Site logo


Innovation is our greatest real wealth generator.

Stacks Image 1600
Great technologies evolve - the Bullet Train.
(1) Stephenson's Rocket, 1842, as Dinky toy.
Stacks Image 1657
H-bomb: The first successful Fusion device.
(2) INuclear weapons transformed government views of R&D
Stacks Image 1634
Thomson Reuters map of Renewablesl Patents.
(3) Even windmills generate new Patents
Stacks Image 1652
Concentrated financial power.
(4) Networks of global financial control.
Banks Network
Lehman and Bear Stearing no longer exist. A long fall for us all.
(5) Banks in trouble.
Stacks Image 1628
Thorium can deliver the world's safest reactors.
(6)Thorium: A moth ball technology
Stacks Image 1625
GE lost 3 old reactors at Fukushima. Innovation has not stopped.
(7) A leap to passive safety for a Fast Reactor
Stacks Image 1646
US backs out of nuclear. Cartoon projects.
(8) Cartoon Nuclear Science
Stacks Image 1649
Risk drops with Knowledge. Spin offs can run for the prize.
(9) Governments take all the long term Risks.
Investment and Value
Generic map for Value added by advanced (Fusion) technology.
(10) Invest in Innovation for massive Wealth.

This is the core story about Innovation in the most advanced technologies: what it is, how it happens, what it is worth. Follow the story with the lightbox gallery on the left.

The navigation links on the left take you to Openers for the Economics Avenue. The links to the right take you to all the Reports for Economics.

(1) In 1813 there were no railways, Faraday had not unravelled the secrets of electricity, and coal was only emerging as a major fuel. Stephenson's Rocket changed the world, but the technology continued evolving .
In 1913 Europe was preparing for another war. Horses were still vital for transport. The giant Oil fields would not be found for 30 years. Fission and Fusion were unknown. The strangeness of quantum theory and relativity were purely academic activities.

(2) Radar, rockets, and nuclear weapons transformed the way governments viewed research and innovation. Sputnik was more scary than a Martian invasion. The major powers established well funded systems of national laboratories in many fields. These were very productive with full time scientific and technical staff and minimal administration. Key laboratories were duplicated to provide critical and competitive oversight from people of equal expertise.

The US went to the moon in cockleshell spacecraft. DARPA demanded startling, science fiction inventions leading to microchips and supercomputers which now rule our lives.

(3) Step forward to 2013: Thomson Reuters published its Top 100 Innovators list, all of whom consistently beat the FTSE and the Dow by 10-20 points for 25 years. Tracking and fostering innovation is big business.

(4) A study by Swiss economists showed what we all suspected: The 40,000 largest TransNational or globalised Corporations (TNCs) are controlled by a core of only 4000 TNCs, and the 150 largest control 40% of all world trade. Their gross incomes of many TNCs exceed that of most governments. The Swiss report only lists the top 50, most of which are banks. This hard core set the rules by which all enterprises must follow.

(5) Well, that was before their galactic amounts of virtual money turned out to be supported by nothing. The map of best connected banks is now missing several members. Black Hole theory is talked about.
Nevertheless, we have strong clues on where to invest and why, and who can fund real new growth for innovative groups.

(6) Technology puts lots of people out of work. Farmers used to be 99% of the world population but mechanisation has cut that to under 5%. Governments have had to invent jobs - called the service sector - to keep people busy.

Governments are withdrawing from the massive investments they made in science, but only in favour of short term profits from world trade. Even the best innovations are left on the shelf: The world's safest reactor design, the Thorium molten salt breeder, was moth balled in 1975, leaving a model salt loop in the ORNL museum. The great accumulated knowledge of reactor neutronics, materials, and separation chemistry means that any new molten salt Thorium project starts with our estimated 25% probability of a failed investment.

(7) Technology is not without disasters. General Electric lost 3 reactors at Fukushima, but their latest Fast Reactor model uses natural circulation to cool it. A Fukushima accident cannot happen to these. Evolution continues.

(8) Government withdrawal is also signalled by artists' impressions of projects instead of actual projects. We show a high temperature reactor which can feed a huge Hydrogen transport economy.

Blizzards of regulatory procedures and filibusters on enabling legislation are part of the avoidance. Someone else must pick up the ball.

(9) Governments have taken all the risks in many directions and it is right that they hand off to private enterprise to complete the job. What is not smart is to close down the highly functional national laboratory systems and put a halt to large scale discovery.

We cannot afford to return to the 1913 style of research. Innovation should be a national responsibility. Substantial tax concessions could allow industries to take a longer view on their innovation searches.

The chart here shows how the Risk of producing remarkable new energy sources has been reduced by the Knowledge acquired at public cost. The example is for Small Fusion Reactors, but the chart is generic.

Fusion technology is fully explored on this website to show how far it has come. The claim that Fusion is always 40 years away only reflects the funding, not the knowledge base. It may not happen this century if left solely to politicians.

(10) Rewards? Globalisation has ensured that a successful product which everyone wants is guaranteed a huge future. The eventual rewards can be 10-100 times the investment and long lasting as shown on this chart. A 1GW power plant for $7Bn sounds expensive but it will produce $1.5Bn worth of electricity every year for 60-100 years. That is real wealth.

Energy is vital to the life cycle of everything and the increasing life style wealth we can have. Growth cannot be indefinite - the planet is finite. It is the job of governments to avoid catastrophes from the largest scales of technologies.

This is just the opener for deeper and more professional work on Innovation and Wealth.

City of London finance cntre
City of London, investment core.
Elms control
Where's the cash?
Gold is real.
US Coal sales
US Coal Exports
opencast coal mine
Not so Rare Earths