Martin Mallinson
Vice President
ESS Technology

Title: Innovation: why it is necessary and how to create it?

Abstract: We begin with why innovation is important: it is because times never stand still and the focus of industry and prosperity having moved from France to Germany to the UK and lately to USA/Canada will no doubt move on again. How shall we maintain our relatively high standard of living when that engine of economic activity, manufacturing, is predominantly elsewhere? The answer is through that intangible resource: the educational level of our people and the capacity to generate new business, to innovate. Recognizing that the situation is dynamic and always generating the next thing, the desirable and the high added value products, admitting that prosperity will not come from the mere manufacturing of it, but from the generation of the new. But how? What is it about people, about a society or state that fosters innovation? Is it a state of mind or a discipline of thought? Is it a dedication to learning or years spent at the craft? Does innovation arise in the dreams of an individual, or the conversations of a group? Is necessity really the mother of invention, or does innovation flourish without a market goal? The answers are probably not what you would guess.

Biography: Martin Mallinson began his career with Ferranti in the UK in 1977 working with some of the UK's best known innovators on early Sigma-Delta modulators, TV chips and personal computers. In the 1980's he moved to the USA and was Product Line Manager at Analog Devices in the ASIC division, managing many projects based in France. In the 1990's he founded test equipment companies in both the USA and Canada and spent a large amount of time traveling to IC design centers worldwide, most notably the Far East and, unusually for the time, in Russia. In the early 2000's Martin moved to Kelowna Canada and started a third company in IC design which was quickly acquired by ESS technology of Fremont California. Today he runs the R&D design center for ESS in Kelowna. He has personally designed everything from aircraft control systems and medical imaging devices, to computer power supplies and most DVD players sold today. He writes his own CAD design tool software and has 48 patents. Martin has had the opportunity to work with both large companies and key individual contributors within the industry worldwide and believes he has learned something about encouraging innovation.