From the Experts, Insights on Asia Pacific Innovation

The process of recognizing innovation is, generally speaking, straightforward. Given the proper evaluative tools – such as patent and citation data from Clarivate Analytics – and a consistent application of methodology, one can identify institutions or individuals whose work is measurably innovative, according to its impact and commercial reach.

Clarivate data, in fact, are regularly harnessed for listings of notably innovative institutions, whether government, commercial, or academic. Most recently, figures from Clarivate powered a Reuters ranking of the Top 75 most innovative universities in the Asia Pacific region. The criteria are based on strength in patenting, as well as on documentation of effective links with industry.

On the other hand, if the results of innovation can be approached quantitatively, the challenge of how to foster and encourage innovation seems harder to pin down. What combination of elements will be most conducive to innovative advances? Ideas on the topic are plentiful, and many have been woven into education, team building, the design of work environments, and other practical considerations underlying research and development.

In connection with the latest ranking of the most innovative Asia Pacific universities, Reuters convened a panel discussion featuring representatives of two schools that placed highly in the listings: Prof. Akiyoshi Yonezawa, Office of Institutions Research, Tohoku University, Japan; and Prof. Jay H. Lee, associate vice-president of the International Office of KAIST (Korean Advanced Institute of Science & Technology), South Korea.

In their discussion, the panelists discuss the ways in which universities throughout the Asia Pacific region are optimizing innovation and transforming research into fuel for the engines of national prosperity and societal benefit.

The experts discuss a range of factors that favor and influence innovation, including infrastructural leaps such as the Internet, cloud computing, big data, and other resources that have accelerated the pace of technological advancement.

At least as important as infrastructure and tools is the cultivation of relationships between academia and industry, involving a workable balance between commercial imperatives and long-term basic research. The panelists discuss these and other aspects of successful innovation, including regional and international collaboration, and the growing inclination of large Asian companies to engage in open innovation, drawing upon external as well as internal resources.

Read the summary of the discussion here .