2007 Case Study Review of Inventor Assistance Organizations
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With the goal to build capacity for better competing in the global market, public and private entities all over the world are adopting new ways to identify their human capital and improve their economic productivity. The independent inventor can be a core part of that human capital base. However, the success of the independent inventor depends greatly on his/her access to support and assistance at all stages of the invention process: from product to market. Through an effort sponsored by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute launched an effort in July 2006 to explore the potential for assisting the independent inventor through a new pilot program known as the Innovator Assistance Pilot ProgramSM. At the heart of this pilot program is the desire to advance productivity, innovation, and entrepreneurship among independent inventors and other individuals in Georgia communities. To further understand how to best serve the independent inventor, the team launched an effort in 2007 to investigate and case study Inventor Assistance Organizations (IAOs) throughout the United States. The purpose of this research investigation was to benchmark common and promising practices and to identify key challenges inherent in providing inventor-based services and programs, and it marked the first comprehensive research investigation of IAOs conducted in the United States.