The term innovation traditionally refers to a process that makes an idea turn into a good or service to which a value is assigned. In addition, innovation must be repeatable at an affordable cost and must meet specific needs. Innovating does not mean inventing, nor planning, but seeking, perceiving, discover, progress, improving and knowing how to gain value in the present and future context.
Progress, change and development can take place both as an evolution and an improvement of the current state, both breaking with, or sharply diverging with respect to the present situation. We can therefore talk about two types of innovation:
- evolutionary innovations, which lead to technological, process, product or service advancement;
- revolutionary innovations, where there is a discontinuity with the past, at times leading to new, disruptive technologies.
There is always an element of risk to innovation: it may not prove to be successful or there may be effects and interactions that were not initially foreseen. This require us to carry out detailed preliminary evaluations to minimize the possible waste of resources or unexpected negative impacts.