Collaborative thinking to develop the best innovation

Daria Tataj puts forward an innovation model based on collective collaboration to make the best possible use of talent and resources

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Daria Tataj, advisor to the European Union Commissioner for Research and Innovation, puts forward an innovation model based on collective collaboration to make the best possible use of talent and resources.

By Opinno, editor of MIT Technology Review in Spanish 

The need to innovate in companies, organisations and governments has skyrocketed in recent years, with the aim of improving their productivity, creating value and staying on the cutting edge of the latest trends. According to data from the European Innovation Scoreboard 2018 report, since 2010 innovation in the European Union has increased by 5.8 percentage points – a trend that will continue to grow.  

However, with the rise of innovation and the pressure to adapt to this changing world, people have lost focus on how best to handle it. What the high-level advisor to the EU’s Commissioner for Research and Innovation, Daria Tataj, proposes is that the most effective innovation cannot be achieved individually.

Instead she opts for creating a model based on a coordinated network of research centres, universities and businesses. The most widely used definition of innovation refers to new products and services, but what I think is slightly different: I believe it is a process of collaborative learning, she says.  

This collaborative learning is called network thinking, a process whereby the layers of cooperation overlap and allow talent, the capabilities of equipment and resources, including technology, to permeate through companies. Tataj is clear on this: To become innovators we need to collaborateconnect and learn together. 

Tataj’s model is based on years of experience at the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and on the creation of her own global collaborative learning company, Tataj Innovation, a company that she currently runs from Barcelona (Spain) and from which she helps industries and governments to innovate better and faster. 

That knowledge has resulted in her book Innovation and Entrepreneurship: A Growth Model for Europe Beyond the Crisis, in which she analyses how innovation and entrepreneurship have been carried out in the US, China and Europe in particular, to understand the best way of replicating large and successful centres of innovation. 

Tataj participated as a speaker in the recent EmTech Europe 2018 event, organised by MIT Technology Review in Spanish, where she addressed the key aspects of the innovation model that she advocates and analysed various proposals, concluding with an essential point: We should think critically about whether the innovation that we truly believe in makes the world a better place“. Tataj is working to ensure that it will indeed be that. 

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