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If Innovation can be partly defined as the “critical detachment from Status Quo” then to realize the potential of Innovation efforts, we need to look at the context of where the critical opportunities are.

We know that within a strategic plan, Corporate and Public entities need to Innovate efficiently and at the “speed of market” conditions. If we run incremental outputs and fail to drive value through to market, we are failing altogether.

A recent article from CIGI reviews the process of managing patents in Universities and why they should focus on early stage IP management instead. The same thinking would apply to RICs and Incubators/ Accelerators. To summarize the main points in support of “critical detachment”:

  • Time to negotiate Patents is too long and costly
  • Patents are focused on too early (prolonging collaborations to market)
  • Knowledge and adjacent innovations are locked into silos via single path transfers
  • Circumvention of Technology Transfer Offices with IP loses value to foreign partners
  • Alignment of negotiations and outcomes for individuals and organizations involved
  • Move to Open Science model of collaboration is suggested

“For example, they are weak at identifying market needs; recognizing ideas that meet those needs; obtaining the right form of IP rights on the right things; and finding partners to build up the Canadian innovation ecosystem.”

Moving to a more efficient model, the article continues to suggest that there are opportunities to manage innovation outcomes;

“It would be useful to begin by focusing on what universities and colleges do well: creating knowledge, passing on knowledge and bringing actors from different spheres together. Rather than create silos of knowledge through patents, universities and colleges can use their convening power and academic incentive systems to create knowledge that flows quickly to those who can best put it to use.”

The Open Science model allows for movement of early stage IP which supports more open collaborations and new products and services.

“To reverse the last 40 years of failure, universities and colleges need to structure their relations with industry — and each other — around collaborations rather than intellectual property.”

Another critical detachment to consider is the primary focus on commercialization and entrepreneurship as a function of innovation outputs. If we now understand that early stage IP in a new “Open Science/ Innovation” model serves us better, then the early stage grappling with the formation of early stage companies has to be de-coupled as well.

The open flow of innovation can be efficiently mapped to partners and corporate interests in support of solving problems, creating new products and services and the back channel of how to include interests and attributions can be managed in parallel, but non-dependent priorities. So collaboration with the proper lenses will be critical to predictable outcomes.

This evolving model allows innovators to move from supporting the static patent portfolio focus and related investment performance lenses to the customer obsession driven process of solving problems at scale. As a true calculable process, the best options are faceted to ensure the right teams and commercialization vectors become aligned.

Our recent efforts at 3Open Labs have been centred on developing this unique, challenging but necessary framework to enable an efficient innovation ecosystem.

We will be elaborating more on our progress and exciting new partnerships in the coming weeks.