June 26, 2012
“The scientific man does not aim at an immediate result.
He does not expect that his advanced ideas will be readily taken up.
His work is like that of the planter — for the future.
His duty is to lay the foundation for those who are to come, and point the way.
He lives and labors and hopes.”
– Nikola Tesla, one of the greatest inventors of modern times
After 45 years in the dental business as a registered dental technologist, Bob Huybrechts developed a new type of heat-sensitive denture material that allows the patient to adjust for comfort and a better fit simply by running it under hot water. Bob, like so many of us with a “great idea,” decided to take his concept to market. After an arduous six-year patent process, and a further seven-year process to bring the product to market, Bob’s denture technology has been available in 17 countries since 2003.
However, the development route was so arduous and costly (at one point Bob required the use of a food bank to feed his four children) that Bob said to himself, “There must be a better way.”
He approached the Ontario Government to assist him, given that his idea would reduce the cost of removable dentures not to mention increase patient comfort, but he wasn’t exactly received with open arms. Bob transformed an existing inventors group in the 1990s into the Innovation Initiative Co-operative, where for a nominal $60 a year, members can network and gain invaluable support and insight into the invention and product realization process. Easily accessible due to its not-for-profit status, the group features a yearly show called the Great Canadian Inventions Show, which allows members to showcase their products and ideas to key decision-makers in attendance.
“We must be doing something right, because people drive upwards of several hours to attend our monthly meetings,” said Bob.
Their inventions run the gamut of a portable traffic light to increase police officer safety while controlling an intersection with broken or absent traffic signals, to a number of projects involving energy solutions — some of them thought to be the holy grail of clean and cheap energy for the future…
“Every piece of human progress, every inch of advancement has been made by humans thinking creatively,” Bob said about inventions. His inventors’ co-op is designed to help inventors help each other, thus expediting the process of innovation. Bob is also very proud of the group’s use of a newer Universal Strategy Development System (USD-System) for managing intellectual property. It originates in Europe, and based on the Universal Copyright Treaties, it is instantly valid worldwide at a fraction of the cost of the older patent system, and with far fewer entanglements.
“We have successfully helped our members acquire this better and faster method to claim permanent ownership of their new ideas,” said Bob.
- If you’ve ever watched a television infomercial and had an I-thought-of-that-years-ago moment, perhaps you would be interested in attending an Innovation Initiative Co-op meeting. They meet on the last Thursday of each month at the North York Centre from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm.
- Support creativity, enterprise, entrepreneurship and innovation by visiting www.InventorsCircle.org for more information or to make a donation.
- Send us your stories about your creations and inventions and their outcomes to share with our readers – firstname.lastname@example.org