[Executive Corner] Innovating for the Future Through Collaboration
Technology advancements are the drivers of our global community. They have and continue to pave the way to the future. With recent discussions on the pace of technology developments and debates over the benefits and drawbacks of rapid growth, it is now as important as ever to be thoughtful about the company’s approach, as a global society, to new technology innovations. Are we working on technological advancements that will lead us to a better future? Are we innovating with the purpose of creating a positive impact on society?
As a brand that stands for Life’s Good, LG is committed to innovating for a better life. This mission runs deep throughout our work at LG NOVA, LG Electronics’ North America Innovation Center based in Silicon Valley, United States. LG NOVA is made up of a team of entrepreneurs tasked with exploring new business areas that can have a positive impact on people and the planet.
Dr. Sokwoo Rhee, SVP of Innovation at LG Electronics, Head of LG NOVA
LG innovates and invests in creating exceptional consumer experiences with its innovative products. LG NOVA is an extension of that commitment to innovation, working specifically to expand into new areas of development to grow LG’s business and provide new solutions and services that improve people’s lives. LG NOVA’s current focus areas – including digital health, clean tech and sustainability and smart industries – are in areas meaningful to the LG brand ethos of Innovation for a Better Life.
While corporate innovation centers are not new, LG NOVA is unique. Combined with its focus on innovating for impact, its methodology of expanding into new growth areas is built around working with external innovators and startups to co-create new businesses and test them on the open market underneath the stability and strength of the LG brand. From this “outside-in” approach, LG NOVA can learn and grow from domain experts in the market, giving it a head start in the businesses it brings to market. For the entrepreneur or startup, LG’s global resources and investments provide greater stability and opportunities to overcome the challenges facing new businesses today. The strategy is a winning situation for both parties.
Startup pitching at the 2022 LG NOVA Innovation Festival – an annual festival held in San Francisco Bay Area
that brings innovators together to discuss technology solutions
Soon after it was founded in 2021, LG NOVA introduced the Mission for the Future challenge program. The program was designed to bring startups from all over the world to LG NOVA for collaboration on technological innovations with the potential to create a positive impact on society. In its first year, the program received 1,300 applications from companies. In its second year, it received over 2,170 applications. The overwhelming response is an indicator of a greater movement and ecosystem focused on innovating for impact – which LG is now a key player.
Fast forward to today – LG NOVA’s Mission for the Future challenge program is not just about LG innovation, it is also about creating a community of innovators to build the future. Through this program, LG is helping propel the growth of innovation for good throughout the industry. In particular, the areas which LG NOVA is pursuing exhibit key indicators of a desire for change and are now at the ready point for technological advancements to spur greater digital transformation.
LG NOVA’s Mission for the Future challenge has received close to 3,500 submissions over the last two years
The delivery of healthcare, for example, has seen great change over the last few years. Healthcare is now front and center of our desire for a better life – and is now recognized as playing a huge role in our overall well-being. Of the close to 3,500 companies that entered LG NOVA’s Mission for the Future challenge over the last two years, one-third of them focused on digital health. More and more people are adopting new technologies focusing on improving their health. According to the Consumer Technology Association study, Driving Consumer Adoption of Digital Health Solutions, 70 percent of consumers say they are likely to use one or more digital health solutions in the future to improve their overall health or well-being.
LG has entered the Digital Health space, launching its first solution in November 2022. Over the long term, LG is working on solutions to transform the way that people experience healthcare, with the hopes of providing greater access to more healthcare services for people who need them the most.
Dr. Sokwoo Rhee with the winners of the pitch competition at the 2022 LG NOVA Innovation Festival
The importance of clean tech and sustainability has risen dramatically over the few years. Technological innovations have continued to progress in this area, creating greater possibilities and potential for viable businesses to grow with the mission of creating a more sustainable world.
In our most recent industry engagements, we’ve seen tremendous energy and interest from startups, corporates, and investors in this space. Our focus in the LG NOVA program is on finding innovative solutions to provide more sustainable power and electric mobility. Now is the time for these technologies to put us on the right path forward and spur lasting change for a better future.
With new advanced technologies, like artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality, mixed reality, data analytics and others changing the innovation conversation, entrepreneurs are contemplating how to make greater use of these new developments in a meaningful way to help people and the planet, whether it is with AI or in the Metaverse. Recognizing the pitfalls and benefits as well as changing the lens through which these technologies are viewed can help us discover the real value that these technologies can bring to advancing society. In this particular area, LG NOVA is exploring the use of new technologies in applications to solve real-world problems and looking at the potential for disruption through the use of new technologies in enterprise.
We’re on the brink of a major technological evolution. In the last decade, technological innovation has taken a large role in shaping our society, from the invention of social media to the simple task of ordering food online. These changes are taking place as people shift their behaviors to adopt more digital technology, creating a greater opportunity for innovation. At LG, “We all are brave optimists who always boldly take challenges and ceaselessly innovate the way we work.” So, to LG, Innovation for a Better Life is more than a slogan. It’s about making a positive impact on people and the planet. LG believes that innovation can indeed lead us to a better future and that collaboration across companies and the ecosystem is key to maximizing the growth potential.
By Dr. Sokwoo Rhee, SVP of Innovation for LG Electronics, Head of LG NOVA
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