Nav

IV Insights Blog

Featured

Latest Articles

Asia’s Invention Boom (Part 1)

For more than a century, the United States has been the dominant global force for innovation. But China and other Asian countries are now testing that dominance, and the West should welcome the challenge.

Asia’s Invention Boom (Part 1)

China’s move from imitation to innovation has been a matter of national policy in recent years. In 2011, for example, the government established a set of ambitious targets for the production of patents. Almost immediately, China became the world’s top patent filer.

China soon surpassed the US in other important measures. Each year, Chinese universities award more PhD’s in science and engineering than US institutions do – and more than twice as many undergraduate degrees in these fields.

Moreover, China is set to outpace the US in investment in research and development. Since 2001, China’s R&D expenditure has been growing by 18% annually and has more than doubled as a share of GDP. In the US, that ratio has remained relatively constant.

To be sure, such metrics can easily be manipulated – a fact that critics are quick to point out. But statistics from the US National Science Foundation reveal a genuine drive to innovate across much of Asia, with East, South, and Southeast Asian countries together spending more on R&D than the US. And technology-intensive activity in the region is fast approaching that of North America and Western Europe.

In fact, Asian countries are helping to fuel one another’s innovative success. China’s invention initiative has produced such rapid results in part because the government actively cooperates with its Asian competitors.

Indeed, despite territorial disputes and other divisive issues, the commissioners of the patent offices of Japan, South Korea, China, and, to a lesser extent, Singapore and Taiwan meet often to define and coordinate their intellectual-property (IP) policies. China’s leaders know that they can learn from countries like Japan and South Korea, which implemented policies to encourage innovation and protect IP rights long before China did.

The precise impact of Asia’s IP expansion is impossible to predict. But its transformative potential is obvious.

More on that coming next week in Part 2 of this post….


This article originally appeared in full in Project Syndicate, which provides readers with original, engaging, and thought-provoking commentaries by those who are shaping the world's economics, politics, science, and culture.

Read the full story »

The Evolution of Invention

Depending on your age, you’ve likely seen some of today’s most advanced technology in its infancy — a mere prototype of an idea born from zealous inventors. Remember these?

The Evolution of Invention

Before there were online music curators, there were mixtapes.

If only Zack Morris’ brick phone had a “Track Mr. Belding” app.

The Model T was just as amazing in its feats of engineering as the Model S.

Read the full story »

Defining a Venturer

Explorer. Entrepreneur. Pioneer. Disruptor. All fine synonyms to describe what we do and who we strive to be at Intellectual Ventures, but not one is an exact fit. So what does one do when the status-quo won’t suffice? What we’ve done so many times before — innovate and create anew. That’s why at IV, we refer to ourselves as “venturers.” 

Defining a Venturer

What is a venturer, you ask? You can skip Merriam-Webster and the like — it won’t be listed. Instead, we’ve defined it ourselves: A person who sees opportunity and goes for it. And we think it’s a perfect match for the unique personalities at IV and the inquisitive community we join in exploring uncharted territory.

Read the full story »

Global Leaders Chart the Future

The Boao Forum for Asia came to North America for the first time this year, and Seattle proudly hosted what’s become a prestigious gathering of the brightest minds in government, business, and academia.

Global Leaders Chart the Future

This year’s conference focused on issues surrounding energy, resource management, and sustainable development. IV has long recognized the increasing innovation powerhouse that is Asia and welcomed the opportunity to participate in conversations on everything from the future of global health to intelligent cities.

The following is a brief overview of IV’s participation and represents the diverse idea creators and decision makers we work with who are passionate about participating in a truly international dialogue.

Read the full story »

Inventor Superhero: Ellen Ochoa

Like superheroes, inventors bravely venture into unknown territory, face tough challenges, and ultimately make life better for the rest of us. Next in our series of inventor superheroes, we’re celebrating someone whose talents have taken her all the way to space and whose research and inventions have made her a pioneer of spacecraft technology.

Inventor Superhero: Ellen Ochoa

Inventor Superhero: Ellen Ochoa, Ph.D. (1958-present), director of the Johnson Space Center

Superpowers: Optics: Ochoa is a co-inventor on three patents that help scientists refine images that come from space — she invented an optical inspection system, an optical object recognition method, and a method for noise removal in images. Ochoa can also fly planes and play classical flute.


Eureka! Moment: First Hispanic woman in the world to go to space. Ochoa served on a nine-day mission aboard the Discovery shuttle in 1993 to study the Earth’s ozone layer.

Ellen Ochoa: NASA astronaut, mission specialist. Photo by NASA [public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Cool Gadget: Robotic Arm: On several flights, Ochoa operated a robot arm that helped transfer clothing, computers, and medical equipment from the shuttle to the International Space Station.

