Innovation matters and can propel companies and organizations to new heights.  But taking innovative leaps forward and being responsive to or leading change can be fraught with difficulties.

In its recently published Innovation Matters report, UK-based PA Consulting Group provided four actionable insights to help companies get innovation right.
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Big data has a huge role to play in innovation.  Making it more freely available can create fresh new insights that lead to novel solutions and products.

To make it easier for European startups and SMEs to take advantage of big data’s potential, a new European-funded open innovation project, led by Southampton University has been launched.  It’s called Data Pitch.
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It wasn’t as much as the wisdom of the crowd as the keen eye of the crowd that has resulted in the possible discovery of new planets.

During a massive open innovation stargazing event on Australian TV, citizen scientists studied 100,000 stars and found lots of potential new planet candidates.
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Whether it’s coming up with novel ways that allow astronauts to poop safely in space, inventing life-saving medical devices or finding solutions to such complex problems as global warming, open innovation contests are powerful catalysts for groundbreaking advances.

We feature many on the IdeaConnection website, brilliant examples of creativity, ingenuity and what happens when great minds work toward a common goal.  Here is just a little flavor of three of them.
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Every year, biologists visit the US state of Alaska to count the number of Steller sea lions (also known as northern sea lions). They also study images of the mammals. For the last 40 years the population has been in decline, but the reasons for the worrying trend are unknown.

To try and get to the bottom of the mystery, an open innovation project called Steller Watch has been launched.
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Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven wonders of the natural world, a gathering of vivid coral that stretches for approximately 2,600 kilometers. Its maze of individual reef systems, tropical islands and coral cays provides a home for hundreds of different types of marine plants and animals.

But it is under threat from climate change, declining water quality and a variety of other challenges. To help halt the decline and safeguard the reef’s future, conservationists are turning to open innovation.
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Open innovation looks set to establish itself further into the public consciousness if a new television series gets off the ground.

It has been announced that actor Jeremy Piven has been cast in the lead role of a new drama pilot from CBS called Wisdom of the Crowd.

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Open Innovation Space Quest

You are probably never going to set foot in space, but that doesn’t mean you cannot explore worlds beyond our own. And you can do so with NASA’s latest open innovation project – Backyard Worlds: Planet 9.

This fascinating endeavor is calling on citizens around the world to help scientists search the outer fringes of our Solar System to identify brown dwarfs, low-mass stars and perhaps even the hypothesized ninth planet.
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