Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi businesses spend as much as 70 per cent of their budgets on technology, but they should invest more in building knowledge and their own capacity to innovate, said Dr Thomas Andersson, President of the International Organisation for Knowledge Economy and Enterprise Development (IKED). He was speaking at the Abu Dhabi Innovation Forum 2010 on Monday.

During the first forum to discuss how a culture of innovation can drive economic success, speakers agreed that collaboration between government, universities, research centres and the corporate community is a vital first step that will drive economic success.

Andersson stressed that no single human being or organisation can manage innovation alone.

"Innovation is a continuous process that requires an individual to open up, be humble and gain knowledge from someone who has different skills from himself or herself. People who do things their own way without engaging with others will get hurt. That's why embracing radical and incremental innovation is important, you need to have the ability to take risks," said Andersson.


Charbel Fakhory, General Manager, Microsoft, said: "Innovation happens through partnership. In order to reflect the objectives of the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 the government needs to [increase the capacity of business to innovate]. Universities and the business community [need to ] come together. We could dream, but we need to deliver value on a short term."

Dr John Bell, Head of Strategy and Partnerships of Philips, spoke about tomorrow's view on open innovation. "You need others to play, playing alone is the exception. You can build, others can build, together it forms a nice constellation."

For Desai Narasimhalu, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Chairman of the Business Innovation Generator, innovation must be accompanied by pain and experience.

"If you want to create a new company you have to go through hardships. Pain is like a pill that we take to cure a certain disease, and experience is like a vitamin that enhances one's health," said Narasimhalu.