have come across.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Industry academia collaboration – will Asia’s turn see it through Crowdsourcing lens?

Can there be a Crowdsourcing between Industry and Academia which is beneficial to both sides? Crowdsourcing industry - for simplicity sake can be classified into two buckets – a) Creative, and b) Innovative. Examples of creative Crowdsourcing are Voice, Picture, Video, Logo, Ads. These creative’s usually are represented by artefacts and these artefacts when protected are protected by copyrights. On the other hand innovation Crowdsourcing is mostly about ideas and solutions, which in turn if need to be protected are protectable by intellectual property rights.

As it seems, Crowdsourcing for ideas and innovation is more suitable between Industry and Academia.

However, Academia and industry are different at the core, to the extent that you can say -  academia is from Venus (Calm and collected), and Industry is from Mars (Restless and under pressure.). So most but few collaborations end up being too complex to have a mature relationship.

Just to put the term “Academia Industry Collaboration” in perspective, there are many ways academia and industry collaborates, top 3 being 1. Employment (Core reason why academia exists in this era) 2. Industrial Education (So that the point 1 above keep meeting its goal) 3. And 3rd is ideas, innovation and R&D, we will primarily talk around  3rd point and argue why it is now Asia’s turn, so in this context we had defined academia industry collaboration as "A common ground, where academia lends the conceptualization & generalization skills, and the industry provides the practical reality in which the conceptualization can be rooted."

So why say ‘Asia’s turn’ -  is because US and Europe has done considerably well in this area so far, I see following three as what really is different around academia industry tangle among US and Asia.

1) In US, majority of the academia funding comes from the Industry, which is on decline now as per my  partner in the US. It is slightly reverse in Asia, where most of the funding comes from Government, and as per the data available - funding from Industry is increasing in Asia.  Funding from industry brings in far more focus on being relevant to the real needs of people and therefore the better innovation outcome.

2) In US, primary mission of Academia since pre war era till now is to develop skill for local industry. While in Asia academia is geared to provide skill for the best possible market in the world (which is USA! for now). You see Asian local industry would be reluctant to fund something which is not going to be of their area of interest.

3) In US, the origin and basis of education system is relatively new, not more than 200 years or so. While in Asia, education has ancient roots and was tightly linked to religion & spirituality, which  usually is kept delinked and independent from the business world. In Asia lot of people still think that a professor cannot have a business of his own. I am still not sure how much of a commercial angle to an education is right and where it starts hurting!

These being differences, the real big reason why US still leading the academia industry collaboration is because the ecosystem now already in place, it is no longer dependent of above differences. It is an accepted protocol and kind of a norm to have association with academia.  

Few years back, when my cousin was looking for a place to open his garment showroom, he took me around to see few places. Agent showed us 5-6 places that afternoon, and I could see that all the places my cousin seem to have liked where around already existing garment showrooms. So being in a business of ideas, I asked him why don’t you look for a place, where there are no garment showroom at all. On which, he replied, garment buyers look for a place where they can get a choice, where they can park the vehicle once and walk into 3-4 or even more places, so getting a place where there is already similar business works better. Since then whenever I am in a marketplace in any city in India, I do not fail to notice the cluster of similar businesses be it garment, furniture or niche commodity like Marble for home construction all located in same area.

For the same reason, in US and in Europe (Especially in Silicon Valley), you would find starts ups in and around the academia. And if you are the one who yet do not have an academia linkage then  during your next coffee conversation at the local coffee shop, you most probably will end up having one.

So when we talk about Asia’s turn, it is not about increasing  industry academia collaboration, it is also not about being more innovative, but is about making sure if we have enough ingredient for a ecosystem to thrive, most importantly remove obvious roadblocks. While we do this needful, we them must sit back, if industry academia collaboration is beneficial to both (which usually is) then it will take place without anyone doing anything about it!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Crowdsourcing week Singapore 3-7 Jun 2013

If you are a decision maker around Crowdsourcing, co-creation or open innovation then Crowdsourcing week happening at Singapore between 3-7 Jun would be a very relevant event to attend.

