At the Trust Center, we define innovation as follows:
Innovation is invention multiplied by commercialization or adoption.
For many people, patents equal innovation. After all, if an invention is turned into an issued patent, it must be something new that nobody has done before – which matches the implication of “novelty” in the word innovation.
We, however, feel that an invention that stays in the lab has no impact on the world and does not solve real problems for real people. Innovation to us needs to become embodied in a product or service that is then brought out to real customers. It can be in the form of a for profit, non profit, even internal solutions that serve other employees of the same company. As long as it makes it out into a real solution, it is innovation to us.