May 19, 2020

[VIDEO] Malcolm Turnbull looks to lift Australia into a new era of innovation

3 min
[VIDEO] Malcolm Turnbull looks to lift Australia into a new era of innovation

As is true with both countries and companies, innovation is the foundation of sustainability.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out, but Australia could use more rocket scientists to lead the way to future prosperity.

RELATED TOPIC: eBay holds innovation lab in an attempt to get Aussie feedback

In today’s expensive and competitive markets, a good company will always search for efficient and productive gains through incremental innovations, such as process improvements and adoption of best practices.

However, companies still must improve their market relevance and value by seeking out value-creating innovations using science, technology, design, art and reverse hermeneutics — which is productivity defined as doing smarter things in smarter ways.

But most innovation projects are focused on smaller, incremental improvements. Only about $1 out of every $7 spent on R&D by firms around the world is put toward radical or ‘break-through’ innovations. With the rising rate of technological development, this isn’t a sustainable balance for success. The majority of top level executives would rather put their focus on investing in riskier initiatives.

RELATED TOPIC: 6 ways to create a sustainable working environment

This is easier said than done, as most firms lack the necessary capabilities in-house. Instead, they need to reach outside their comfort zones to cooperate more closely with others in the innovation ecosystem — universities, individuals and government research organisations — to develop a pipeline of high real option value innovation projects; improve execution of these projects to hasten both time-to-market and time-to-full-cost-recovery; and maximise the net present value of the innovation when brought to market.

Unfortunately, Australia is currently not very good at this kind of cooperation.

But fortunately for Aussies, new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is a man who believes fostering innovation is what will boost Australia’s economy.

With the change in leadership there’s finally a chance to work with a federal government toward executing and implementing co-ordinated, centralised innovation policy instead of having to educate a government on why it’s important.

RELATED TOPIC: Keys to innovative leadership in the digital age

A recent Committee for Economic Development of Australia report, launched by Turnbull, warned that 40 per cent of Australia’s workforce — more than five million people — could be replaced by automation within the next 10 to 15 years. These aren’t just low-skilled jobs. They are jobs held by highly skilled, highly paid workers.

With Turnbull in pursuit of the same goal and passionate about the same issues, we can only urge him to continue his push to create an ecosystem within Australia where the world’s most promising companies can form, grow and thrive.

Looks like we’re finally on the right track.

Enjoy Labour Day!

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Jun 13, 2021

Seo JungJin: Who is EY’s World Entrepreneur of 2021?

Kate Birch
3 min
From just US$45,000 capital in 2003 to a world-leading biopharma giant with revenues of US$1.69bn today, Seo JungJin is crowned EY World Entrepreneur 2021

Seo JungJin, founder of biopharma firm Celltrion, which most recently developed an antibody treatment for COVID-19, has been named the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year 2021, becoming the first South Korean in the award’s 21-year history.

Regarded as one of the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year celebrates visionary and innovative leaders from across 60 countries who are transforming the world and fostering growth.

JungJin, who is now honoroary chairman of Celltrion Group, was up against a worthy cast of entrepreneurial competitors, taking the crown from among 45 award winners across 38 countries and territories.

Speaking during the virtual event, JungJin described his own interpretation of entrepreneurship as something that brings together “a group of people toward a common vision, embracing challenges as opportunities and committing oneself to contribute to the greater good”.

Why was JungJin crowned King Entrepreneur?

A South Korean native and now 63 years of age, JungJin founded biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion in 2003. In the nearly two decades since its founding, Celltrion has lived up to its goal of advancing health and welfare for all by developing ground-breaking drugs to treat autoimmune disease, various forms of cancer and, most recently, COVID-19.

The company, which JungJin started with just US$45,000 and five of his colleagues, has since growth to more than 2,1000 employees with sales permits in more than 90 countries and revenues exceeding US$1.69bn.

According to the panel, JungJin’s story is a shining example of the power of an unstoppable entrepreneur to change the world with the pandel moved by both his incredible story and his purpose-driven leadership, innovative mindset and entrepreneurial spirit.

Described by the chair of the EY judging panel Rosaleen Blair as “representing everything an unstoppable should be” from taking on the world’s biggest health care challenges to consistently creating long-term value for his company, JungJin’s story is one of incredible tenacity and perseverance that the judging panel felt most represented the entrepreneurial spirit.

“He’s taken breathtaking risks, both personal and professional, to found Celltrion and grow it into one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies,” says Stasia Mitchell, EY Global Entrepreneurship Leader. “His passion for creating affordable, life-saving health care and flair for tackling global problems has led to many treatments that have helped millions of people worldwide and was especially evident this past year through the creation of a COVID-19 antibody treatment.”

How did JungJin get there?

JungJin's entrepreneurial journey started at an early age when he worked as a taxi driver to get himself through Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea. After studying industrial engineering, he rose through the ranks of Daewoo Motor Co. before losing his job amid the carmaker’s financial troubles following the 1997 Asian economic crisis.

Following this, JungJin started collaborating with colleagues to explore business opportunities in different industries, though none delivered lasting success. The turning point came after he attended a talk hosted by renowned scholars, which inspired him to focus on the biopharmaceutical sector.

And so he founded Celltrion with just US$45,000 of his savings. The launch of Remsima, credited with being the world's first antibody biosimilar, quickly moved Celltrion up the ranks of the country's fairly underdeveloped pharmaceutical sector. Celltrion followed this success with the launch of drugs for breast cancer and lymphoma that today are being used worldwide.

With ambitions to be the world’s first in different areas, Celltrion has pioneered numerous uncharted areas to great success over the past two decades, most recently responding to the global pandemic by successfully developing an antibody treatment for COVID-19 and working to ensure a timely supply of the safe and effective treatment.

“When I first started, my vision was to help patients gain access to safe, effective and affordable medicines and thereby enhance the quality of people’s lives,” explains JungJin. “The success of Celltrion has enabled me to expand on this while finding new ways to fuel my entrepreneurial drive.”


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