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Economia e Politica Industriale-Journal of Industrial and Business Economics


This paper introduces and describes the invention-insight sample space and uses it to describe the creative process of discovering invention insights—the essential combinations of elements of knowledge to envision the basic working configurations of inventions, the working ideas for new technologies. Evidence about invention insights and about corporate strategies to promote them is viewed in the context of the paper’s description of the invention-insight discovery process. Then that description is used (1) to identify a novel new opportunity—initiation of policies to stimulate invention insights that directly combine unusually large numbers of knowledge elements—for public sector entrepreneurship to speed the pace of technological progress and the opening up of altogether new areas of science and technology, and (2) to delimit the appropriate form of policy—promotion of competition and the free exchange of ideas—to exploit the opportunity. With sufficient uncertainty in the search for insights, pre-invention-insight ideas in themselves should ideally be freed from the restrictions of intellectual property.




This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Economia e Politica Industriale-Journal of Industrial and Business Economics. The final authenticated version is available online at:

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