How have you seen emerging technologies change or shift in the past couple of years?
The information age has resulted in an unprecedented flood of data. Now, we have an infinite number of repositories available in a variety of formats all around the world. Artificial intelligence or AI, quantum computing, machine learning, and blockchain are still in an introductory stage. Other emerging technologies such as augmented reality, 3D printing, and autonomous vehicles are being commercialized by various companies.
We are at a stage where companies focus their research and development (R&D) on new application areas by using existing technologies or advancing their efforts through commercialized products and services. For example, a lot of innovation has been conducted and verified in optical lenses and gratings, but the implementation of these components in Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) is creating a new emerging and potential market. In a couple of years, all of us will have enough theoretical knowledge on emerging technologies, but due to the current pandemic situation, almost every organization (knowingly or unknowingly) has aligned itself with these technologies.
What are some challenges you observed companies struggle with when it comes to utilizing emerging technologies?
If I answered this question two years ago, my response would be entirely different. But now, the future has arrived faster than I expected. There has been an accelerated growth in digital transformation due to work/learn from home, resulting in companies completely changing their behavior when it comes to adopting technology. Still, there are few barriers to emerging technology adoption:
- Intellectual property portfolios at risk of being obsolete or reduced: Within many organizations, the difficulty is not just that technology has grown and become increasingly sophisticated, but also that they cannot control the intellectual property on which new digital technologies are based. They are unable to keep up with such a fast-changing digital world. Many companies made large investments in intellectual property portfolios for established strategies that are now in danger of being replaced by emerging technologies.
- Market readiness: Since we are ahead of adopting new technologies, there is still a need to educate users on how they can utilize them. Augmented/Virtual reality is the biggest example due to its high price, lack of tested business strategies, absence of standards for developing AR technologies, and risk of sensitive information being leaked via wearables and cloud-based technologies.
In your most recent publication, “Making the Leap from Insights to Wisdom”, you discuss how relying on a single database can lead to a half-baked conclusion. How would you suggest research teams combat this pitfall?
Thanks for asking this question. Our internal MDS team led by Mudit Mittal collected and verified the data points leading to the conclusion that relying on a single database result in half-baked conclusions. This finding was backed by client discussions, where they faced inefficiencies when relying on a single database for gathering information.
Companies tend to use a single database due to internal bandwidth issues or limited budgets for scientific innovations. Backend data/information must be comprehensive to generate realistic and reliable conclusions. Additionally, subscribing to every third-party database is not a cost-effective solution for most organizations, so it is better to engage with a seasoned knowledge partner that has access to all necessary information and the expertise to conduct search and intelligence from a macro to micro-level.
What nuggets of wisdom would you give companies looking to innovate and discover?
An old proverb “you can’t manage what you can’t measure” holds true when it comes to innovation. Every active member of the knowledge economy has a responsibility to create benefits for society. Innovation is a fast-tracked process whether it is related to drug discovery, integration of different smart devices, and speed and efficiency in semiconductor integrated circuits or telecommunications. Irrespective of technology domains, there is a prioritized need to gather accurate information for robust decisions a priority.
As a physicist, I believe to reach ‘True Value’ we need more experimentation to reduce or even eliminate the error rate. The same can be applied to all R&D organizations, however, due to rising competition and the growing availability of digital automation, rapid experimentation has contributed to uncontrolled data.
During this phase, many innovators do not have the time to sift through and manage pre-existing data. They need a way to gather the information that uses effective technology and a well-defined methodology to segment information, collaborate with subject matter experts, and identify unmet solutions. In a nutshell, standing on the shoulders of giants and utilizing the knowledge previous thinkers discovered is the essential ingredient for intellectual progress for any organization.
What are you looking forward to?
The old normal is long gone. Now, I want to reshape myself by understanding new practices, new cultures, and new strategies. The short-term plan is to learn new product management and digital strategy practices. The long-term goal is to implement these learnings for further professional development.
I also look forward to assisting existing and potential clients in identifying new solutions and staying ahead of their competitors in the technology, telecommunications, semiconductor, chemical sciences, and life sciences segments.
Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us. Before we end, could you please share your background and interests?
I am a Group Manager for Evalueserve’s IP and R&D team and have been with the company for more than 10 years. My team and I work with clients across different technical areas within the Hi-Tech value chain starting from materials, chip fabrications, end devices, and applications. It’s great discussing new innovations with clients, understanding what they need from an IP and business point of view, and creating highly effective solutions for them.
I am a graduate in both physics and education and hold a master’s degree in both physics and semiconductor technology—basically four degrees in hand! Now, I am pursuing certifications in product management and digital strategy. On a personal note, I am a bookaholic and am interested in learning about various cultures and societies through personal interactions or documentaries.
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