Alexandre Dulaunoy makes an intresting case: We are in need for an innovation indicator.
Evaluating innovation in a company based on a single factor like the patent system is dangerous for everyone including the investor. At a time where the society ask for more accountability inside the companies, we really need a better system to evaluate innovation. Of course, there is no miracle. There is no such thing like the perfect innovation index. But at least, we should start to think of a better solution. My first thought was that we don't need such metric as they are all broken. That's true but it looks like that the economical sector loves to use broken metric. If there is no alternative in the "innovation metrics", the economical sector will pick the only one available and it's clearly the broken one . It's maybe time to propose something else ?
Some random ideas to build such index :
* We shouldn't rely on a single factor
* We should rely on factors that could be easily audited by independent parties
* We should not discriminate companies or a specific factor
* The index is highly dynamic (monthly based ?)
* The index is public as long the company wants to participate
* The index is composed of all the factors (version of the index may changes following the changes of the factor)
Some potential factors (of course, they are all broken but not in the same area) :
* Scientific publication rate
* Scientific publication quality (based on known conference? editor? reviewer?)
* Patent application rate
* Research ratio commitment compared to the number of employee (must be accounted in the balance sheet)
* Registration of copyright rate
* Registration of copyright quality
Maybe there are already some other indexes… I just think that the idea well worth investigating, at least to avoid the current single factor used : the patents.
It is a very good idea. If you want to submit papers on innovation indicators: Eupaco could become a forum for that debate. Book publisher Tim O'Reilly has his own thought on innovator hunting. The business of Tim requires to look for the 'alpha geeks'.