Innovator Likes to Learn About New Areas

Interview with IdeaConnection Problem Solver Ashish Patil
Ashish Patil came across IdeaConnection when he was searching the Internet for opportunities to use his creativity in different ways, and has so far worked on a few Technology Scouting challenges.

An entrepreneur and innovator in the Healthcare and IT industries, he spoke to IdeaConnection about how he approached the challenges, and the value he can bring to an organization.

photo of Ashish PatilHow do you tackle the Technology Scouting challenges?

First, I understand exactly what the client is looking for in terms of the technology and from there, I look for the type of technology that could help them. I look on patent websites for similar attributes of the ideal technology and I read through in-depth IP documents about data collected from that technology and whether it's effective or not. And then I make a good judgment about whether something is a good fit for the organization. From there I continue to perform due diligence to see if it's actually available for licensing or acquisition.

Are you learning new things as you do this? Are you finding it intellectually challenging?

Yes, it challenges me to learn about a new technical area. So part of my time is really getting up to speed in that particular area as well, and knowing how things are done today and what the outlook is for that industry, the industry trends. And then once I get a good feel of that then I can really understand if a technology is a good fit or not.

Is that something that you can plough back into your working and research life?

Yes definitely. I consider myself to be an innovator so once I understand the context of a system and an industry; I’m able to understand the future outlook and what would make that particular system or industry better.

What sort of success rates have you had so far?

Just for right now it's been that one scouting request award. I think I have to keep trying and trying. Once I can get better at evaluating the effectiveness of a technology then I'll start to have a better success rate.

When you did win the Technology Scouting award, what did that mean to you?

It meant a lot being able to help an organization. If I wasn't doing what I was doing, they may not have come across that technology that could help them to grow and to compete better in their industry.

When you have been working on these challenges, are there particular parts that you have found difficult?

I think the most challenging part was just wrapping my head around the particular challenge. I received my award for an agriculture technology challenge, and I have zero experience in that field. So it was a lot of learning at first to get a good foundation, and then from there it was just using the natural abilities and skills I've built up to search for that right technology.

IdeaConnection has a variety of ways of solving innovation challenges. For example, there are Idea Rallies, Prior Art Citation Search and R&D Problem Solving. Would you consider getting involved in any of these?

Yes. I would probably get involved in an Idea Rally. I like to work at my own pace, as a kind of independent contributor. So it's difficult for me right now with work and school and everything to work together with a team to problem solve, but the Idea Rally would be something I would probably get involved with.

What are your feelings about working on a contingency basis?

I think that works out perfectly because if there was something paid out every time that somebody submitted something I think the model would definitely fail. It's about making value for an organization.

How do you view your experience with Idea Connection so far?

I think it's great. I think the concept to help an organization think creatively puts a spin on having them seek out talent and recruiting them internally. You have an opportunity through IdeaConnection to outsource and crowdsource it properly so that they're getting the best ideas at a great value.

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