Cash in hand.
March 2, 2007
My chosen field involves plenty of computation and electronics. Arguably, I work in a “cool” field, which ironically also makes it a hot-topic.
Academic institutions in these areas constantly question why their work doesn’t make it to the “real world.” Plenty of research never makes it because it’s not cost-effective; this may mean that the research is too difficult to implement easily, or marks too much of a diversion from the current state of affairs. This research is, none the less, both required and important.
The answer to their question is that a lot of work does make it to the real world, but the researchers aren’t the ones that get it there. It takes time for other people, gifted in other ways, to polish the idea, turn it into a product, and present it to market. A new or improved algorithm or technique is a great step forward, but it’s not a product.
I wonder how much money could be made simply by creating good implementations of useful algorithms as they pop up in publications…