From the President - Innovation through Collaboration

15.03.02-Trevor.Smith.imageLast week, I was fortunate to pick up a magazine in the doctors office. The magazine had nothing at all in common with the turfgrass industry but the content of the article brought me back to thinking about how two different industries can collaborate and create an opportunity or advancement when there wasn’t one before.

Many issues relate to more than just the products of one business, or one network organization. New products, concepts or services are often the result of collaboration with external partners. In other words, collaboration works.

Collaboration is often easier when the partner organizations are in close proximity. A quick glance at the turf industry shows that there is in-depth knowledge and experience on a variety of issues and the opportunity to collaborate within the Province of BC.

Businesses, governmental bodies and knowledge institutes collaborate in so called clusters, on issues such as water technology, sensor technology, agrifood and energy. Within those clusters, the organizations work together in terms of research and innovation.  Additionally, there are interfaces between the various clusters called crossovers.

As we have seen the positive results coming from the Allied Golf Association –BC, why would we as an association not attempt to embrace other facets of the turf industry or other industries and attempt to collaborate on crossover issues to advance the development of knowledge and technologies?

Some of the answers to our existing problems may already exist in other industries or governmental agencies. We just need to look for commonalities.

This could potentially strengthen the leading position of the WCTA in innovation in the field of the clusters.

This is not a new concept. Collaboration between the various clusters has already proven to be successful in other industries. Examples of successful collaboration are solutions for the potato and dairy industry and healthy food production and consumption. Those are only a few examples of the successful combination of innovations from different industries.

We often get so caught up in the need to find our own solutions in our own area of expertise that we forget to ask for advice and assistance from the outside.

Seek to discover crossover knowledge in the issues we deal with and create our own innovation in this industry!

Trevor Smith
President, WCTA