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Marblar is like Innocentive in reverse and was born of the frustration of knowing that so much great science at the PhD level just gets stuffed in the proverbial drawer and forgotten about whereas it could be of service to humanity -
joe breskin's profile photoGabriel Mecklenburg's profile photo
Fantasizes that it's like" Innocentive in reverse" or Foresight as a virtual-online-community / democracy / computer game. I am quite suspicious that it can really work since most of the players will be as clueless about the actual needs of industry as the IP departments that write most of the useless patents developed in the federal labs and universities.

nnocentive missed critical a mechanism for monetizing the most valuable function of IP development and licensing: "show stopper" identification, which is genuinely easy to implement in the form of a series of "Why won't this work?" "What's wrong with this approach?"questions. Instead Innocentive allows industry to post queries of the form "We are seeking solution(s) to this problem ... and will pay $xxK for licensing rights to solution(s)" 

Which offers a great way to challenge ones in-house R&D team's assessment of the problem or it's proposed solutions at very low cost, but the underlying assumption - that industry will end up paying $20K for a all rights to a solution to a real problem (like a synthesis for a critical molecule with pharma applications) worth hundreds of millions is just not reasonable. 
Hi Joe,

Thanks a lot for the feedback! Ultimately the aim is to inject some more lateral thinking and creativity into the process of technology transfer. The aim is to develop active discussions around the various ideas for uses of the technology to hammer out the details and assess viability. We'll have some mechanisms in place for the most popular ideas to gain the most prominence so the process will be self-selecting for the ideas with the most promise. At the end of the challenge we should have a few embryonic business plans associated with that piece of tech.

I think you underestimate the collective idle brainpower in our universities. People who've come there to make the world a different place through science and end up pipetting 8 hours a day need this creative outlet! And as the article said, we got some very viable proposals out of our first beta - the inventor is in talks with the winner about a spin-out!

I hope you'll sign up ( and will let us know what you think once you see our re-launched product. You can always reach me at if you have any questions/comments.

All the best,
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