Nebraska Public Power District works very closely with the UNL Energy Sciences Research Center and helps fund innovative projects related to energy through our Domestic Energy Research & Application Initiative. This pathway will give you the tools to be the next big innovator!




Foundation

Ideate

Pathway: The Path of Innovation


Getting started is the hardest part (except for the final 10% but more on that later). Utilizing key tools and a strategic approach you can creATE an IDEa (IDEATE) worthy of your innovation.

Observe the World Around You

"Stop. Look. Listen." is a great safety message from our friends at the railroad, but it also is great advice to begin to see the world around you in different ways.

Steps:

1. Hit the streets: Interview people and local businesses

2. Take notes - what do you see?

3. Identify strategic problems to address


Dig deeper by exploring the Observing the World Around You pathway that dives into collecting data with sensors! http://pathways.nppd.com/p210


Questioning Attitude

"What is the Definition of Questioning Attitude? The NRC’s SCPS (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) defines Questioning Attitude as when individuals avoid complacency and continuously challenge existing conditions and activities in order to identify discrepancies that might result in error or inappropriate action."


What?????


Yes the NRC gets a bit wordy and rightfully so - but at a nuclear power plant safety culture traits like a questioning attitude are an essential part of life. Check out the link below to learn about how a questioning attitude helps keep nuclear power plants safe - then step back into the world of innovation. Can you apply this concept to the IDEATION phase of innovation?


• Challenge the Unknown

• Challenge Assumptions

• Avoid Complacency


Brainstorming Tools

Sometimes getting your thoughts organized is the most important part of the IDEATION process.


Unfortunately - you will probably have more ideas that you know what to do with. Here are some tools that will help you brainstorm and organize your ideas!

N-ocentive Challenge

Need a little kick start? There is a new trend in innovation called crowd sourcing. This is where I have a problem to solve but don't have the resources to solve it - so I post it to the Internet with a reward and people from all over the world can submit solutions. The winning solution gets to keep the reward and everyone goes home happy!

Pick one of the following challenges and use one of the brainstorming techniques to come up with an idea for the solution:


Solar Thermal Challenge

Pick one of the following challenges and use one of the brainstorming techniques to come up with an idea for the solution:


Solar Thermal Challenge

ANALOG

Research

Pathway: The Path of Innovation

Now that you have an IDEA - its time to dig into a little research. This stage gives you a foundation to build your idea on. Look around see what others know about your idea. Has it been done? Can I just improve upon other's work? Am I venturing into a wild new frontier?