Just think about it, by the time you finish having your coffee, at least 10 new research papers would have been completed, by somebody somewhere in this world. Each would have taken their authors anywhere between 3-12 months. Some of this research, probably, addressing the very problem your company is dealing with.
Unlike the goods which get manufactured, a research item, many a time, does not have a predefined audience or an intended buyer. Being a product of academicians or sometimes just personal passion, there may not be any plan or effort to commercialize it, hence obviously it may not show up in a marketplace.
The story is the same for ideas, innovations, work-arounds or solutions, which constantly get created round the clock. The environmental conditions, passion or the necessities, under which these happen is impossible to replicate in any organised lab. In fact, some of these factors, can never exist in a lab.
This is the space where innovation intermediaries and technologies like semantic and business intelligence operate. It is possible today to monitor conversations about your interests in different parts of the world and reach out to someone who could have the solutions that your company is searching for. It is possible today to reach out, to people across continents or even in your own neighborhood, yet unknown, using the services of intermediaries.
‘Innovation’ is fast turning away from an ego centric mindset, where it must come from within a company, to just another on demand plug in, which empowers the real goals of the organization.
In turn, the in-house labs are becoming more versatile, busy, and are churning out innovation faster with the help of collaborative innovation.
Speed of innovation is the need of the hour, in this fiercely competitive world.