Innovation is that rarest of prizes, often elusive and always difficult to conjure up. Yet we live in innovative times, with new wonders regularly surprising and even delighting us. We have assembled a set of ideas that will soon affect everyday life.

Some of these innovations apply clever ideas in a novel way. Carmakers are betting big on fuel cells, but small versions of these chemical power plants are likely to perk up your cell phone first. Other innovations transform old ideas with a smart twist. Think about the roof over your head: By adding a layer of living plants, builders are enriching the environment and cutting energy costs. Or consider that young artists don’t know who among them will succeed or flop. Financial engineering to the rescue: Now, they can share the risks by contributing some works to a trust that will sell them years later and split up the profits. Like great art, the best innovations just jump out at you.



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