Disrupt Or Die

In the unrelenting world of tech, chance favors bold innovators who aren’t afraid of failure, says Dr. Juha Ylä-Jääski, president and CEO of the Technology Academy of Finland.

AsianScientist (Dec. 23, 2016) – From a technology perspective, Finland is probably best known for Nokia, a telecommunications brand that was instrumental in the development of the modern smartphone. But as the tech world shifts from large corporates to small start-ups, giants like Nokia are no longer the face of disruption and innovation, said Dr. Juha Ylä-Jääski, president and CEO of the Technology Academy of Finland.

“Big companies have difficulties making disruptions. They work in an incremental way, improving their current businesses first. That is the reason why most of the disruptions that are coming to market are from smaller start-ups,” he added.

Recognizing this, TAF has launched its flagship Millenium Technology Prize, a €1 million prize that promotes disruptive technologies by recognizing and rewarding the positive impact they would have on peoples’ lives.

“All the Millennium Prizes have been big disruptions and ground-breaking innovations. It is open to all technologies except for military technology,” said Ylä-Jääski.

Ylä-Jääski is one of the special guest speakers to grace the Global Young Scientists Summit (GYSS) 2017, held from 15 to 20 January at the Singapore University of Technology and Design. He will address pertinent topics like advocating innovation and raising young disruptors to an audience of science graduates, academics and professors from the world over.

Besides making life better, other important criterion to earn the Prize are that the innovations must have been applied in practice, are delivering extensive change presently, and in the future. They must also stimulate further pioneering research and development in science and technology.

Such world changing innovation is embodied in Professor Stuart Parkin, the acclaimed “father of Big Data,” who won the Millennium Prize in 2014. Also making an appearance at GYSS 2017, Parkin’s technology “spintronics” has allowed for a thousand-fold increase in storage capacity, revolutionizing cloud computing and Big Data.

“If you fail, you are more or less treated as a failure for the rest of your life. This attitude is changing, but it is happening slowly. Very often, a successful start-up has to fail a couple of times before they find success. It is something that society needs to tolerate,” said Ylä-Jääski.

He encourages innovators to listen to constructive criticism and to modify their ideas to suit market tastes.

“Critics will probably say that your ideas are not possible. You will have to prove your case,” he surmised.

Asian Scientist Magazine is a media partner of the GYSS@one-north 2017.


Source: National Research Foundation.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

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