Seeing the headline that Bell Labs was coming back was exciting. Then I read the first page of the article where the Arno/Penzias discovery was discussed four different times. And the overall article discussed the FutureX prize several times. This article could have been half the length with the same information or the same length with a more in depth discussion of the lab.
Your are right about the article being long--but it was even longer before editing out in-depth discussions of the other Nobel Prizes Bell Labs has won. I decided to emphasize the Arno/Penzias Nobel Prize not just because its anniversay is today, but because it serves as the model for the reborn Bell Labs--namely, that the Labs plans to sovle big industry problems while keeping an eye out for basic scientific discoveries uncovered along the way. Also, the contest is called the annual Bell Labs Prize, not the FutureX prize. FutureX is not a prize, but the internal roadmap for the reborn Labs--namely to "aim high" by encouraging the exploration of basic science discoveries encountered while working on big industry problems. And by-the-way, thanks for your comment. I always appreciate feedback even if its not exactly flattering :)
Back in the day, Bell Labs was funded by a monopoly with a lot of cash to do pure research. As such, they invented amazing stuff that helped the world. Most of it did not benefit AT&T financially, however.
I have a hard time believing that this model will work anymore within a 'for profit' company. Please, please, please don't take this statment to mean that I am an advocate of 'public' funded research. I just think that Bell Labs will never be returned to its 'Former Status'.
Yes, the original headline was "Bell Labs Reborn" but I thought it might be associated with being "Born Again" so I chose "Restored to Former Status" meaning that it would pursue basic scientific discoveries that were made while solving the world's biggest industry problems, as it once did when pioneering semiconductors, communications and materials science. Some of Bell Labs future basic scientific discoveries may or may not have commercial value to Alcatel-Lucent, but of course they will try to find applications of them that do. Thanks for your prespective
Bless you for caring enough to keep an eye on your article showing you care. I've responded to articles with factual errors that were never corrected nor responded to so I've soured on responding to articles.
I was thirsty to learn more about Bell Labs potentially rising back up to some of its former greatness and just wanted more.
It is sad that one needs to be politically correct these days! It is about time that Bell Labs goes back to its former status. While doing so, I hope they support outside innovators / startups for IP & incubation and eventually licensing all across the US.--docdivakar
Yes to all your queries. President Weldon told me that Bell Labs would not just be pursuing innovations and basic science discoveries that Alcatel-Lucent could turn into businesses and market themselves, but that they would also license discoveries outside their core business model so that the whole world could benefit from them. He sounded very egalitarian and benevolent in that he sees the world facing many overwhelming challenges in the quest to improve everyone's living conditions, especially that of the poorest in our population. The Bell Labs Prize is supposed to bring in outside innovators with ideas about how to improve our world and will serve as an incubator whether the inventor joins Bell Labs or decides to license the IP for their own startup.
When Google hired a bunch of old Bell Labs researchers it became clear to me that Google was to be the heir apparent to Bell Labs. Google has the monopoly, the money and the talent. ALU isn't even profitable with 1/40th the market cap of Google, and no monopoly.
The world has changed, so I hope the new Bell Labs will adapt to that. I worked for Southwestern Bell during the summers while going to school back in the late seventies, so I have a soft spot for the old Bell system. I hope they will be able to build something special, but it will not be the same.
Nice Article. It is encouraging to see efforts that support freedom to innovate. Research and scientific discoveries require a culture that fosters creativity and rewards innovation. Regretfully, high tech is losing this culture with the adoption of operational models and governance economies that reward predictive outcomes instead of hectic and even chaotic innovation. This loss is aggravated with the systematic replacement of industry experts with jack-of-trade generalists that fail to see the value of R&D and manage without deep understanding of the industry they are serving.