Innovation Realities29 Sep

Yesterday I attended a breakfast meeting at the North Shore Technology Council. The featured speaker was Dr. Robert C. Dean, Jr., a well known entrepreneur, founder of ten companies, and currently President of Synergy Innovations, Inc. “He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Dean was a recipient of the Tibbett’s Pioneer Award from the US Small Business Administration and the 1998 Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the New Hampshire Technology Council. In 1996, he received the ASME’s highest award, its Gold Medal, for inspiration of fellow engineers and his many contributions to the engineering profession. He also holds 27 U.S. patents.”

In his presentation, Dr. Dean offered many insights about innovation. Here is the gist of some remarks:

  • On average, laboratory prototypes will reach the market in about 19 years
  • A large fraction of U.S. inventions were created by individuals during the past two hundred years, rather than corporations
  • Corporations are less interested in inventions because they are more focused on making money with current technology
  • Venture capitalists expect a 5X return on their investment in 3 years and 10X in 5 years
  • Although a case can be made for patenting inventions, generally speaking patents should not be pursued because of likely infringement,  especially for ideas with considerable market potential. Legal protection against infringement will be a huge cost burden for many companies without the financial resources of, say, a General Electric. Use of trade secrets may be a better approach with the hope that the competition does not reverse engineer your “secret sauce.”
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About Dr. Everson

Prior to forming this SBIR consultant practice, Dr. Jeffrey Everson was director of business development for QinetiQ North America’s Technology Solutions Group (previously Foster-Miller, Inc.).

Dr. Everson has won and been the principal investigator for several SBIR programs, including a Phase I program for NASA, a Phase I project for the U.S. Air Force, and Phase I and II contracts from the U.S. Department of Transportation. For the Phase II program, he received a Tibbetts Award for exemplifying the best in SBIR achievement.

Previously Dr. Everson held senior scientist positions at Battelle Memorial Institute, The Analytic Sciences Corporation (TASC), Honeywell Electro Optics Systems Division, and Itek Optical Systems Division.

He holds a PhD in physics from Boston College and a MS/BS in physics from Northeastern University.


For more information about how JHEverson Consulting can help your company with its SBIR and STTR proposals, please contact Jeff Everson.

JHEverson Consulting is based in the Boston area but consults for clients throughout North America. It also is supported by affiliated consultants.