End of Semester & Malott Competition

Thomas and Sandra Malott sponsor the innovation competition each spring and fall semester for the most innovative senior design project.

A Note from Tom Malott


Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines “innovation” as 1: the introduction of something new, 2: a new idea, method or device. The Cambridge dictionary says about the same thing. Yet, innovation as a concept is fraught with innuendo. It is elusive, perplexing, grey. As judges for the Malott Innovation Awards, we ask you to contemplate your definition of Innovation. To aid you, we have assembled a list of quotes, some of which are definitions, some of which are conceptual and some of which are simply random. One of our favorite definitions of innovation is “something fresh that creates value.”

Innovation Quotes

Innovation Definitions

“Innovation is the process through which value is created and delivered to a community of users in the form of a new solution.” James Todhunter

“Innovation is a significant positive change.” Scott Berkun

“Innovation is fresh thinking that creates value.” Richard Lyons

“Innovation is the creation of the new or the re-arranging of the old in a new way.” Michael Vance

“Innovation is the creation of something new that improves the way we live our lives.” Barack Obama

“Innovation is seeing what everyone has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.” Dr. Albert Gyorgyi

“Innovation is taking two things that already exist and putting them together in a new way.” Tom Freston

“Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity not as a threat.” Hipolyte de Livry

“Innovation is turning an idea into a solution from a customer’s prospective.” Nick Skillicorn

“Innovation is the application of ideas that are novel and useful.” David Burkis

“Innovation is a great idea executed brilliantly, and communicated in such a way that is intuitive and celebrates the magic of the initial concept.” Pete Foley

“Creativity is the thinking of something new. Innovation is the implementation of something new.” Paul Sloane

“Innovation is anything that is new, useful and surprising.” Drew Boyd

“Innovation is the future delivered.” Jorge Barba

Thoughts on Innovation:

“Our future growth relies on competitiveness and innovation, skills and productivity... and these in turn rely on the education of our people.” Julia Gillard

“Every once in a while, a new technology, an old problem, and a big idea turn into an innovation.” Dean Kamen

“Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.” Winston Churchill

“Exploration is the engine that drives innovation. Innovation drives economic growth.” Edith Widder

“A dream will not become an innovation if there is no realization.” Ciputra

“An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way gradually winning over and converting opponents. What happens it that the opponents gradually die out.” Max Planck

“Innovation comes out of great human ingenuity and human personal passions.” Megan Smith

“Solitude is a catalyst for innovation.” Mahatma Ghandi

“Innovation opportunities do not come with the tempest, but with the rustling of the breeze.” Peter Drucker

“Innovation – any new idea – by definition will not be accepted at first. It takes repeated attempts, endless demonstrations, monotonous rehearsals before innovation can be accepted and internalized by an organization. This requires courageous patience.” Warren Bennis

“I believe in being an innovator.” Walt Disney

More Intriguing Thoughts:

“The chief enemy of creativity is good sense.” Pablo Picasso

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.” Albert Einstein

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it or work around it.” Michael Jordan

“There is only one thing stronger than all the armies of the world: and that is an idea whose time has come.” Victor Hugo

“What is now proved was once only imagined.” William Blake

“Be great in act, as you have been in thought.” William Shakespeare

“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” Leonardo da Vinci

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Thomas Edison

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.” Steve Jobs