Virtualized Innovation Labs – No More Physical Innovation Labs Needed

POSTED BY John Cronin AT 12:46 P.M. Oct 17, 2018

The day has come where large innovation labs built by companies may not be needed. Why spend hundreds of millions to billions of dollars on a physical structure, staffed with creative people and equipped with the best tools, when this all can be virtualized? In this context, “Virtualized” does not mean remote workers, but taking the innovation process and virtualizing it with AI tools and specialized, data analytic capability and inventors. These inventors don’t even have to have domain knowledge, as experts can be hired by the hour from the crowd.

To start, virtualizing the Business Issues sets the direction of where the business wants to head. This kicks off an analysis of markets, products and technologies. This becomes an instant report, as AI tools, web crawlers, API into databases provide the direction. After the direction is set, then the next automation occurs, creating the innovation IP landscape, mapping all the patent and non-patent literature and finding the white spaces. Automatically, the white space areas are summarized allowing more direction.

Next, the innovation and IP strategy are virtualized, by determining where invention is needed and what kind (methods, hardware, compositions, etc.) of invention is needed. Now comes the power of the internet, where key problems and challenges come from the focus, analyzing expert reports, company presentations, announcements, website announcements, API into databases, YouTube teardowns or tours, crowds, etc. Literally, the key challenges at the invention level are created.

Now the Virtualization of the invention starts, using creativity tools to suggest directions, virtualized inventor sessions with automated tools to help ideate and enable. All ideas are documented–hundreds of them–as quality comes from quantity. Now the innovations can be selected based on interest.

Next is the virtualization of understanding the value of individual inventions, using tools like SurveyMonkey or online market valuations.  The ideas with the most potential value become the ones to work on.

Next, having virtualized the patents and prototypes as needed, working models are created from the vast crowds of job shoppers. Patent applications can be created by the dozens using more virtualized patent tools.

Finally, with ownership of the new space with the IP in hand and all the data in place, companies can take the innovations out of the virtualized innovation lab. The cost for hundreds of ideas, dozens of patents and several prototypes is incredibly low, and can be done in 90-120 days, with no physical space commitment, headcount commitment, or laboratory equipment.

Like “JARVIS” and Tony Stark in the Iron Man movies, is this the future of innovation, Virtualized?