Introduction to the Tech Forge

Did you ever have a Good Idea related to clean, sustainable power? You're sitting there reading a newspaper, or watching TV or listening to NPR. You hear about a problem related to green energy, or pollution, or global warming. And you say to yourself, "Why don't they just do it this way?

We all have those ideas, and for most of us, we never do anything about them. They pop into our minds, and leak out our ears. Maybe we mention them to a friend, and a couple years later we see the ideas coming back to us in a different form, successful (or not) in the market. But we failed to do anything with them, because after all, what can one individual - who has to work for a living - do with a Good Idea?

You can bring it to the Tech Forge!

The purpose of the Tech Forge is to create what Tapscott and Williams, in Wikinomics, call an "ideagora", a marketplace for ideas. And this marketplace has lots of quiet rooms off the bazaar, available for free, where you can grab a few fellow-travelers, go in the Project area, and work together to explore the idea, combine it with others, nurture it, and perhaps grow it into something strong and vital. And you can do this without the pain, heartache, and probability of failure, that comes with trying to play entrepreneur with your idea.

Why do this? It's not to get rich. If you have a truly game-changing idea, you SHOULD go play entrepreneur. But if you just want to see the problem solved, want to do your bit to stop global warming, and you have a Good Idea that has value and could be the starting point of something that contributes to solving the problem, don't let it die on the vine. Bring it to the Tech Forge. Combine it with 10,000 other peoples' ideas, and see what happens! If your idea works out, you get the credit, the publication and the documented "priority" as the inventor. The world gets your invention, under an Open Source license, where other inventors may combine it in new ways and produce yet more pieces of the solution, and where individual members of the public can use it for free.

If your idea has commercial value, you can choose whether to put it in the public domain, or take advantage of the Institute's Patent Application Program. We are still working on the Institute's model for supporting innovation, and the needed IP Agreements that insure all contributors are treated fairly. We hope to have them done and documented by the end of November.

In the meantime, please tell us what kind of project you would like to work on, or what cagegory your idea fits in. Is it a Solar Thermal device? A new mounting bracket or assembly methodology? An injection-molded low-pressure turbine blade? What areas of work would you like to pursue with other members? Leave a Comment here!

Solving global warming is going to take years, but in order to do it at all, we can't keep wasting Good Ideas. Bring them together, let them be discussed and combined with other ideas, and see what happens! You never know, it might be YOUR idea that is key to the puzzle. Let us know your thoughts! Leave a comment here...