[rp-ml] Re: Innovation in America

From: G. Sachs <sachsg_at_sbcglobal.net>
Date: Mon Feb 28 2011 - 21:37:55 EET

My son is also a newly minted engineer, but the problem we face in the U.S. today is not a dearth of new engineers, scientists, or even new inventions (there are at least 160,000 patents issued every year in the U.S. alone). What is really needed is for the public to enthusiastically support fairly compensating these innovators and helping them to commercialize their ideas into products that will not only be invented and designed here, but also get manufactured here. I also hope your son can successfully keep any of his ideas from the Chinese (or at least get them commercialized fast enough). Filing patents in multiple countries can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and I can tell you, first hand, that the U.S., at least, is NOT that interested in ocean energy. Take it from someone who already got a patent in this field many years before it started to get some attention. No, unfortunately, I am very pessimistic that the U.S. can continue to be THE #1 leader in science and technology - especially since our new Congress wants to slash spending on everything, including education and R&D. Maybe we will be able to stay in the top 2-3 slots. As far as NASA goes, I am sure you are aware that we are not going to be able to put astronauts into space after the end of the year and the NASA budget has been nothing short of "hatchet-ed" (and thousands are going to be laid off in Florida, including many aerospace engineers). Just like with everything else, how much will employers be willing to pay engineers and product developers in the future? $100K/yr, $60K/yr, $50K/yr. What if you can hire a top-notch Chinese, or Indian engineer for $30K? There are many areas that we have drastically cut back funding on (the NSF, for instance) and the private sector has not stepped up to fund any R&D that will take more than 2-3 years to pan out commercially (indeed, most venture capitalists do not fund ANY startups, that are not already "market ready", despite public notions to the contrary). University researchers have approximately half of the funding available to them, that they used to have. I do wish your son lots of luck (both professionally and as a budding inventor), but unfortunately this is not the 1960's, and venture capitalists will probably not flock to his invention, or many others (not because they are not good ideas). In ocean-energy alone, there are well over 1000 other technologies to choose from (maybe 2000), with many now already in the public domain. I do hope, though, that highly motivated and innovative students, such as your son and my son, do not give up even after 10, 20, or 30 years of trying to be innovative, because that kind of can-do American perseverance has always increased the odds of success (Mark Zuckerberg notwithstanding). Perseverance, in the face of adversity and limited funding, may be all the more important now, in the face of an increasingly science-apathetic and science-illiterate society - one that constantly is in search of the latest "big thing" (that isn't), not to mention instant gratification. Like you, just my two cents worth! G. Sachs Paradyme Systems USA P.S. Remember Cubital, BPM, and Helisys? I liked all those systems! ________________________________ From: Ken Kalinoski <ken@100hillrock.com> To: G. Sachs <sachsg@sbcglobal.net>; Brock Hinzmann <bhinzmann@sbi-i.com> Cc: rp-ml@rapid.lpt.fi Sent: Mon, February 28, 2011 1:01:35 PM Subject: Innovation in America I work in several technology areas – including Commercialization. I see innovation as being alive and well – up and down the spectrum. NASA is flush with patents oriented towards “other worlds” and a few smart folks are adapting those to terrestrial apps – including RPM. My son – a 3rd year Ocean Structural Engineer at Texas A&M is filing for his first patent in deep water energy exploitation. Will it be huge money? Dunno. The key is to get college students thinking they can create and innovate just like Ford, Edison, Zuckerberg, etc. All I know is he is excited enough to draft 30 pages of documentation on an idea – on top of a HUGE course workload… with TONS of MATH, MATLAB, etc. Yes – engineers today enter the workplace with the theories, principles and applied Computer Science apps like MATLAB. I’d say the key here is to get people involved in the creation & documentation process of inventions. There is a great need for offensive/defensive patent holdings which go along with Innovation. Just another opinion. Thanks. Ken Ken Kalinoski Hill Rock Consulting LLC www.100hillrock.com 512.565.5791 From:owner-rp-ml@rapid.lpt.fi [mailto:owner-rp-ml@rapid.lpt.fi] On Behalf Of G. Sachs Sent: Monday, February 28, 2011 11:31 AM To: Brock Hinzmann Cc: rp-ml@rapid.lpt.fi Subject: Re: [rp-ml] You mean like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs? Those are 40 year old examples Brock - young people today only care about USING technology, not studying 10, or more years, in order to be able to develop it. The modern day counter example might better be Mark Zuckerberg, who only had to invest a few years of effort before becoming a billionaire (partly with luck). Far easier to make $100k+/yr. on Wall Street, at a law firm, by going into politics, or by becoming a doctor, etc. Don't even get me started when it comes to the prospects for independent inventors in America - essentially zero now. We have to face it, when it comes to developing great new technologies that can create lots of new jobs (such as alternative energy), the U.S. is in serious trouble. Regards, G. Sachs P.S. My guess would be the kid will go into medicine or law :-) ________________________________ From:Brock Hinzmann <bhinzmann@sbi-i.com> To: G. Sachs <sachsg@sbcglobal.net> Cc: rp-ml@rapid.lpt.fi Sent: Sun, February 27, 2011 6:57:36 PM Subject: Re: [rp-ml] This might be of interest You mean like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs? Brock H G. Sachs wrote: > Yeah, I actually commented on that in my earlier email (that for some reason >didn't get through), but forgot to mention it again. He's a pretty good >spokesperson - will probably skip engineering, though, and just run for office, >or become another attorney ;-) > > > G. S. >-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- >-
Received on Mon Feb 28 21:27:55 2011

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