Agenda includes extensive line-up of expert sessions on various topics around Crowdsourcing for design, How to get results from crowd, Social innovation, Academia industry collaboration and many more. There is also a Crowdfunding workshop on the last day giving a deep focus opportunity to study and benefit from this new concept.

I am sure you would be able to learn from the vast spread of latest trends in Crowdsourcing by attending this event (see list of speakers here). Below I point out some of the key principals (and food for thought) of Crowdsourcing as a curtain raiser to this gala event.

Purpose of Crowdsourcing = Does your purpose for Crowdsourcing have one of the following?

Open innovation – You know what you don’t know and now you want someone to help you with solving your known problem.
Co-creation – You are simply after creating an additional delight factor for your customers using untapped knowhow of the crowd.
Crowdsourcing – You kind of know what you want but instead of going to a traditional vendor for it you would go to a place where you can get diversity, speed, reduced cost and most importantly creative options.

Infrastructure to enable your Crowdsourcing = People, mindset, IT and social enablers which can sustain your Crowdsourcing ambition.

People with open mindset would most probably sit at the top of the list of enablers for success in Crowdsourcing; reason being - it is very easy to script a failure, either by creating  milestones and expectations which are not realistic or by rejecting the outcome of Crowdsourcing. The slow and steady rise of Crowdsourcing can be single-handedly attributed to the folks who believed in it and spread the word about their success stories.

Connectivity is at the core of Crowdsourcing, so the social strategy and online IT infrastructure (own or hired) would play a decisive role as well.

Managing the crowd = Meeting the business goals using Crowdsourcing.

If you play the above two cards well, you might end up getting more than a plateful of ideas, solutions or desired options for your Crowdsourcing campaign. It would be of prime importance to manage the contributors by finding a right balance between acknowledging only the contributions which really add value to your organization and at the same time not downgrade the rest of the contribution; after all, in all probability those may have read? merit albeit in different context or for a different situation. Challenge of managing the crowd and their inputs, as they say, is a good problem to have!

ideaken is proud to be a sponsor for Crowdsourcing week, If you happen to be at the event then we would love to catch up with you in person. Do write to us here.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Asia Academia & Industry – recipe for innovation success! (2 of 2)

(Continued from the previous blog on this subject).

We spoke about 5 modes of engagements between Academia and Industry in our previous blog. Here we would get into the details around “What it is”, “How it will shape”, “Recipe for success” for each of the 5 modes below.

1. Niche Academic projects:

What is it?

Niche Academic projects are the select projects in which there is some niche involved on both sides – i.e. academia and the industry.  In other words, it is a collaborative R&D but in the context of the academic projects that students are supposed to undertake in their curriculum.

How it will shape:

a) Currently most of the projects are taken up where only one side has an agenda. For example - student wants to do a project and approaches an industry, somehow he gets the approval and then industry somehow tries to provide some opportunity for him to create something which can be treated as a project. We believe that much more value can be created if somehow we connect industry and the academia on the premise where both have real interest in each other.

Recipe for success:

a) For academia: Make academic projects a whole lot relevant to industry needs.
b) For industry: Do not say yes to academic projects if you do not know what you want to do with the academic talent.
2. Innovation & Design competitions: 

What is it?

A contest where students are asked to submit innovative or creative solutions and ideas for a given problem statement. The purpose on industry side can vary from branding and positioning their company to the young and educated crowd. Or tap into a creative cool of new generation and feed the findings into their innovation funnel.

How it will shape:

a) Contribution from students will increase for the sense of self achievement and self fulfilment; these traits would have replaced some of the traditional expectations of getting a job after finishing education.
b) Academia would use innovation achievements for better positioning of the academia.

Recipe for success:

a) For academia: Give credit for being creative and the same should find its way into the mark sheet.
b) For industry: Provide more avenues for the students to really showcase their creativity in a meaningful way.
3. Competitive research funding:

What is it?

As the name says, it is a typical research funding but is competitive in nature. Unlike the commonly exercised way of research funding, which is either geographical proximity based or alumni driven,  here company will put up an initial challenge to call for proposals from set of academia in that region by forming teams. Only the best fit based on initial response will be given the said research funds.  This will bring diversity and the competitiveness, will also improve overall innovation throughput.

