Many people talk about innovation. Most countries in the western world have an objective to focus on innovation. We, inventors do something about it and create the products.
I have identified 10 megatrends which have an effect on the settings for the inventor’s working conditions:
- An increase in political focus on innovation and an immense political wish for everyone to be more innovative in the future. The question is, how do we do that in practice? It is an easy goal to set, but a great challenge to achieve.
- More and more support systems for consultants and growth houses which are to help innovative people. The challenge is that many of those, who are put in place to help and support inventors and other innovative people, have limited experience with this particular area. There is a great deal of focus on how a standard package with X amount of work hours can be delivered. But that is not the help we need.
- Consolidation of business’. Today, more and more companies get consolidated to create global players within a large scale industry. The challenge is that creative forces often have a hard time in a big corporation, whose primary focus is profit forecasting. This opens opportunities for partnerships between the large companies and the small time inventor.
- There is no organized capital market money wise for the classical inventor, who focuses on other things than IT, biotech and alternative energy. Everyone talks about growth sectors and companies, but maybe they neglect the possibilities there are in sectors outside the ones every country seems to be focusing on currently.
- The European Union work on creating the inner market and break down trade barriers plus reducing the cost associated with running a business throughout the EU countries. In a big array of areas it has escalated quite rapidly and the cost associated with establishing trade in new countries has been considerably reduced. This just does not apply for the patent court.
- An increasing number of companies violates the copyright and patents. There has never before been so many cases about violations of copyrights and patents as there is today. To defend yourself in these cases is not only very costly money wise but certainly also time wise as many of these kind of cases tend to stretch on and on. That is why inventors often suffer defeat from protecting their rights, when companies exploit their size to suffocate their opponents in lawyer costs and legal advice.
- Companies that view innovation as something they can buy. In the biotech industry, innovation has become a commodity which big medicinal corporations buy to either maintain or expand their portion in the trade market. We see an increasing amount of corporations who either buy ideas or overtake small companies to strengthen their own product line, plus the innovation which is the foundation of their success in the future.
- Partnerships between companies and innovative people. There are several big companies who have acknowledged that they have a hard time keeping the innovative employees. Some of these businesses therefore offer to invest in their innovative employees and help them establish their own branch or company with other innovators.
- Companies, who set aside the work regarding innovation to satisfy the stock market’s demands of high profits here and now. It costs a lot of money to develop new ideas and it takes time. The question is, if many of these companies, who are saving on innovation now, in the long run will have to buy out competitors to be able to sustain their own position in the trade market. That is more expensive than being innovative to start with.
- An increasing number of people with the dream of creating an innovative business, but at the same time have difficulties getting the support and confidence it requires, when you want to commercialize a great idea. To be an inventor is fun, but also hard, difficult and very expensive to get to the point where you can say you created a commercial success.