Yes, that’s the number that universities reported in 2011 from the commercialization of their inventions. And, wait to you read what MIT Sloan discovered when they studied consumer-innovators across 3 nations; US, UK and Japan.
When we founded InventionHome 10 years ago, the goal was simple. Develop a system to attract great inventors and their inventions and help license those inventions to companies for ongoing royalties.
Over the years, we have licensed a long list of inventions for our clients across many different product categories but, what never ceases to amaze me is the sheer volume and creativity of the independent inventor.
Consumers drive innovation
We’ve known instinctively for years that consumers are major drivers of innovation since we live and breathe innovation every day. However, I recently read a study conducted by MIT Sloan and published in MIT Sloan Management Review that should be an eye opener and wake-up call for both companies and inventors alike.
The research study, conducted in the United States, United Kingdom and Japan shows that consumers collectively generate massive amounts of product innovation in their respective countries.
MIT Sloan Findings
Here is the basic gist of the survey findings:
It has long been assumed that companies develop new products for consumers, while consumers sit back as passive recipients to buy and consume the products from these companies. However, decades of research has shown that this traditional thinking is flawed in that Consumers themselves are a major source of product innovations.
The study shows that consumers play a central and very active role in the process of innovation development. Consumers do not wait for products to be developed to fit a need. The consumer-innovator proactively and aggressively takes charge in developing solutions to common consumer problems.
By the numbers
If you need hard data to prove the volume of opportunities, consider these quantifiable findings.
When the amount of spend on product development by citizens in aggregate was analyzed, the study reported total estimated annual expenditures by consumer-innovators to be in the billions of dollars in each country.
When comparing the total amount invested by consumers in product development versus the total amount invested by all commercial enterprises combined in those countries, the study found a staggering amount being invested by consumers.
In the U.K., R&D spending by consumers was 144% of what all commercial enterprises spend, in the U.S., the R&D spending by consumers vs. companies was 33% and in Japan it was 13%.
Combine this study with the astounding $1.8 billion university innovation earnings amount, and you have undeniable proof that my instincts were right. Consumers and their innovation is a gold-mine for companies and those companies sitting on the side-lines are missing the boat.
InventionHome can begin to help your company connect with innovators worldwide to discover new product opportunities.
Call us today at 1-866-844-6512.