Maybe I could address this.
I sat on a panel for Genome Canada. They actually call it “disruptive technologies”. We spent the first three months of the panel discussing what is “disruptive”. How do you justify taking taxpayers' money and risking it all the time? They're not going to like that very much.
They realized that with risk there are the rewards that come with it, so you do have to take the risk. How do you manage that risk?
You can't predict where innovation is going to come from. This has been demonstrated over and over again. The idea is to carpet bomb the environment. Give everybody a little bit of money and let them play for a little while, but make sure you have someone on top of it who's looking at these things so you can capture that innovation and that risk when it happens.
From the 250 people you give money to, 20 are going to come out as potential winners. Then you move them through the system. Eventually you de-risk the proposition by using a process that way. You may or may not be able to identify the winners. Take lots of small risks. This is what venture capitalists do. They take lots of small risks over and over again. One in ten is going to pay off, but that tenth guy is going to make up for all the losses you took before. You have to create a system that allows you to do that.