After a 30-year career in Chemical Science both in academia and in the industry, I have a confession to make; Creative research is my passion and my addiction. Because of this, my routine everyday activities never interested me enough to occupy all my attention. As a result, when I saw the InnoCentive advertisement in “Chemical and Engineering News” back in 2004 I checked out their web site. After going through the descriptions of the Challenges I immediately found one of interest.
After doing research and some experimental work during my spare time, my original and excellent (I thought so anyway) solution was ready for submission. I submitted it and waited for the standard two-month waiting period, before receiving notice from InnoCentive that my solution had not been selected for the award.
I was disappointed, but now, three years later, when I look back I am glad that this first unsuccessful attempt has not stopped me from trying. In fact, in retrospect, it was not failure at all. In the fall of 2006, when I revisited the InnoCentive website, I submitted not one, but two solutions. I am pleased to say that I was awarded for my solution of one of them, “Color Changing Ingredient,” in January 2007.
Within the last year I submitted three provisional patents based on “unsuccessful” solutions to the US Patent Office. One was selected for submission for the 2nd Annual Inventor Awards organized by Popular Science Magazine. I’m keeping my fingers crossed until June 2008 when the results will be released.
By now I’ve won five InnoCentive rewards and earned a substantial amount of money. Nobody disagrees that money is important, but what may be even more important for me is the unforgettable feeling that my idea was able to help with the specific Seeker’s case.