[p2p-research] open green R&D
chriswaterguy at appropedia.org
Wed Aug 19 08:08:39 CEST 2009
This was posted to Appropedia at
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has asked for feedback. (Add your comments on that page or its talk page,
and I'll also point the contributor at any responses on this thread).
Hello Appropedia Energy Community,
I am currently working on a MBA dissertation with a special focus on
renewable energy. In writing my literature review, I focused on 3 different
areas of research (open innovation, open source, and stakeholder theory).
Here is a condensed break-down of the paper:
1. Green R&D is non-profit company whose sole purpose is to assist with
innovation. In addition to keeping a stable of paid scientists and
researchers, Green R&D also oversees financing, budgeting, patent
applications, and litigation. It essentially pays for the more expensive
aspects of Renewable Energy research that freelance scientists might not be
able to afford if they worked in more open source-style collaboration. It
also assists with long-term planning, suppliers, contracts, etc. All
prototypes and research are placed under a GPL-style license.
2. Green R&D opens it findings to the public for contributions, thus
benefiting from peer-to-peer production and input. Scientists, researchers,
and laypeople around the world collaborate, adding to the growing pool of
research. Whenever technically feasible, new improvements and discoveries
are placed under the same GPL-style license.
3. Private firms may use this public information for its own purposes, but
in doing so, it must pay a royalty. The royalty would have to be carefully
determined to minimize cheating while maximizing payments.
4. A volunteer watch group ensures compliance between privatized products
and royalty payments. I'm still working on the incentive structure for this
watch group, although http://www.peertopatent.org/ offers some useful
insights on how this might work. I'm also still working on a way to properly
measure royalty payments.
5. Royalty payments go back to the Green R&D solely for the purpose of
future research. There are no "profits" per se. Green R&D exists only to
make renewable energy financing possible. The entire system is more of an
innovation machine than it is a "business model." It helps brings Inventors
and Entrepreneurs together if and when the former lacks sufficient capital
to get started.
There are a few areas I have yet to resolve with the above model, and I was
hoping you might be able to advise me on the best approach:
1. Financing....how do we finance the initial start-up capital necessary for
this venture? Traditional investors would be hard to implement since open
source and profit are often at odds. Would volunteer contributors get
involved if they knew that their efforts would make someone else rich? I've
considered crowdfunding as an option. And government assistance would be
very helpful (although I prefer not to remain dependent on antyhing
2. Governance....who would actually be in charge of Green R&D? In the
absence of investors, to whom is Green R&D responsible? How do you sanction
bad behavior or poor performance? Who decides on the allocation of funds?
3. Measuring IP.....in the programming world, it is "relatively" easy to
enforce dual licensing since one need only compare the final code to the
original to determine percentage overlap. Cheaters exist, but catching them
and prosecuting them is fairly straightforward. In the research, science,
and technology worlds, however, enforcing dual licensing seems much more
difficult. If the OS community creates prototype A....and a private firm
takes prototype A, makes changes, and sells it as its own, how do you detect
this? I recommended a volunteer watchgroup, but I'm not sure how that would
work exactly. And even if the watchgroup caught all cheaters, how do you
measure what percentage of the original technology was used in the final
product. What if a private firm makes many many changes to Prototype A while
another firm only makes minor changes to Prototype A? How do you determine
what royalties both firms should pay?
Does anyone have suggestions for the above areas (or other areas I need to
explore more carefully. In addition, does anyone know of an existing
community of freelance researchers and scientists who already work in the
renewable energy sector? For some of my primary research, I need to talk to
those who might potentially be involved with the above business model. I've
already spoken with energy scientists from corporate firms and with P2P
experts, but finding those in the middle (i.e. P2P energy scientists) has
Anyway, hope all is well. Thanks again for all the previous assistance you
offered...and thanks in advance for any additional insights you might be
able to provide.
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