Accelerated Climate Technology Innovation Initiative (ACT II): A New Distributed Strategy to Reform the U.S. Energy Innovation System

November 6, 2009

Clean Energy Group, Meridian Institute

This report from Clean Energy Group and the Meridian Institute recommends that the Obama Administration should use corporate “open and distributed innovation” strategies to accelerate research and development for clean energy and climate change technologies. Governments should use the “distributed innovation” business strategies of companies like Eli Lilly and IBM that solve problems using ideas from outside their companies; these corporations tap the best global minds to create a virtual Internet bazaar of experts to move technology ideas from lab to market. Doing research in house or funding only one center or one researcher to solve a problem is not the way modern corporations conduct research and make products anymore. This decentralized, distributed, and bottom-up approach would bring financial and intellectual property experts into the government research process earlier, accelerating commercial product development. It also could be used in the international climate negotiations to give developing countries a way to build their own clean energy technology sectors.