THE BLOG

Reinvention and Innovation Are Key for Economic Recovery

01/04/2015 20:00 BST | Updated 31/05/2015 10:59 BST

As time goes by technology improves with the intention of providing better product performance and function or the same product performance and function at a lower price. Everyday products like the plughole, the light bulb and even the carrier bag need updates and upgrades. The existing market for everyday products is vast and perpetual.

Penetration of this market is fairly simple, come up with a good redesign idea that will make the product perform or function better, or a way to manufacture the original product cheaper, and then patent it. The existing market will buy the new product if it functions better, or is available at a lower cost assuming function is equal, in place of the original product.

This form of 'Old Product Development' that maintains an existing consumer market could turn an economy around, especially if innovation and new technology is added to the mix. By patenting new materials further improvement could be given to the product, which would make it attractive to the existing consumer market.

For example a new material which prevents rain leaving a stain on windows, or a new metal alloy which illuminates a filament in a light bulb for longer before burning out, could offer an increased utility value to the product that consumers will be interested in obtaining. As long as the price is competitive with the previously available products the market is there.

If there is an existing enterprise that manufactures a product which meets the needs of the 'Old Product' market, they might be willing to buy out the patent of a redesign or innovation idea to prevent the threat of competition. The new idea or innovation will not go into production but the designer or innovator will gain funds for future projects.

The obstacle in the way of this approach to economic turn-around is the cost and enforcement of patents. This may not be available to individuals who come up with redesigns and innovations. If the government was to set up a patent funding and support scheme it could reform the country's economic turmoil.

The government could also benefit on a financial level, not just an economic level, by agreeing on terms where they receive a percentage of any profits made by paying for patents. Alternatively they could agree with the entrepreneur to maintain tax nationality with the UK and not attempt to get around tax policy in exchange for funding the project.