Sometimes in research we come up with a cool new way of doing things, but we aren’t always fully aware of all the purposes that new technique is good for. There are well known examples, like silly putty or the Smart Board, of inventions that were created for one purpose or market sector, but found their true utility elsewhere.
I wonder whether it would make sense to create a sort of on-line utility market, in which anybody can participate. The market would be a sort of “invention CraigsList”.
People who have invented (and presumably will patent protect) novel enablements would be able to describe those new techniques in an on-line forum. Other participants to the forum can then suggest interesting uses for those techniques, to which they can claim ownership.
In an economic sense, such a marketplace can benefit everyone involved, since each novel utility increases the potential value of the corresponding novel enablement — or combination of novel enablements.