The public perception of ‘invention’ is usually that of some white-coated boffin, some mad-scientist or eccentric backyard tinkerer slaving away in a dark room, shed, garage or laboratory with some genius idea that will make a fortune that the family will live on for generations.
While there is some truth to this idea the vast majority of inventors are men and women who have spent years working in a particular industry and who have encountered, again and again, a persistent problem that just won’t go away.
The vast majority of people just put up with a problem or do their best to ignore it. But some people are different. Some people have an investment in their industry. To them, the work they do is not just a ‘job’, it’s a way of life, it’s part of their identity. In the more creative personality these problems at work niggle, like the annoying buzz of a mosquito in the room that’s just begging to be swatted. The problems become an affront to a worker’s sense of peace and harmony. The problems begged to be solved, and so, an inventor is born.
It stands to reason then that the more complex the industry, the more problems there are, and one such complex and problem-ridden industry is construction. People take construction for granted, but it’s a highly-specialised area that encompasses a huge range of science, engineering, social, regulatory and legal issues. Arguably anyone can build a mud hut, but it takes considerable material and intellectual resources to build a domestic home to modern Australian standards, and huge resources to build a skyscraper. Construction is not for the feint-hearted, get it right and you have a sort of immortality in concrete, like the Sydney Opera House, get it wrong and you have a shopping centre collapse that can injure or kill hundreds of people.
The construction industry in Australia is worth over $AUS 120 billion annually.In spite of its size, Australia is in the top 10 countries in the world for construction output.
Here are some more statistics:
Unless something goes spectacularly wrong, or spectacularly right, the construction industry gets scant media attention, far out of proportion with its significance. But just because the media ignores it, doesn’t mean that it isn’t important. And with so much happening in an industry that involves so many people and so many potential problems, the opportunities for problem solvers, and inventive solutions, are HUGE. Inventive types should be on the lookout for these area of interest within the construction industry:
And there are emerging and increasingly important trends in Sustainability and Fast-Track construction.
When you look at the big picture, the opportunity for invention is there and where there is an investment in innovation, there is investment in intellectual property, and that intellectual property needs to be protected with the help of a specialist patent lawyer or attorney, to ensure that no one will be able to steal and exploit your hard-won research.
Any one of the 1.1 million Australians working in some are in construction, should take into account that that where there is a problem, that problem can become a challenge. Your answer to that challenge and your solution to that challenge, might not only make your fortune, but might also make a significant positive contribution not only in Australia, but world-wide too.