Commercialized 20+ new technologies from research labs
Commercializing technology from research labs is significantly different than development within a business unit. Yet, research labs often provide the source of true breakthrough ideas and approaches making this endeavor well worth the effort.
The most common barriers include misalignment between researchers and business leaders on research focus, success metrics and time horizons. Research teams often lack sufficient market knowledge or customer contact to identify real customer problems. Finally, the transfer of technology from research to a development is a common failure point.
ICG have led or advised 20+ Rapid Results Projects to commercialize new technologies from research labs including new materials, novel devices and advanced algorithms that range from signal processing to consumer experiences.
We have found the following success factors to be common across these diverse projects:
- The anchor point must be a compelling customer need. Having a well understood business case is nice to have but you must provide line-of-sight for the researchers to solve an important customer problem.
- The business receiving the technology must perform due diligence so they have a clear understanding of the potential and pitfalls of the technology – you need to translate their invention into your application.
- The leaders of the business and the research lab need to establish a technology transfer program than optimizes the specific capabilities of the researchers and development engineers. In some cases the researchers are capable and motivated to transfer into the development team for a period of time but we do not advocate forcing consistency in the transfer program design.
- Increasing the percentage of successful new technology transfers from research labs will only happen if you communicate and build on successful examples. The goal is for more business leaders to believe in the potential of harnessing research from labs and examples for how to do it successfully.
ICG Principals have led or advised the commercialization of 20+ successful projects for new technologies from corporate, government and university research labs.