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Ante Magzan
Chief Executive of the Department for Corporative Strategy, Business Development,
Transformation and Organizational Architecture Management of T-HT
T-HT - principal organizing partner, co-founder of the Vidi e-novation contest and organizing partner of the Vidi Web Top 100 contest

Problem for the overall society to work on systematically - investing into innovation because it is long-term solution to country’s economic growth

Probably a day does not go by on the face of the earth that in some corner of India, China, the USA or perhaps Croatia a genius comes up with a new, inventive technology, service or invention that a public does not suspect about, and in ten years time we shall believe we cannot live without it. After all, the same happened with Internet, most of us cannot imagine performing everyday tasks, communicating with friends or being informed on the latest events worldwide and in the neighbourhood without it, and only those rare visionaries were able to anticipate its expansion in the not so long-past seventies.

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk” words are of a genial inventor Thomas A. Edison, particularly stimulating in social environment such as ours, under-appreciating the role of innovation. This year’s Vidi e-novation awards received a number of interesting works from various fields - software, hardware, industrial automation, but we witnessed a different side of reality, the one illustrating the position of a young talent lost within the inadequate system. Students’ concept of fire extinguisher robot was particularly impressive, but the faculty has insufficient funds to provide the material for similar experiments by other students, therefore the robot had to be separated into components even before the jury process itself. Although this is a sad example, it perfectly demonstrates the problem for the overall society, specially the authorities, to work on systematically - investing into innovation because it is long-term solution to country’s economic growth. The best proof is the Scandinavian example where innovation is not only part of everyday life but also the fundamental issue of the national strategy fully supported by the state, and accepted without prejudice by the overall society. Taking part this year for the first time in the Vidi e-novation jury, composed of truly interesting people from various spheres: the academic community, the media, businessmen and investors, I find it amazing that a majority of young inventors apply their creative solutions for the contest, inspiring the faith into a better future of home economy.

The sceptics who wonder why should we invest into innovation at all in the crisis period, innovations being an abstract term anyhow, forget that reckless short-term saving often runs the risk of long-term boomerang effect - the absence of competitiveness during tech boom, which must explode eventually.

Having in mind the investment itself, there is always room for improvement. Most of the projects applying for the contest are characterised by inadequate presentation. Apart from the technological innovation, I believe that the authors should put in extra effort into working out promotional strategy for their products if they want to achieve market competitiveness, international in particular. Everyone knows the content alone does not sell the product; the form has to be stressed as well. Home investors should be more creative and focus more on market needs research and value assessments (most frequently, but not necessarily financial), for the innovation to meet the expectations and satisfy potential investors’ interests. Innovation value is reflected not only in the revolutionary inventions changing the world, but also in everyday, little things facilitating our running of business and improving the quality of everyday life. Vidi e-novation award has established itself as an excellent platform for creative solutions development, encouraging gifted individuals and companies to launch their ideas more actively on the market, thus making an influence on our everyday lives.

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