Innovation: Building the culture on a national level

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How we shop.  How we order taxis. How we watch TV.

Disruptive technology has never been more prominent in our day to day lives as consumers. Numerous industries have been turned upside down by tech startups, who have left organizations with a traditional monopoly scrambling for market share and wondering what hit them. And with daily developments in technologies such as blockchain, IOT and data analytics, these market upsets show no sign of slowing down. It’s more crucial than ever before that organizations stay ahead of the curve when it comes to innovation; solving problems before they arise and ensuring they are one step ahead of the competition (or two, just to be safe!).

Governments are no exception. Promoting innovation on a national level is proving to be top of many agendas in the region.

In fact, while many of us associate innovation with the private sector, it is actually largely public sector funding which allows the private sector to create the latest technology. Government grants, tax breaks and other incentives for small businesses, plus investment in government lead initiatives such as green energy has led to huge leaps in this industry.

On a national level, governments want to ensure their residents are satisfied, whilst ensuring economic prosperity, national security and sustainability. Innovation can help to advance all of these objectives by providing jobs, growth and solutions to new or existing challenges faced by governments or residents.

But how can innovation be encouraged?

Many countries in the MERAT region have been taking steps to ensure innovation is prominent in their culture. The UAE launched the in October 2014, with the ambitious goal of becoming one of the most innovative nations in the world within seven years. The strategy covered creating innovative spaces for businesses, allocating funding within government entities and perhaps most crucially a focus on increasing education in STEM subjects with an aim on increasing entrepreneurships and partnerships between the public and private sector.

Meanwhile, Ghana is pushing to become a hub for innovation by hosting the annual “Innovation Africa” summit, a gathering which connects public and private sector employees from over 40 countries. The event is hosted by the Ghanaian government and focusses on education, ICT, science and technology. It is a chance for industry leaders from across the region to come together to discuss the latest technologies and solutions.

Turkey has built a culture of innovation by building custom spaces for technology innovation across its main cities, called technoparks. The number of technoparks in the country has increased from two in 2001 to 84 in 2019 and government support is offered to encourage businesses to move in in the form of tax exemptions and rent discount. This push on a national level has led to the employment of 55,000 people throughout the country, and over $4 billion worth of exports from these technoparks alone.

Maximizing success

Turkeys technopark success story is proof that a focus on innovation can truly impact the bottom line for governments in terms of job creation and export value. So it is no wonder that this trend is being replicated globally as governments strive to stay ahead of the innovation curve to maximize the economic benefits available.

Dell Technologies work with various government entities globally on innovative solutions to solve problems and drive human progress. Follow us on Twitter for the latest news and updates throughout the region.

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