There is so much talk about universities and the role they should play in enterprise and commercialisation. Over the years I have been around numerous universities – lots of science, engineering and technology based faculties. The amount of IP and knowledge as well as the talent, never ceases to amaze me . Protecting ideas is such an important element of the commercialisation process – I would never disagree with that – but a patents alone wont make the till ring!
Too many academic establishments think the job has been done when they have got their patents sorted. Well I think there are three things pivotal to taking ideas to market:
1. The commercial drivers (CD) – what is the route to market/customers – business model – who’s going to buy it?
2. The human factors (HF) – thinkers, drivers, doers, sellers – getting things done through people and teams
3. The resources factor (RF) – money, time, IT, plant, equipment
In simple terms successful commercialisation is a product of CD x HF x RF – score zero in anyone and it does not happen. I have broken this very simple model down into sub components and would be happy to share them with anyone interested. The fact is anyone involved in commercialisation should view the process in more holistic way – its not just about IP, its far broader.