April 21: World Creativity and Innovation Day

21 April is the World Creativity and Innovation Day, an occasion to reaffirm the importance for human progress of these principles, which are key elements for the work of a startup.

Historical background

“Wouldn’t it be great if people knew how to use their natural ability to generate new ideas, make new decisions, take new actions and achieve new outcomes, to make the world a better place and to make their place in the world better too?” Marci Segal, founder of the World Creativity and Innovation Day, said.

In 2001 she decided to institute this day to make clear one of the most common, but also the most erroneous, beliefs: creativity only generates art. Today, however, we know that the creative process is the vector that allowed man to modify the reality in order to generate improvement.

In 2017 the United Nations General Assembly also decided to officially recognize the “World Creativity and Innovation Day” (Resolution A / RES / 71/284) with the aim of raising awareness on the role of creativity and innovation in all the aspects of human development.

Between creativity and innovation

History, in fact, proves how the originality of thought, that is the ability to generate different and alternative ideas, is one of the greatest resources, that has allowed man to adapt himself, shaping the world and surviving. This ability has ancient origins and it’s intrinsic in the human being since the beginning.

From the Prehistory, the man has been the creator of numerous innovations and behind every change the logic of the process has always been the same: necessity is the fuse that lights the creativity and generates innovation. Van Gogh said, ” I feel such a creative force in me: I am convinced that there will be a time when I will make something good every day”.

We can therefore say that creativity and innovation are two consequential actions. Creativity is essential to produce a change compared to the current structure, and, in this way, it generates innovation.

Innovative startups and the “culture of creativity”

Starting from this assumption, in our socio-economic context, where change occurs with increasing speed, the success factor lies not only in the adaptability, but above all in the developments’ forecast. This is the reason why creativity and innovation occupy a significant space in the contemporary world, becoming an essential strategic resource, especially in the working context.

Those who work in a startup like us and try with obsession to answer the question “what can I do to improve the existing?”, know how it’s important to generate new ideas, find solutions, apply them, test and modify them for their improvement. For those who experience all this, creativity can’t be an optional, but it becomes an essence. The essence of a company starts from the “culture of creativity”. Encouraging employees to be creative for the achievement of results – not by refusing their ideas, but by trying to implement them, involving the imagination – is the lever that generates a disturbance capable of bringing out new improvement and perspectives.

In the article Why creativity is essential to your survival as an entrepreneur by Susan Jones in her blog Ready Set Startup“, she explains the reasons why creativity today is an essential skill for those who decide to work in a startup. It becomes a faithful friend and a valid helper in times of greatest difficulty. What to do while testing the product you realize that something is  going wrong? If the product doesn’t sell? If you are running out of cash? For these and many other questions, there aren’t ready-to-use answers, only creativity allows a way out. And it’s precisely here that the ability to find new solutions to new and unexplored problems distinguishes the various entrepreneurs and make them different. That’s why creativity, in innovative companies, is one of the most sought-after and distinctive traits: creativity means inventing, risking, failing, learning, and inventing again.

Innovation and economic development: the investments

It is clear that R&D phase and transformation into application solutions are the engine for the economic development of a Country, in fact, today research represents the driving force of the industrial development. In this context, the need to apply policies aimed at investing in this sector is overwhelmingly inserted. In recent years something has started to move, but much still needs to be done, especially in Italy, as evidenced by the CNR’s “Report on research and innovation in Italy“.

The Istat report on investments in research and development in 2019, shows how the level of investments in R&D in relation to GDP is 1.38%. The figure is significant when compared with the EU average, which is equal to 2.15%, with Sweden that is equal to 3.25%, Germany with 3% and France with 2.2%. If the reference point widened, the situation would appear even more evident: in Israel the investment in R&D in relation to GDP is equal to 4.25%, in South Korea to 4.24%, in China there has been a investments increased by 18% between 2000 and 2010 and again by 12% between 2010 and 2015. The United States collects a 2.7% of expense compared to GDP, investing a considerable sum such as 476.5 billion dollars.

This photograph clearly indicates the main path to follow in order to overcome the challenges that await us in the near future: investing in research and development to make innovation the driving force for growth in our economy.

On April 21, also BionIT Labs wants to celebrate this winning combination of creativity and innovation, with the awareness that this anniversary represents the essence of our daily actions.

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