I've had this idea in my mind for a while now and I wanted some of your opinions on this.
I'm a PhD student in Computer Science. I feel like the inventions that many students do just go within writing and their main goal is to publish papers in conferences and forget about it - at least that's what happens in Computer Science department for the most part. After all what is the main purpose of doing research? To innovate new things, right?
I want to create a platform where people could talk about their work and other people could interact with them and give them ideas or criticize or may be even give ideas to commercialize their work and what not; kind of like a social network but very professional.
I'm not sure what is the deal with other departments like Mechanical Engineering where they can invent "cool" things but many times it just vanishes off as a school project. My idea is to put their work on the web and update it when they progress. The general public could follow their work (or even VC's or Angels could stumble upon) and may be able donate or pledge for their inventions and so on.
My main concern is that they are so many things that vanishes within school that I want to bring into light. Do you think people will use this platform or is there more of a chance that people want to keep what they are working on to themselves and not use this platform?
P.S. I've read open ended questions that was closed and also read answers that encourage to pitch ideas here so I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this question but it doesn't hurt to ask.
Even I have, at many times, felt the need of more practical stuff coming out of the research community, but some of the problems in your question, which are important to be mentioned are:
I feel like the inventions that many students do just go withinI don't know why you are looking at CS research from such a biased perspective. No, the research done is not just for the papers and is NOT forgotten for sure. And, based on my research experience, I believe the purpose of research is to extend the boundaries of human knowledge rather than innovation. The word Research by definition doesn't have much to do with innovation.
writing and their main goal is to publish papers in conferences and
forget about it - at least that's what happens in Computer Science
department for the most part. After all what is the main purpose of
doing research? To innovate new things, right?
Also, The research work doesn't get vanished after the paper is published but is available for the concerned research community to make use.
I want to create a platform where people could talk about their workYour idea sounds good, but you're mixing research with commercialization of the output which is not necessarily the aim of a researcher. BTW, as you must already be knowing that the conferences where research publications are presented, the work IS discussed among the people and they do get related ideas and critique each other's work.
and other people could interact with them and give them ideas or
criticize or may be even give ideas to commercialize their work and
I really think that there is nothing that stops a researcher from turning his/her research into an entrepreneurial idea. It's just that most of the times (atleast in academic institutes as opposed to R&D Industries), research is not done to make a business out of it, but it's mostly the choice of the researcher and needs of the market.
There have been lots of examples where something which started as a research project eventually turned up into a business (Google is one of the examples, and there are others lots and lots of them)
Edit: I think you should try doing some validation of the idea (if you have not done it yet) by discussing the same with researchers around you and have their responses. If there are people who really want to turn their research work into business and are looking for a platform, then the idea has a good potential.
I think Atul is right that researchers are not focused on commercialisation. And if they are interested, they don't have the right skill sets to bring the innovation to market. That is the main problem with your idea.
However there are places where research is being commercialised successfully. The university where I work has a department focused on commercialising innovations developed within the university. I know that Stanford University has a department where researchers from different disciplines and entrepreneurs can connect to commercialise technology.
I think your idea of encouraging this kind of interaction is worthwhile and should be done. I'm not sure it will work on an online platform - but I'm happy for you to prove me wrong! :-)