Innovation

Why the end of innovation is difficult to imagine

After 1870, the focus of innovation shifted toward finding new ways to combine previous discoveries. The incandescent light bulb, for example, required technologies for generating electricity, as well as for making very thin wires and delicate glass bulbs containing inert gases. Growth in the number of technology codes slowed, while the flow of new inventions continued apace.

U.S. Manufacturing Initiative Receives Congressional Approval

The Omnibus bill authorizes the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to establish several Centers for Manufacturing Innovation -- regional hubs operated by public-private partnerships to foster manufacturing innovation, speed product commercialization and close the gap between basic research and product development in the United States.

The future of U.S. innovation might rest on this obscure patent lawsuit

An obscure court case could inject new momentum into  a bill that tackles patent trolls. The case, Versata v. SAP, challenges how broadly the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office can interpret a congressional mandate to invalidate "bad" patents, the ones that patent trolls so often use to extort companies for easy settlement money.

Innovating A New Innovation Model

The leaders of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) shrewdly recognized that to harness the contributions of such a large and diverse group, they would need to invent an entirely new model for the interactions among the participants. In designing their organization they had a particular emphasis on ensuring that traditional impediments to commercialization were removed.

Innovative Solutions Needed to Spur Innovation

Speaking on the final day of TechNet Asia-Pacific 2014, being held December 9-11 in Honolulu, Adm. Harry B. Harris, USN, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, emphasized the importance of innovation in maintaining U.S. military superiority. "The best way to [maintain superiority] is to play to our strengths—American ingenuity and innovation," he said. "By turning our best and brightest loose, there's no challenge we can't meet.

President Obama Launches Competitions for New Manufacturing Innovation Hubs and American Apprenticeship Grants

To help support new advancements in manufacturing, the President will announce more than $290 million in public-private investment for two new Manufacturing Innovation Hub Competitions. Today’s announcement fulfills the President’s 2014 State of the Union pledge to launch four new institutes this year, for a total of eight institutes launched so far, and puts the Administration past the halfway mark on the President’s original goal of creating 15 manufacturing innovation institutes supported through executive action.

Is Innovation Over?

Since 1970, the prevalence of what the researchers called "broad" innovations -- those combining radically different technologies -- has declined. Such inventions comprised about 50 percent of all new patents as of 2010, down from about 70 percent in the decades following World War II. So there's a legitimate sense in which the innovations we see pouring out of Silicon Valley aren't as creative as those of, say, the 1950s.

Pentagon Launches New Future Weapons Research Effort

Described as an effort to create a new technological offset strategy like that which the U.S. pursued in the 1950s and 1980s, the Long Range Research and Development Plan, or LRRDP, involves a solicitation to industry, academia, and small business to begin enterprising ideas on areas of focus for new weapons and technology research and development.

The history of 'The Innovators' tells us that collaboration is core to innovation

Alex Howard shares insights on technological innovation gleaned from reading "The Innovators," Walter Isaacson's seminal history of the digital era. While Isaacson spends some time telling the relevant recent stories of Wikipedia, Google, and the web, the bulk of the book is an eminently readable survey that moves from the dawn of computing to artificial intelligence.

The Worst Innovation Mercantilist Policies of 2014

Innovation is a central driver of growth. As a result, an increasing number of countries are seeking to become innovation leaders. Unfortunately, the methods that many choose are grounded in “innovation mercantilism”: a strategy that sees technology-based exports as the key to success while relying on distortive and protectionist tactics to achieve that goal. These practices do not just damage other economies; they damage the entire global innovation system, leading to less innovation and productivity.

Preserving U.S. Military Might: How to Make the Third Offset Strategy a Success

In a speech at the Reagan Presidential Library on November 15th, outgoing U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel introduced the Defense Innovation Initiative or DII, a set of projects some have dubbed the “Third Offset Strategy.” Hagel challenged his department and the greater defense community to devise technologies and concepts that will ensure that U.S. military forces retain, as Hagel described, “the ability to project power rapidly across oceans and continents by surging aircraft, ships, troops and supplies.

What the Two Most Innovation-Friendly States Have in Common

For years people have recognized that industries cluster geographically, and that the clustering can lead to superior firms. For example, the best watches come from Switzerland, cars from Germany, and pharmaceuticals from the U.S. Back in 1880, economist Alfred Marshall noted that industrial districts benefit from labor market pooling and spillovers.

The first Iranian in space discusses women in STEM and the power of business

Business took Ansari to the stars, and she believes it will be the key for more space innovation. “Private enterprise brings a lot of competition,” she said. "If you compare how much technology has changed over the past 50 years compared to how much space innovation there is, there’s a huge gap."

'Secret' patent review system raises innovation concerns

A law firm obtains documents that it says reveal potential problems with the US Patent and Trademark Office's covert system for red-flagging controversial applications.

DoD Solicits Public Input on Strategies to Drive Military Innovation

The U.S. Defense Department wants to engage industry, universities and the general public to identify methods for the agency to incorporate technology into future military strategies, DoD News reported Wednesday.

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