How it will shape:

a) Proximity or familiarity will give way to right match (where right match will be valued more than agenda of funding someone somehow). Proximity issues will be taken care by communication technologies and familiarity will give way to the need to be competitive.
b) Academia and Industry both worry about the black hole at the other end, wherein neither one trusts each other enough, going forward we see this comfort level will improve.

Recipe for success:

a) For academia - Strategy for research focus is one thing; you also need strategy for getting funded.
b) For industry – Industry must understand and encapsulate currently neglected academia goals, in their relationship with academia.

4. Open innovation: 

What is it?

Open innovation is a systematic inflow of external know how to accelerate enterprise innovation, resulting in a new or improved products, services, or processes, and therefore increase market share.  So OI is always about solutions which are already existing – may be the in minds of people, in labs or on a notepad. You really don’t start from scratch. Power of many, power of diversity, and Power of Pull makes this tick.

How it will shape:

a) First, though slowly, the misconception and wrong comparison with “open source” is declining and will get eliminated. Open in open innovation means problem is in the public domain, not the solutions.
b) IP related issues will get addressed by the realization and learning that these issues are no different than the IP issues they anyway face in other aspect of business. More importantly, there will be a realization that because there are ways to mange IP related challenges, same can be applied in case of open innovation.

Recipe for success:

a) For Academia: Spend less time on the solution, spending time on problem makes you far better prepared to solve something. Provide equal opportunity for your innovative talent, do not identify some folks, group them and label them as innovators.
b) For Industry: The point at which open innovation gets a chance - is moving backwards. So companies are starting to utilise open innovation at the same time they begin the work on a new product or a new challenge internally.

5. IP commercialization:

What is it?

Getting an IP in place is only a beginning in the technology world, there are lot many things needed to get the ball rolling and create value from the IP you have. Market assessment, Value assessment, information chart for Licensing or Sale, Locate and showcase technologies to prospects, Negotiate and Make Deals; are some of them and as a whole called as IP commercialization space.

How it will shape:

a) IP marketplace will be common soon; it may no longer depend too heavily on specialised skills in patent domain.
b) On the other hand IP transactions and licensing across borders will increase, in turn increasing the complexity and hence opening up new business opportunities.

Recipe for success:

a) For academia: Go pictorial to explain your IP, Crowdsource ideas within the campus, move fast.
b) For industry:  There is lot to learn from M&A concepts when it comes to IP commercialization, be in terms of bringing IP inside the company or licensing out of the company.

ideaken - a leading provider of collaborative innovation platform in Asia, is now also a leading innovation and research mediator for academia and industries in Asia.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Why don’t our leaders say – We should imagine more!

You routinely hear leaders asking their staff to innovate or think out of the box.  But frankly won’t they  be better off asking their staff to imagine more.   Why?  Since imagination is the key and sometimes the only way to innovate truly.  But that is easier said than done.  Imagination is a skill which needs to be developed especially since for most of the time in the adult world, we have spent being a realist and we are generally criticised for imagining or dreaming about things.

The best way to see imagination in its purest form is in children.  Observe closely the next time your child or his friends play.  They have no boundaries, they are not scared of being laughed at, they don't know what is possible and what is not and hence they can imagine freely.  As for the majority of us, we will be lucky if we could be spared some time in this state before we are brought down to our practical world.

So what can we do?  Suggest we set aside dedicated time for imagination sessions every week at our offices.  What do we do in these sessions?  Here are some thoughts to get you started.  Once you get in the flow of things, sky is really the limit.

1. Ask folks to imagine how their product will be used by consumers in the future.
2. Imagine how new features for your product will be used by your customers
3. Imagine a world where your product is not present.  How does the customer satisfy the need that your product caters to?
4. Come up with at least 10 non-traditional uses of your product.  The product should not have been designed with this use in mind.
5. Imagine how you will sell your product to somebody who does not understand your language.

I think you get the drift.  These exercises are not important and there are no right answers. But it is very important for your team members to start visualising and letting their imagination fly again.  Ensure that criticism is not allowed and reward the most revolutionary thoughts. Over a period of time, your staff should be able to imagine freely again and then the true magic of innovation can happen.

