How exciting is our industry right now? You might say I’m easily excited, and I’d probably agree, because I just love this stuff, especially when we are talking manufacturing and more. But really, if you take a look at what’s happening with AI (artificial intelligence), machine learning, robotics, automation, 5G, blockchain, autonomous vehicles, AR (augmented reality), VR (virtual reality), and all of their enterprise applications … it is truly a great time to be in tech.

Innovation is our lifeblood in this industry. As you and I both know, tech often seems to happen at the speed of light. Innovative people are constantly thinking about how we can make life and business better. At any given moment, many brilliant minds are working to solve problems we face every day—whether it’s a tech-specific issue that’s holding back progress, a business-related challenge, or a human-centric problem that tech could help resolve.

There are many different ways innovation happens, and every once in a while, something strikes me as really promising for the industry and even society as a whole. This is how I feel about the Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center. This is a great example of a corporate-driven innovation center that helps drive progress in the IoT (Internet of Things), as well as AI, autonomous mobility, digital health, data center infrastructure, security and privacy, and so on. It primarily does this through investing in innovation—in people (entrepreneurs), in ideas, and the businesses behind these ideas—and giving them access to Samsung’s open ecosystem and vast resources.

One of the latest cool partnerships I’ve seen come out from Samsung is its partnership with AT&T to push 5G innovation in manufacturing. The companies are working together to create a manufacturing-focused “Innovation Zone” in Austin, Texas, which will be a test bed for how 5G technologies can turn today’s factories into the smart factories of the future. A 5G test bed for manufacturing could be so instrumental in helping would-be adopters overcome one of the biggest challenges they face right now, which is creating a business case for 5G.

I was also happy to see the company participated in the Tech for Good Summit earlier this summer in Paris. Samsung and many other leading companies and heads of companies came together around a new model for innovation in which “we build products and deploy algorithms not because we can, but because we should.” It’s an interesting shift in mindset, and it’s a really good thing for the industry and the future of technology in general. Globally, there are problems, like a lack of access to clean drinking water, chronic disease, urbanization, and the food crisis, and, as global citizens, we all need to pitch it with whatever resources we have to solve these problems. 

At the heart of an innovation center like this, there’s this idea that “we” can’t do it alone—whoever “we” may be. As individuals, as companies, as industries, and as nations, we can’t bring these technologies out into the world and expect them to be the best they can be unless we work together. Collaboration is going to be essential if we want to see greater innovation and positive digital disruption. We can’t set out to solve global problems by ourselves. I applaud companies like Samsung and AT&T that are putting resources into making the world and the tech space a better place.

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