In working on technology assessments, it’s important to consider the most critical factors in order to efficiently determine the commercialization potential of your technology. After you’ve done all of your market-based assessment research, you should have a pretty good gut feeling about the commercialization potential of the technology. So to verify that your gut is right, we find that it’s often sufficient to evaluate just a few key factors in your final analysis rather than get mired down in a lengthy list.
Has your tech transfer office set some resolutions for 2012? I’ve been doing some thinking about that, particularly in the context of the political landscape of late that TTOs must navigate. It’s certainly not news that in the last few years politics has been wagging the dog when it comes to tech transfer. And 2011 was no exception. For example, there was a big push toward using tech transfer to generate economic development and startups. But well-intentioned policies are not always aligned with what really brings value to technology communities, not to mention the universities and government labs where the technologies originate.
When moving from the screening into the assessment phase of IP management, it’s important to keep an open mind—and open ears—during the market-based assessment. I say “ears” because Fuentek assessments include interviews with industry experts, which provide extremely valuable market information that guides decisions about how, where, and when—or even whether—to begin marketing the technology. Listening carefully to what industry experts have to say about the market’s needs with respect to the technology lets you know which action is most appropriate. And in some cases, this means not merely holding off on marketing but actually stopping the assessment early. Let’s take a look at a real-world example.
Once the technology transfer office (TTO) knows that a technology is fit for commercialization, it’s time to ramp up for actual marketing. This involves a variety of proactive research and planning activities that are critical for successful and cost-effective marketing. Identify the Target Market Developing a roadmap for successful marketing starts with identifying exactly who your prospective licensees are. The best practice is to start by considering the value chain. Because the value chain outlines the primary players in an industry, it is an essential tool to identify target markets and prospective licensees. It can also help ensure that you don’t waste time talking to companies who may be “interested” in your technology because they may want to use it but are not in the right value chain position to license it.
If you read the Fuentek blog regularly, you’re probably familiar with the technology screening webinar we launched earlier this year. Well, today we announced a new webinar that provides training on what comes next for technologies that show potential for commercialization success. The “Stop Reacting, Start Proacting: Planning for Strategic Technology Marketing” webinar helps you not only be more proactive and efficient in selecting the technologies you market but also develop the right marketing plan for each one. Planning for technology marketing is important. Once you’ve figured out whether an innovation has what it takes to make further investment in commercializing it worthwhile, then you need to…
I always enjoy getting to talk with inventors about their innovations, don’t you? True, I don’t get to talk to every innovator for the technologies I see in my work with Fuentek, since we save our inventor interviews for those techs that pass our preliminary screening. But I do get to interview the innovator as we begin planning for technology marketing. With thoughtful preparation and execution, these interviews provide critical insights to guide the tech transfer effort—not to mention help build a solid relationship with innovators.
When you conduct online market research for technology screenings or market-based technology assessments, keywords are critical to finding relevant information about the technology’s potential markets, competitors, and licensees. Fuentek has developed a free webcast to help you understand some of our keywords best practices—tips that you can use to improve your online market research.
I was chatting with a Fuentek colleague last week who had recently run some numbers related to the technology screening work we have been doing for a client. Two facts came up that I wanted to share. The first related to saved patenting costs. We have screened lots of invention disclosures for this client, and over time we’ve rated a total of 134 techs as having low or medium-low commercial potential, recommending that the client not patent them. Cost savings: $3.355 million (assuming $25K/patent). Great news, though not surprising when you do the math on the value of technology screenings. My colleague also showed me the graph below, which charts…
If your technology transfer office (TTO) has a large tech portfolio, you certainly don’t have time to actively market every innovation. Even if your portfolio is on the smaller side, doing so is probably not the most efficient use of your time and resources. Let’s face it, some technologies have greater market potential than others. That’s why Fuentek finds our technology screening process to be critical to efficiently weeding out technologies that are not ready for licensing, helping you get to the best—fast.
Our most recent poll asked the question: What does your TTO do with a technology once the patenting process has started: wait for the patent to issue, assess the tech’s fit in the market, or begin marketing? Results are in and, as you can see below, th …