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Profitable Advice: The Value of Information Provided by Canada's Inventor's Assistance Program


  • Thomas Astebro

    (Joseph L. Rotman School of Management - University of Toronto)

  • Yigal Gerchak


Inventors who are considering whether and how to commercialize their inventions. can often avail themselves to evaluations and advice provided by government supported programs initiated to encourage innovation. In Canada. such a service is provided by the Canadian Innovation Centre. through its Inventor's Assistance Program. In its twenty years of operations the IAP has evaluated 11,000 inventions. The fee charged for an invention evaluation was Cdn. $262 in 1995, and these fees covered about half the program's expenses. We compute the expected value of the information the IAP's evaluation provides under different assumptions and scenarios. Under plausible conditions, the value of the information to the inventor is found to be higher than both the fee and the social cost of the program. The implications of some inventors not following the advice given to them by the IAP are briefly explored.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Astebro & Yigal Gerchak, 2001. "Profitable Advice: The Value of Information Provided by Canada's Inventor's Assistance Program," Post-Print hal-00477198, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00477198
    DOI: 10.1080/10438590100000003
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server:

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    Cited by:

    1. Astebro, Thomas B. & Dahlin, Kristina B., 2005. "Opportunity knocks," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 1404-1418, November.
    2. Du, Juan & Chen, Chien-Ming & Chen, Yao & Cook, Wade D. & Zhu, Joe, 2012. "Additive super-efficiency in integer-valued data envelopment analysis," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 218(1), pages 186-192.
    3. Dahlin, Kristina & Taylor, Margaret & Fichman, Mark, 2004. "Today's Edisons or weekend hobbyists: technical merit and success of inventions by independent inventors," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1167-1183, October.
    4. Sapsed, Jonathan & Grantham, Andrew & DeFillippi, Robert, 2007. "A bridge over troubled waters: Bridging organisations and entrepreneurial opportunities in emerging sectors," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 1314-1334, November.


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