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Most innovations fail in the 'Valley of Death,' analysts say

More than four in five technologies developed globally never make it to the commercial world, due to their inability to cross the "Valley of Death"—the virtual chasm that separates applied research from technology demonstration—according to analyst firm Frost & Sullivan.

Often this is due to businesses and investors failing to understand the true market potential of a given technology platform and evaluate the risk-reward elements. It is therefore important, the analyst house says, to appraise technology maturity and adoption ratings, and identify convergence opportunities across various industry sectors.

Ankit Shukla
Ankit Shukla

To get out of the "Valley of Death" investors have to focus on the long-term potential of their technology and the true value it can bring, said Frost & Sullivan's Practice Director for Technical Insights (Europe), Ankit Shukla.

"Innovative products are different; they are not complied with existing standards. Sometimes revenues are not so obvious and ROI can take more time," Shukla said. "The important aspect here is to educate end-users and society about the benefits innovative technology products can bring." (See also "Design fail! Our top 10 PC product peeves.")

Ahead of its Global Community of Growth, Innovation and Leadership Annual Congress (GIL 2013), Frost & Sullivan has identified 50 of the most innovative technologies in the world, as well as various convergence opportunities enabled by a combination of the technologies.

The selected technologies fall into nine categories—Sensors & Control, Materials & Coatings, Clean & Green Environment, Information & Communication Technology, Microelectronics, Sustainable Energy, Health & Wellness, Medical Devices & Imaging Technology, and Advanced Manufacturing & Automation.

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One example of a convergence opportunity is augmented reality for predictive remote patient monitoring. This brings together ICT technologies (augmented reality, cloud computing, Big Data analytics, and data visualization) and sensors (ubiquitous wireless sensor network, nano-sensors, and CBRNE sensors).

Frost & Sullivan claims that the combination of these ICT and sensor technologies could provide personalized disease management tools that help better manage predicted symptoms, chronic illness, and episodic acute conditions.

The 50 technologies will be unveiled at http://gil-events.gilcommunity.com/events/europe/agenda/">GIL 2013: Europe, where their true market potential will also be discussed.

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