Smart concrete could pave the way for high-tech, cost-effective roads

What if roads and bridges could signal structural problems that need repair?

Vishal Saravade, Post-doctoral Scientist, Purdue University • conversation
Nov. 12, 2020 ~8 min

 innovation  infrastructure  civil-engineering  transportation  invention  concrete  innovation-and-invention

Most plastic recycling produces low-value materials – but we've found a way to turn a common plastic into high-value molecules

Plastic waste is a global problem. Now a chemist has developed a new strategy for breaking down the most common plastic so it can be not just recycled, but upcycled into desirable goods.

Susannah Scott, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, University of California Santa Barbara • conversation
Oct. 23, 2020 ~6 min

environment pollution recycling plastic plastic-recycling plastic-waste innovation-and-invention plastic-bags

NASA's OSIRIS-REx will land on an asteroid to bring home rocks and dust – if it can avoid Mt. Doom

OSIRIS-REx will touch down on asteroid Bennu, collect a sample of the dust and begin its journey back to Earth, where scientists will study it, hoping to learn secrets of the solar system's origin.

Elizabeth Cantwell, Professor of Practice for Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and Senior Vice President for Research & Innovation, University of Arizona • conversation
Oct. 19, 2020 ~8 min

 space  astronomy  solar-system  nasa  asteroid  astrobiology  innovation-and-invention  bennu  near-earth-asteroids  sample-return-mission

How a government-linked foundation could speed the spread of new clean-energy technologies

Similar arrangements already support the National Park Service, the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies.

David M. Hart, Professor of Public Policy, George Mason University • conversation
Oct. 7, 2020 ~9 min

 innovation  climate-change  carbon  greenhouse-gases  energy-transition  philanthropy-and-nonprofits  innovation-and-invention  us-department-of-energy  process-of-innovation  foundations

Want to solve society's most urgent problems? Cash prizes can spur breakthroughs

Society has never faced more pressing challenges. Researchers are investigating how monetary prizes can help focus innovators' attention, creativity and investment on finding solutions.

Luciano Kay, Research Associate at the Institute for Social, Behavioral and Economic Research, University of California, Santa Barbara • conversation
Oct. 1, 2020 ~9 min

innovation nobel-prize science-awards innovation-and-invention process-of-innovation incentives grand-challenges prizes

One small part of a human antibody has the potential to work as a drug for both prevention and therapy of COVID-19

Antibodies are great for neutralizing viruses. But they are big and bulky. Antibody engineers are now creating smaller synthetic antibody-like molecules that may be better for fighting COVID-19.

Dimiter Stanchev Dimitrov, Professor of Medicine and Director, Center for Antibody Therapeutics, University of Pittsburgh • conversation
Oct. 1, 2020 ~9 min

 health  medicine  immune-system  pandemic  immunology  sars-cov-2  covid-19-pandemic  ace2  antibody  innovation-and-invention  covid-19-research

Nobel Prizes have a diversity problem even worse than the scientific fields they honor

With 3% of science Nobels going to women and zero going to Black people, these awards are an extreme example of how certain demographics are underrepresented in STEM fields.

Marc Zimmer, Professor of Chemistry, Connecticut College • conversation
Sept. 29, 2020 ~8 min

women-in-stem nobel-prize women-in-science discrimination stereotypes stem-careers innovation-and-invention nobel-laureates imposter-syndrome underrepresented-students role-models leaky-stem-pipeline stem-role-models science-role-models racist-stereotypes

COVID-19 vaccines: Open source licensing could keep Big Pharma from making huge profits off taxpayer-funded research

Governments must embrace policies that promote sharing and collective invention to create and distribute a vaccine quickly.

Timothy Ford, Professor and Chair of Biomedical and Nutritional Sciences, University of Massachusetts Lowell • conversation
Sept. 18, 2020 ~9 min

 health  medicine  covid-19  pandemic  vaccines  sars-cov-2  open-source  innovation-and-invention  process-of-innovation

To be a great innovator, learn to embrace and thrive in uncertainty

Many great innovators have personality traits in common. Comfort with uncertainty is critical, but passion, curiosity and a number of other learnable skills can prime you for an innovate idea.

Todd Saxton, Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Indiana University • conversation
Sept. 15, 2020 ~8 min

innovation business risk uncertainty invention entrepreneurship disney innovation-and-invention discovery success disruption process-of-innovation

When states pass social liberalization laws, they create regional advantages for innovation

Inventors in states with more socially liberal laws on the books end up with more diverse collaborators – and more higher-impact patents.

Laurina Zhang, Assistant Professor of Strategy & Innovation, Boston University • conversation
July 9, 2020 ~8 min

innovation invention entrepreneurship collaboration creativity innovation-and-invention patenting corporate-social-responsibility-csr social-policy abortion-law patents same-sex-marriage entrepreneurs medical-marijuana innovate innovation-policy corporate-social-responsibility

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