At a time when the worldwide economy could sorely use a boost, we were excited to learn of a recent announcement made by Nokia that they will start freely sharing their unused research and development to companies across Finland. The initiative called The Nokia Technopolis Innovation Mill is a three-year joint venture that also involves Technopolis, one of Europe’s largest science and technology park chains, Tekes, a Finnish agency for funding technology and innovation and several Finnish cities hoping to add jobs to their economies.
Given the fact that each year companies like Nokia come up with hundreds or even thousands of concepts and only a fraction ever see further development, the move makes sense on many levels. Beyond giving possible groundbreaking ideas a new lease on life, the project points to a new kind of openness around intellectual property that has the potential to benefit society as a whole. And as we’ve seen before, it’s not always clear where advances will be made, so leveling the playing field in this sense should lead to revolutions in the ways we work together.
The press release explains:
“Speeding up the economy calls for a new degree of openness. We hope that the Nokia Technopolis Innovation Mill sets an example that companies across other sectors will follow. The current economic climate is just right for a critical evaluation of intellectual property portfolios and the release of the innovations that are more suitable for others to exploit,” continued Aho.
The innovations released by Nokia are in areas such as environmental and energy-related solutions, location based services and advertising, near field communication, mobile security, health care applications and future internet services, among others. The objective is to evaluate the thousands of available innovations and select around one hundred to be matched with a company which demonstrates the best ability to exploit them, and which is then granted funding for further development and commercialization.
[via Emerging Futures Lab]