Subject: Re: "incentive void" (was Re: A different patent covenant...)
From: Norbert Bollow <>
Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2006 20:21:58 +0200 (CEST)

<> wrote:
> Norbert Bollow writes:
>  > > We already have that.  In the U.S. it's called the NSF, in Japan the
>  > > JSPS.  In Europe I'm sure you have one too.
>  > Please provide details of why you believe that NSF and JSPS are
>  > already doing what I'm proposing.
> Basic research has been alleged to be underfunded by commerce for
> millenia, most recently on this list by simo.  Thus the government
> research foundations clearly are aiming at an incentive void.
> Although they claim that they fund interesting proposals, in practice
> the good ones do not; they fund researchers with a track record of
> producing interesting results.  This isn't exactly what you proposed,
> but it's similar enough that it seems likely that the results would be
> the same: developers would be attracted to big wins "interesting to the
> government referees", and distracted from getting product to market.

I would suggest that those who have a breakthrough insight _and_
what it takes to create an marketable product around that insight
will not be so foolish to neglect that business opportunity for
the gamble of trying to win a prize.  People who have what it
takes to succeed in business are not foolish in this way.

However I'm sure that there are people who'd have a decent chance
of succeeding in creating a marketable product and a successful
business around it, if they're given a $1mln prize which they're
free to use as seed capital.


Norbert Bollow <>             
President of the Swiss Internet User Group SIUG