Epson Outlines Five Steps For MENA Enterprises To Nurture Innovation

Technology Innovation has been identified as a vital element of the Middle East’s economic growth, with Gartner estimating the MENA may invest up to USD $175.5 billion in 2023, a two percent increased from 2022. Companies including Epson are betting on innovation as the key to addressing social, economic, and environmental challenges in the region and the wider world.

So how can MENA organisations nurture innovation?  Epson’s thought leaders have outlined five steps that will enable enterprises to innovate, drive efficiencies, minimise costs, and promote better investment opportunities.

“Technology has become central to our development as a species and is likely to remain so. Those who can sustainably harness technological innovation will be the winners of the future. There will always be room for new ideas and solutions, enabled by technology – we are seeing this transformation within the wider MENA region,” said Neil Colquhoun, Vice President – CISMETA, Epson.

Five steps to nurturing innovation within your enterprise

This year, the Ministry of Economy in the UAE announced the launch of six new and diverse initiatives with the UAE Innovation Month 2023. These initiatives are designed to support the national efforts to establish a culture of innovation across all segments of society and motivate them to come up innovations in priority sectors, in line with UAE’s transition to a knowledge-based, competitive economy.

Epson’s Neil Colquhoun, Vice President – CISMETA outlined the five moves that MENA organisations can make to nurture innovation.  The first step is to have a focus, especially if there is a problem to solve or a brief to meet. This helps work towards a goal and helps knowing in advance the result needed to be achieved. The more companies focus their innovation efforts, the greater the chance that they will come up with a creative solution.

Secondly, having healthy competition is a key enabler of innovation, forcing organisations to innovate through differentiation when it comes to their product offerings and business models. Epson differentiates by focussing on inkjet printers over laser. Having recently announced that it will halt the sale and distribution of laser printers by 2026 owing to environmental concerns, the business aims to eventually displace laser altogether.

The third step is to invest in knowledge and training. Investment in R&D yields the critical technology from which organisations can develop new products, services, and business models. But for R&D to deliver value, its role must be woven centrally into the organisation’s mission. R&D staff need STEM skills – now and in the future – and these need to be valued. To foster innovation, organisations need to allow employees to explore and learn new skills and understand the cutting-edge developments in science and engineering.

The next step is the importance of having a catalyst, a source of inspiration to others, a champion for new ideas, and a force of creative energy. But a catalyst can both be tangible and intangible. Whether it’s a structure, a leader or a plan that sparks people into action, someone or something needs to begin the chain.

Lastly, execution is one of the most important steps for innovative ideas to come to life. It is a must to ensure that operations, manufacturing, processes, and organisational structures need to be in place. This includes having the right teams and tools, supported by effective collaboration and decision-making as innovation progresses from idea to selection and then execution.

“Innovation rarely happens by chance – there is no shortcut and no substitute for the factors that lead to it. To navigate this complex path requires organisations in the MENA region to follow the recipe, building the right ecosystem and taking a strategic approach to identifying, then backing and supporting the innovations of the future. Those who get it right, will be the ones that reap the rewards,” said Neil Colquhoun, Vice President – CISMETA, Epson.