Economic success generated from innovation science

Sep 23, 2015


Physics tells us that the energy carried by the wind is a cube function of the wind speed. This physics-based relationship illustrates that changes in a single variable (wind speed) significantly impact a value of interest. What if the value of interest was economic success? What if there was a variable mimicking a wind speed in the energy of the wind equation? One does not need to be very precise, however, innovation could remain in square or cube relationship to the economic success. Innovation may happen at the micro level (e.g., a line of computer code dramatically reducing the cost of a manufacturing operation) or a macro level (e.g., measured with an extensive capture of a market share).


How to take advantage of the formula Economic Success equals Innovation to the power of k, with k larger than one? Obviously, the focus need to be on making sure that this formula can be implemented.

Prof. Andrew KusiakProf. Andrew Kusiak, a Visiting Research Professor in the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, HKU, and a professor at the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Iowa has studied the Economic Success formula by focusing on data science. A two-stage process was applied to elicit feasible research opportunities with maximum potential for success. At the first stage, nine research areas have been identified. At the second stage, the following three areas have emerged: innovation science, digital awareness devices, and data-driven healthcare research.

Innovation occurs in many different ways, however, to increase the chances of its realization, it deserves serious studies. Establishing the Asian Institute of Open Innovation would serve well The University of Hong and the region. The Institute would become an incubator of innovations versed in science with a massive commercial impact, likely exceeding the outcomes realized at research parks. The research results of the Institute would feed the entrepreneurship pipeline. The scope of the proposed Institute could be determined in broader consultations with the University of Hong Kong faculty, local business community, and governmental agencies. If successful the proposed Asian Institute of Open Innovation could be the next economic engine and wealth builder for Hong Kong and other regions.

Digital awareness devices are smart human-centric devices that include: wearable devices, smart home solutions, devices and systems supporting and enhancing quality of life, solutions improving well-being of humans and animals, virtual systems enhancing decision making, and systems enhancing safety. The domain of digital awareness devices is emerging and it will expand in scope and magnitude. These devices aim to enhance quality of life of healthy people, assist people with disabilities, enhance decision-making, and improve the quality, productivity, and safety of work and living environment, as well as public places.

Computer technology impacts functioning of industries, services, and professionals. The degree of magnitude and time scale of the impact of computer technology are domain dependent. Complex manufacturing processes or logistics operations have been automated and computerized. In some instances, new service industries have emerged by absorbing functions that were performed in traditional settings, e.g., wind power prediction service companies, a health monitoring system ordering a replacement component before a device fails, and traditional university classrooms are being gradually replaced by computerized teaching platforms.  Healthcare costs and quality can benefit from data that is captured in the electronic patient record.  Based on such data new models benefiting clinical practice will emerge. A program in big data research in healthcare would materialize this goal. The program would focus on research the following five topical areas: classification of patients, disease prognostics, disease diagnosis support, patient specific treatment recommendation, alerts of adverse effects.

To obtain a copy of the visit report or additional information on innovation science and big data, please contact Calvin Or or Andrew Kusiak.