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Watching Innovation Happen

Purchasing activities may not make for good video, although the trading floor on the NYSE gets pretty dramatic now and then. But seeing how something is put together can only help the electronics purchasing community — if nothing else, buyers can get a better idea of what engineers are thinking.

Premier Farnell’s engineering community, {complink 12809|element14}, is giving engineers an opportunity to demonstrate the creative process through an online video challenge. “A Day in the Life of an Engineer” is open to electronics design engineers and enthusiasts worldwide until January 31, and you can link to the page from EBN.

Bridging the gap between design and purchasing is a process the industry continues to refine. Every so often, an engineer will design in a component that never hits production or is destined to become obsolete quickly. Distributors such as element14 are trying to prevent these problems by centralizing design and procurement capabilities on a single site, Dianne Kibbey, global head of community and e-procurement at Premier Farnell, says in a press release. Also, as a catalog distributor, element14 caters to the design community, Kibbey says:

Anyone in the electronics field faces a daunting task today with the ever increasing pressure to do everything faster and better. As we’ve seen time and again, electronics innovation can happen in someone’s garage, a lab, at the office, or in a classroom — but it is all about the creativity that can happen in this wide-ranging field. This competition gives us an opportunity to better understand those challenges and to showcase how electronic designers find innovative solutions to everyday problems, or even pose their own challenge on what they think needs to be solved in the future.

Entrants are invited to tell their story by submitting a video blog on topics ranging from anything found on a designer’s workbench to how a problem was solved to daily challenges around the office, according to element14. The video can even be about what the next big innovation needs to be in the electronics industry.

Maybe buyers and engineers can collaborate on the effort. There's a revolutionary idea.

The videos will be judged on their creativity by a panel of element14 peers, and the winner will receive an iPad 2. In addition, each week one person who comments, votes, or posts a video will be randomly selected to receive a selection of element14-branded merchandise.

10 comments on “Watching Innovation Happen

  1. Nemos
    October 19, 2011

    “As we’ve seen time and again, electronics innovation can happen in someone’s garage, a lab, at the office, or in a classroom” What a beautiful phrase ….. Innovation is not just a word of course. Is the word that leads us in the today world and is the word that makes all the people to challenge their creativity. And from this step, I want to give many congratulations for this excellent idea.

  2. saranyatil
    October 20, 2011

    The idea itself can be categorised under the theme innovation. I am waiting to see the innovations plus will also try and post one.

  3. Jay_Bond
    October 20, 2011

    That sounds like a very interesting project and it should help shed some light on some of the daily activities. My company has done some videos like this and posted them on you tube to aid in recruiting. These videos were aimed at giving a view into the lives of different scientists, managers, and engineers.

    I'm sure they will have some very good submissions, and I'm sure it won't be easy picking a winner.

  4. Eldredge
    October 20, 2011

    Barbara – thanks for spreading the word. This sounds like an interesting project, and I am very curious to see the videos as they become available.

  5. SunitaT
    October 20, 2011

    @Barbara, Thanks for this information. I will share this info to all my friends so that they can enter this challenge.

  6. Ms. Daisy
    October 20, 2011

    Great Post Barbara! The one obstacle to the partnership of design engineers and purchasing or reason for the gap is the difference in the thinking process of the two groups. Creative minds tend to abtract in their thinking and are willing to take risks. The procurement group tend to be concrete and stiff about the cost and benefit analysis. But you are right, the two need to find collaborative common ground to make innovations profitable.

  7. Tim Votapka
    October 21, 2011

    This is a great idea and a perfect cure to overcoming one of the biggest barriers to learning or understanding – lack of mass. If purchasing managers don't have good view over what goes on beyond their area of influence, it can get in the way of product sourcing. Having the videos available – and a gamesmanship around it – can only help.

  8. _hm
    October 23, 2011

    Thanks Barbara for sharing element14 community. Yes, they are very active and very effective. One of the good thing they got is Eagle PCB layout software at very low price. This is very useful for begineer to proffessional. They also have very good technical panel and have very interesting discussions. They alos provide very low cost Test and Measurement equipment like OScilloscope and others.  

  9. Himanshugupta
    October 25, 2011

    “The video can even be about what the next big innovation needs to be in the electronics industry.” I think that engineers might be too shy to talk on this topic unless someone is serious. This maybe a more suitable platform for marketing and sales folks to win some prizes (some pun intended)!

  10. JADEN
    October 26, 2011

    Premier Farnell is thinking big with a great portal of element14 for the engineers, providing innovative customer resource and breaking new ground for the industry. The site has everything an engineer needs to get their job done.

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