Let me describe a situation I happened to be in by now several times. I work in the field of detector/electronics/imaging systems development. I often get some new technical ideas and solutions, some of them seem to be valuable and often I manage to demonstrate them to some degree experimentally without involving extra resources. When communicated to the employer, it may even get patented. At the moment, I would be happy to develop my idea just for my own professional growth while staying employed, I would rather prefer that then going creating my own company - I see too many problems on this way and not so much interested in remote perspective of getting rich.But typically my employer while staying positive about the idea (in terms of talking) does not provide much of any real support which is quite frustrating.
So the questions I cannot get answer to are:
- I heard that generally employer will not invest in idea of hired engineer/scientist. Is it true? If true then why? is it because of it will endanger their recourses and business ( I can leave and work independently, patent protection is not watertight after all)? Or is it just psychological, matter of keeping of the management status over non-management employer?
At the end, several times it looks like I have been in the situation when after disclosing some valuable ideas I was effectively forced to leave and my former employer was trying to follow up on that idea.
So at the end what should I do about that? - I know I cannot stop to approach my work creatively. Is creating my own company is only way?
Edit taken from original posters reply to thread:
Thanks for all the answers and bringing more optimistic view to me. To clarify: my ideas are very technical, mostly related to reapplying already in-house developed technology to a different field like applying some developments from multichannel readout electronics developed for medical field into mm-wave imaging for security. Also, I probably got such a pessimistic attitude because mostly being employed by rather small companies (20-30 employees). Another thing contributing to it is that I typically employed as electronic engineer (well sometimes the position might be called Research Scientist or Engineer) while I am graduated in physics and dealing mostly with physics-PhD-kind of things while actually having no PhD. I think employer can doubt my technical competence based on that and to some degree I missing presentation skill training of a typical PhD.
Also, I guess most replies here represent American attitude while my job experience is in Russia and Europe.
Thanks for your attention