Monday, August 20, 2007

Crowdsourcing as a tool for research and development

[From a posting on Dewayne Hendricks list -- BSA]

Randy Burge interviews Alpheus Bingham, co-founder of Innocentive via telephone

Alpheus Bingham knew something big had to shift in the way invention and innovation happened at pharmaceutical giant, Eli Lilly. A top R&D
Executive at Lilly in the mid 1990s, Bingham, along with others, struggled to devise new ways to leverage knowledge to reduce the ridiculously high costs of developing new medicines.

Drug discovery moves at its own expensive glacial pace. Progress is throttled by complex tangles of chemistries, physiologies, mind-sets, regimens, efficacies, budgets, regulators, stockholders, and a thousand other variables. How does a company innovate its innovation?

Bingham scanned the environment for new methods and inspirations to
Generate more diversity and throughput in Lilly's R&D idea pool. Creative
ferment was high, but the need for change was even higher. How did the Lilly team invent something as radical as crowdsourced R&D in an industry burdened by protocols and status quo?

Lilly, in a bold move, launched e.Lilly to incubate nascent solutions
Like the one that became Bingham's crowdsourcing company, Innocentive. But, launching Innocentive was the easy part — could such open-ended
Crowdsourced potential be integrated into the formal channels of R&D?

Innocentive is now adapting its crowdsourcing model to the social philanthropy arena and beyond. It is a story for the innovation ages.

Innocentive has recently partnered with the Rockefeller Foundation in an exciting new dimension for both organizations. The partnership evolves the Innocentive model to elicit and manage crowdsourced solutions for critical social medicine and other problems and challenges addressed by the Rockefeller Foundation. Tell us about this new crowdsourced philanthropic mission.