What Will Help Drive The Acceleration of Innovation?
Mike Howard is President and CEO, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).
PUF's Steve Mitnick: Tell us about your philosophy of innovation, and what EPRI's role is in this industry's innovation.
Mike Howard: A very important part of what EPRI does is look over the horizon at what are the drivers of change. Clearly, one of those drivers of change is the acceleration of innovation that's occurring. I use the word acceleration purposefully.
If you look at the industry over the last twenty-five or thirty years, we did a study to look at how innovation has changed over time. I asked the question, "How do you quantify the change in innovation?" We all know it's happening and we see it. We looked at both U. S. and international patents going back to the 1900s. Looked at peer-reviewed journals and so on. Looked at how long it took to get a product from conception to maturity in the marketplace. We looked at a lot of things and the conclusion of that is what I call twenty-five to eight.
That means if you look at the innovations that have occurred over the last twenty-five years, including the iPhones, the cell phones, all the different things that we use on an everyday basis now, that same amount of innovation is not going to occur again over the next twenty-five years, meaning the pace of change is not linear.
Instead, it has accelerated.
That's why I use the phrase acceleration of innovation.
It's going to happen, not over twenty-five years, but rather over eight years.