Superhero Lair: NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas

Nemesis: School bullies who think girls can’t succeed in science, engineering, technology, and math (STEM)

Who’s your favorite inventor superhero? Let us know who we should profile next at @IVinvents.

Read the full story »

Inspiring Girls to Pursue STEM

“If you don’t give up on yourself, we won’t give up on you.” That was the message IV President and COO Adriane Brown stressed to girls in fourth through eighth grade at LaSalle-Backus Education Campus in Washington, D.C.

Inspiring Girls to Pursue STEM

Earlier this month, Adriane spoke to students about her career journey, the challenges she faced along the way, and how she overcame them to become both a leader and a role model for girls who want to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM). She noted that for a long time, people have said girls aren’t good at STEM and asked that the students join her to help bust that myth.

Read the full story »

Building Mazzi

In developing countries, the smallholder farmers who rely on milk for subsistence and, in many cases, income, frequently lose milk to spillage and spoilage when they’re transporting their milk from the farm to collection points and chilling stations.  

Building Mazzi

At the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting today in New York, Nestlé announced their partnership with Global Good to increase the agricultural productivity of smallholder dairy farmers in East Africa.The aim of the partnership is to conduct field research in East Africa and distribute Mazzi, the milking & transportation system developed by the Intellectual Ventures Laboratory and Global Good, among dairy farms that need them most over the next two years.

Mazzi streamlines the collection and transport of milk from the cow to market. Designed to reduce waste and limit contaminants, it results in higher yields and profits for smallholder farmers and other low-income stakeholders across the dairy value chain.

To learn more about how Intellectual Ventures developed Mazzi, check out the Lab’s Invent blog.

Read the full story »

Staff Spotlight: IV in Ireland

The invention marketplace is global — and so is IV. Declan Carew is one of our worldwide employees based in Ireland.

Staff Spotlight: IV in Ireland

Declan draws from a unique mix of experiences while developing commercial investment strategies for IV. His background includes working for a range of multinational companies in varied roles including R&D and commercial product/service development, to coaching his sons’ teams in GAA (Irish Football and Hurling) and rugby.

Visit our latest staff spotlight to read Declan’s take on technology and IP development, and learn how he builds relationships from the “other side of the pond.”

Read the full story »

IV Investigates: Research Highlights from IV Lab

If you follow our Insights blog, you’ve read about some important milestones in the invention industry – from new technology development to patent reform. Insights is just one of the ways we participate in the conversation about invention and share information about who we are and what we do.

IV Investigates: Research Highlights from IV Lab

Photo: At the research bench in IV’s Electronics Lab

Another important way we highlight what we’re working on is through peer-reviewed research. Nathan Myhrvold, our CEO, has shared research on everything from intellectual property to paleontology, and employees across the company are encouraged to follow suit to promote collaboration with other scientists and, we hope, advance the many fields we work in.

Most recently, several IV Lab teams have published scientific papers about their investigations of malaria and tuberculosis diagnostics:

Read the full story »

A New Way of Building

Intellectual Ventures invests in inventions that span a wide range of technologies – communications, computer hardware, security, and more. Today we rolled out a new case study and video highlighting our investment in a different kind of technology area: building construction.

A New Way of Building

Where is the need for innovation in a business that has followed traditional building practices for hundreds of years?

From residential neighborhoods to urban centers, growing populations and demands on resources are forcing a shift in the way we build. Seattle-based architecture firm CollinsWoerman and the team behind their affiliate Sustainable Living Innovations took that challenge as an opportunity to invent a solution that delivers significant improvements over customary construction techniques. They developed an advanced method that uses a kit of prefabricated components to improve building quality, reduce maintenance, and make building faster, cheaper, and more sustainable.

To support implementation of their new technology in global markets, CollinsWoerman teamed up with Intellectual Ventures’ Invention Development Fund. We’re now working together in a joint venture called Innovative Building Technologies, LLC to protect, develop, and market the component-based building system and emergent related inventions.

Watch a short film about the joint venture.

Read the full story »

Categories

Archives

Twitter Follow us on Twiter!

RT @IVPubPolicy: Michelle Lee nominated to lead @uspto via @dibartz mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKC…

Oct 17

This cattle feed supplement is revolutionizing the dairy industry. #WorldFoodDay @RaisioPlc intellectualventures.com/vignettes/rais…

Oct 16

Have you heard of Coffee Flour? It reduces waste, helps small-scale farmers, and makes yummy treats. #WorldFoodDay. intellectualventures.com/vignettes/coff…

Oct 16