Dream inventions may fizzle. Managers and marketers can interfere with research and nudge scientists out of key decisions. Commercial product development is fraught with problems. But inventors in academia urge their colleagues to brave the risks and take their ideas to market anyway.

At least that's the sentiment emerging from a reader survey conducted by The Scientist. "Do it," insists one respondent, even though a university developed a product based on her research without compensating, or even consulting her.(The Scientistdoes not disclose the names of its survey participants.)

"Network!" says one scientist even though his product proposal was "not seriously considered" when he presented it to a relative in business, a venture capitalist, and a consulting firm. His advice? "Form a group of colleagues who can divide among them the many different tasks involved in commercial development."

Source: The Scientist reader survey, "Taking Science to the Market:...

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