Happy Innovating! I mean happy Imagining!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Photo Blog - ideaken as innovation sponsor at TECHfluence, a technology carnival at Anna University, Chennai on 14the and 15th Feb 2013

Asia Academia & Industry – recipe for innovation success! (1 of 2)

Belief, enforcement and preaching that we are not innovative enough and we need to be more innovative are highly inaccurate and misleading!

We cannot innovate MORE by planning to innovate more. Innovation is an intersection of market dynamics, personal passion & quest for delight which follows it. Innovation will happen as long as there is a need for it to happen. The ONLY thing we as responsible citizen need to do is get out of its way, provide infrastructure and a passage for it to happen, for when it wants to happen. Period.

We won’t define innovation - it has varied meaning to different people and it is ok that way. The reason you are reading this implies you already know that Academia Industry collaboration can bring in benefits for both parties, so we will not get into why it is good and all that. Instead - We will talk about MEANS to do it. Many things I write here is part of and a derivation of information I have collected while talking to many eminent people from Academia and Industry. 

We have identified 5 key modes of engagements between academia and industry, and I will explain each of them along with challenges they face and how we think this mode of engagement will shape in the near future. And then we will talk about one key success recipe for academia and one for industry. 

We would exclude internships; industry led trainings, academic consulting etc. though they too play a role in here.

Here are these 5 modes of engagements. I will get into details for each of these in following blogs, but here is the list with concise description.

1. Niche Academic projects:
Most of us ignore this as a routine activity as academia and students go on with mindset as one of the task to finish. This tiny piece holds lot into it as long as someone explores it to the extent it deserves to be explored.

2. Innovation & Design competitions: They take place all around us, but what is that one thing which can make it far more impactful in an academia industry context?

3. Competitive research funding: When you add “Competitive” word in front of ‘research funding’, can it make a bottom line difference – on ROI?
4. Starting & restarting open innovation: There are far more half baked solutions than the ones which innovators have finished working on. We will tell you why these incomplete solutions are good for their incompleteness.

5. IP commercialization: Have you recently heard a complaint from an innovator in your academia that he or she has an excellent innovation but no one wants to know about it, far from using it for their business growth. Do you wonder what wrong is prevailing?

To be continued in the next blog … (for challenges each of these modes face and how we think they will shape up, we will also talk about one key success recipe for academia and one for industry in the next blog).

ideaken as leading provider of collaborative innovation platform in Asia is now also a leading mediator for academia and industries in Asia.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Changing face of Academia Industry collaboration.

A common ground, where academia lends the conceptualization & generalization skills and the industry provides the practical reality in which the conceptualization can be rooted.

This has been and will be the root factor for this collaboration. Like every other trend, this trend too is adding another dimension to it – ‘impact’.

The expectations from the industry have risen. Not only do they look at academia for fresh ideas and primary research but they now, for a valid reason, also expect them to provide real differentiation to their outstanding problems, fulfill a need and, of course, help them make money.

Though academia has been a top source of fundamental research and know how, it also has been the biggest black hole for huge sum of funds from organizations across US and Europe. But gone or going are the days when companies invested in academic research for a tick in their strategy checklist. Gone are the days when companies never came back to see what happened to their funds, and gone are the days when an organization funded same academia, same department, headed by the same person for decades.

The reasons for this shift are many,

a) Earlier the small number of organizations who got it right, had got it right for a long time, and large number of organizations who got it wrong continued doing it wrong for a long time, and they never knew or could never admit it.

b) The most common route to industry academia collaboration has been the alumni of that academia in the respective organization as a key interface. As one can imagine this restricted the possibilities and almost made it an one to one exploration i.e. top 2-3 executives would collaborate with 2-3 academia they came from.

c) Availability of large number of fundamental innovations, be it electricity, communication technology, computing power, nanotechnology and so on, has created millions of not so fundamental but immensely beneficial applications or call it sub innovations which we all use in our daily lives.

I will leave the interpretations of above three points as to why they act as reason for the shift wherein now organizations are increasingly looking at academia for applied research and impact driven innovation, incremental innovations, even non technical and design innovations.  

Companies like ideaken play a key role in this new equation, where diverse yet systematic, based on primary research yet with sufficient social and business impact, is the new norm for academia industry collaboration.