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Mapping Weak Signals

Inspired by: FP7 » Edison Nation: Match-making for innovators and companies

version: 3 / updated: 2011-11-08
id: #1866 / version id: #965
mode: VIEW

Originally submitted by: Vanessa Watkins
List of all contributors by versions (mouse over)
Last changed by: Rafael Popper
WI-WE status:

Source of inspiration

European Commission Framework Programme for RTD (FP7)

Theme/activity of inspiration

Theme 8 - Socio-economic Sciences and the Humanities

Sub-theme/area of inspiration

Blue Sky Research on emerging issues and other research economies

Optional reference/s to FP7 project/s

Use the following format: Project Acronym (Project Reference No.). Use commas if more than one project is associated to this Wild Card, for example: ALFA-BIRD (213266), SAFAR (213374), LAPCAT-II (211485)
Source: INFU (225229) - http://www.innovation-futures.org/ http://www.everydayedisons.com/default.aspx

Signal's headline

(max. 9 words)
Edison Nation: Match-making for innovators and companies

Signal's description

(approx. 150 words)
Please describe the Weak Signal (approx. 150 words)
Edison Nation is an online community dedicated to inventors and people with ideas. It aims at helping them to turn their ideas into products and companies discovering those ideas. People can submit their ideas (into the Live Product Search database), learn about invention processes, present their ideas to companies and find other people who are capable of helping them with skills they lack (inventors help inventors). Edison Nation sees itself as an intersection between inventors and business. By a network of retailers and manufacturers new product ideas are brought to store shelves. If an idea is selected by a company, the inventor is paid a $2,500 advance plus a percentage of sales. Selected innovation ideas and their process from the idea to a real product are documented by the Everyday Edisons show – broadcasted on TV and DVD.


inventions, innovation, media, ideas, match-making


(max. 250 characters)
Emergence of online communities (e.g. Edison Nation) dedicated to inventors and people with ideas. It aims at helping them to turn their ideas into products and companies discovering those ideas.

Signal's first apperance


Signal's potential evolution

It could lead to...
issue type of issue/development potential impact on society timeframe for the issue to become at least 50% probable
#1 Change in current innovation patterns new/emerging

Under what assumption the Weak Signal might evolve.

Edison nation is sort of like a talent show for innovators and inventors. In an entertaining manner the TV show accompanies selected personalities on their way to success. This could be a weak signal that innovation processes will become more tangible for the public and that popularity of innovations are increasing.


please specify
please select
Level 1: important for a particular country Currently only important for the US
Level 3: important for the European Union

Key driving forces of this signal

Please use these boxes to provide up to 2 drivers of HIGH importance. Click on HELP to see examples:
Driver 1 Driver 2
Economic In times of me-too-ism and ever faster innovation and product cycles, companies have to find new products in ever shorter intervals in order to surprise their customers. User-driven innovations bear a large, so far untapped potential of innovations. Companies are happy to get in touch with creative people and commercialize their ideas. On the other hand, as the economy is about to transits into a creativity economy, the individual is depended on marketing their ideas in order to make money.

Major risks & opportunities associated to the signal

Please choose the most appropriate timeframe option(s) to which you would like to provide inputs.
Risks Opportunities
before 2015 If the number of comparable platforms increases, this, after a critical number is exceeded, might lead to less successful innovations, as people might get lost in the oversupply of opportunities and cannot decide to whom to present their ideas.

Signal's relevance for European Grand Challenges

where? please justify:
particularly relevant Europe world
Economic prosperity/dynamics
Innovation dynamics

Signal's relevance for thematic research areas

please justify:
particularly relevant
Research infrastructures
Science in society

Pan-European strategies influencing the signal

please justify:
particularly relevant
Improving researchers mobility and career development by, for example, realising a single labour market for researchers.
Facilitating and promoting knowledge sharing and transfer

Research-friendly strategies potentially improving understanding of the signal

For further information about 'research-friendly strategies' click here
please justify:
particularly relevant
Strengthening the actors in the research-friendly ecology
(i.e. Research funding organisations, universities, businesses, Research and Technology Organisations, Researchers and Citizens)