Roxana Radu


When innovation sparks and how to keep the flame burning

What does it take to pass from an idea to a product and how does the international cooperation help to speed up the process?

Symbol image: The word "new," formed from sparklers.

Being persistent, working together and breaking away from old patterns: These are important ingredients for successful innovation work.

Innovation is a hard game and those working in the field know it very well. 

Not only that you have to foresee the path and steps to make your idea become a tangible output, but you have also to anticipate the potential risks and problems that could pop in, and solve them. 

It is even more challenging, when you go for a completely new approach and explore on new technologies. All your assumption can be wrong and often, your hypothesis can be misleading. 

That is when two factors come in and save the game: one is persistence - that keeps you trying and believing in your vision and the second one is collaboration, which increases the chances to success, by bringing together ideas, solutions and work of different parties, united by one common goal.

We know that very often, the solution lies in the problem, or in front of us, but we cannot see it. That is also, what is happening when we work in a team that has been formed longer time ago and has formed a functional ‘pattern’. 

However, innovation is not borne from repetitive patterns or prescribed paths, but from the going on different ways and trying new (re)evolutionary things. 

International cooperation is for sure one trigger for innovation and when brilliant minds holding the vision of different markets, different customer needs but common technology challenges meet – than innovation miracle happen.

A concrete case is that of the cooperation between Magenta Entertainment team in Austria, Telekom Innovation Laboratories (T-Labs) colleagues in Berlin, and TU Ilmenau in Germany that together with the startup “AVEQ” in Austria came together on a solution improving the quality assurance of the TV stream.  

Keeping away the technical details, we know that the seamless TV signal is due to colleagues coming together and sharing view on common technical issues both teams were striving to solve separately. Then after discussing together, the solution came on spontaneously, as the team admitted and soon, was developed and rolled out.

Not every good development is carefully planned and intended from the start – is a confirmed statement of the technical Entertainment Backend team of Magenta Team - that indicated that the idea arose spontaneously, during a visit to the Telekom Innovation Laboratories (T-Labs) in Berlin in July 2019. Back then, there was no way to incorporate a person’s subjective experience with a specific video in an assessment, therefore the first steps were taken right after teams met.

To be able to proceed immediately, the colleagues from T-Labs used the framework of a running project and stared the development. It proved that this interaction with Magenta Telekom colleagues, was the trigger that validated their vision, provided a basis to apply their assumptions in a concrete context, therefore facilitating a fast implementation.

Congratulating the team for their fast implementation and great results, I can just draw one conclusion: innovation is nurtured by diversity, inclusiveness and transparency. 

To generate this innovation spark and to keep it boosting, is important to stay open, share and enable dialogues and constant exchanges within international research & innovation communities. I am looking forward to your comments and suggestions.