Chapter 1: Innovation and creativity: statement of the issues
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This book was inspired by the European Year of Creativity and Innovation and by the Lisbon Agenda. The purpose of the Lisbon Agenda was to make the EU the most competitive, knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010. The member states were to formulate national reform programs, and use these as their main instrument in order to reach this goal. The Lisbon strategy put forward quite ambitious targets for Europe in terms of innovation and growth of innovative capacity. Firms have to be ambidextrous; they must be able to exploit their capabilities and explore new ones. In a globalizing world where more and more firms from more and more countries are joining this rat race, it is increasingly difficult to make your mark. Firms therefore need to create an advantage over their competitors. A firm’s competitive advantage thereby depends more and more on its ability to be creative and innovative. Innovation is thereby the creation of better or more effective products, processes, services, technologies or ideas that are accepted by markets, governments and society. This can take different forms, ranging from administrative versus technical innovation, product versus process innovation, and radical versus incremental innovation. In general, the modern world puts more and more emphasis on better use of knowledge and rapid innovation as the way forward. Innovation is the process which follows on creativity, and it can thus be seen as the implementation of creative ideas. Creativity is therefore a critical step in the innovation process.

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