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One key partner that has the potential to greatly affect and enhance the human condition is government. This author prefers the open market as the main catalyst for change, but given the complexity and scale of certain types of research, government can play a vital role in advancing knowledge in science and technology by supporting basic research. While some governments have been funding research for quite some time, the inefficiency of the process may be keeping new discoveries from being commercialized.

One key partner that has the potential to greatly affect and enhance the human condition is government. This author prefers the open market as the main catalyst for change, but given the complexity and scale of certain types of research, government can play a vital role in advancing knowledge in science and technology by supporting basic research.

While some governments have been funding research for quite some time, the inefficiency of the process may be keeping new discoveries from being commercialized. For costly, long-term research, governments can work to build laboratories and collaborations between universities.

Individual companies would be hard pressed to fund the depth and breadth of research required for new discovery. Individual companies are better suited to commercialize what is invented in a lab if there is an efficient way to find these discoveries. While most universities appear to have some sort of tech transfer programs, it appears that there could be a more efficient network function needed to expose lab discoveries than is currently available.

It appears that the current road from the lab to commercialization is somewhat difficult. Government and university efforts to foster commercialization of lab discoveries is somewhat localized. Since technology has made the world much smaller, if there isn’t a local entrepreneur willing or able to launch something discovered in a local research site, there could be other companies or people in more distant geographical locations better suited to commercialize new findings based in science, medicine, engineering, etc.

Government in some form could be the glue to create an “open innovation network” of some type. Governments could increase the visibility of new research findings and help foster economic growth through more efficient networking between researchers, companies and entrepreneurs.

In addition, lowering legal hurdles will go a long way toward speeding the process from lab to market. One may only wonder how the world could be improved if we relied less on chance meetings between researchers and investors and made the process more visible and less daunting.

Listen to this podcast to find out what roles curiosity and humility play in innovation.