IDEA! Awards logo with Bob Vavra headhot

A New Dimension in Innovation

March 1, 2021
Amid all the turmoil of the past year, we have adapted and continued to grow. And that adaptive spirit will be recognized at our upcoming IDEA! Awards.

One of the outcomes of our shared pandemic experience is that we don’t see too many people in three dimensions these days. With our time together limited and at a distance, we’ve resorted to business video calls to keep touch with those we work with—and many times with those we love.

Even in our free time, we’re not able to experience much beyond a screen. Our halting return to sports is viewed solely on television—complete with cutout fan images in the otherwise empty seats. We’ve binge-watched streaming series and relived some classics, but it all remains a 2D world for the most part.

It’s ironic (if there actually is any irony left in the world) because we have worked so hard over the last decade to add real dimension to our work. From 3D visions of manufacturing plants and the products they produce to the additive manufacturing of printed products from those visions, we have transformed the way we create and build products and systems. From idea to reality, the 3D processes we’ve created have helped us bring better products to our customers in less time and with less waste.

We have used that technology effectively during the pandemic to keep the fires of innovation burning. Perhaps our greatest achievement in the last year is that amid all the turmoil, we have adapted and continued to grow. Technology has enabled that adaptive spirit, but so has the nimble minds that take that technology and spin it into solutions.

Machine Design will celebrate that innovative spirit with our new IDEA! Awards, which are being launched this year. New products from around the world will be nominated to receive the IDEA! Awards, and then we will present the nominees to our engineering experts—you—to select the best of these solutions to receive the prizes.

The award luncheon will take place at the IDEA! Conference Nov. 10 in Cleveland, and that will be the end of the process. But that process doesn’t start with the nominations, which are open now, or with the announcement of our finalists in 14 categories, or with the reader voting that will select the winners.

Innovation begin with one person’s idea and the imagination and talent to turn that idea into something that serves others. The great ideas are multi-faceted and, of course, multi-dimensional. We haven’t lost the dimension of innovation in the past year, and all of us at Machine Design are excited to showcase it with the IDEA! Awards.

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