My interest in this field in the last 15 years has been the development and improvement of processes for the efficient screening of ideas in a structured manner. The Peer Review Process as developed by the UK research councils is a prime example of this and there are many different models and platforms for open innovation. In the last 5 years, this has focussed on digitalisation of innovation processes and making the user experience as efficient as possible; both for the submitters and the reviewers of ideas.
What makes an idea a good one? How is it possible to judge at an early stage if it can be developed into a concept and eventually a product or service which will be commercially successful or game-changing in some other way? In isolation, the idea can be challenged against common sense and many frameworks exist to formalise that assessment. A good, and simple, one was created by Princeton Creative Research. Answering these questions takes time, however. If multiple ideas need to be evaluated and ranked so that the best can be pursued (funded) then the data generated by the individual evaluations increases exponentially and the time demand may become unmanageable. Processes are required to ensure the flow of ideas can be well-managed and filtered to sift out the good from the bad.
As an industry-based scientist, there is a perennial question to be answered: where is it best to source innovation? Do it all in-house or look outside for ideas? Doing it in-house means that confidentiality can be assured and there is full control over the direction which the initial idea takes towards product or service. But in-house the knowledge pool is restricted to that which resides within the company and that can limit both the pace of development and the ability to challenge the idea. Going outside can significantly increase the knowledge and capability pool, providing access to many more ideas for potential future applications, products and services. However, this comes at a cost and risk of sharing intellectual property and having less control over the direction and ultimate success or failure of the idea. Generally speaking, the trend now is for more collaborative idea generation with the benefit that research treated as shared investment usually means reduced risk.
My work in this field over the last 15 years has concentrated on the development and improvement of processes for efficient screening of ideas in a structured manner. The Peer Review Process as developed by the UK Research Councils is a prime example of efficient screening and there are many different models and platforms