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Technology Commercialisation Practical Lessons from other Countries. Dr Alistair M. Brett Senior Consultant Oxford Innovation Ltd Oxford, UK Opinions expressed are those of the presenter. Numbers Trends Opportunities. Information sources: The Industrial Research Institute

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Technology commercialisation practical lessons from other countries

Technology CommercialisationPractical Lessons from other Countries

Dr Alistair M. Brett

Senior Consultant

Oxford Innovation Ltd

Oxford, UK

Opinions expressed are those of the presenter

Oxford Innovation Ltd 2003

Numbers trends opportunities

Numbers Trends Opportunities

Information sources:

The Industrial Research Institute

European Industrial Research Management Association

Centre for Research on Innovation and Competition

Institute of Innovation Research

Manchester University

Nottingham University Business School

Association of University Technology Managers

Oxford Innovation Ltd 2003

A few numbers 2001

A few numbers (2001)

Oxford Innovation Ltd 2003

Russian academy of sciences r dccs

Russian Academy of Sciences: R&DCCs

Pilot Research & Development Commercialisation Centre (R&DCC) at Chernoglovka Science Centre, Moscow Region 2001 –2004

Work supported by the British Council and UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Based on previous work since 1994 (USAID, Tacis, BC, Eurasia Foundation)

R&DCC accepted as model for Russian Academy of Sciences research institutes

Problems: Structure, Financing

Oxford Innovation Ltd 2003

Lessons learned

Lessons learned

Be patient

Make and maintain personal contacts with companies – large and small

Set up open communications

Don’t fall in love with the technology

Offer solutions not technologies

Work on multiple projects simultaneously

Keep new projects in the “pipeline”

Oxford Innovation Ltd 2003

Lessons learned 2

Lessons learned (2)

Ownership rules for IP must be clear

Government funding of research is important

Industry-directed research at universities does not damage scholarship

Plan for commercialisation early

manage risk

One success is better than years of plans

Monitor costs, including indirect costs

Oxford Innovation Ltd 2003




“We are moving more and more of our research off shore because of unavailability of the top researchers that we needed in growing our research efforts”

Survey (2003) of 104 large US/European companies, 90% said“innovation is integral to our current strategic goals”


“We have 18,000 engineers at 69 sites worldwide”

Infineum (Exxon-Shell)

“We want access to networks of scientists”

Oxford Innovation Ltd 2003



R&D, products, becoming more complex, more embedded knowledge

Reputation and track record in managing projects are more important than cost

Build long-term strategic partnerships with networks of specialists across borders

Stimulate methods development

Access to specialized resources rather than finished technologies

Oxford Innovation Ltd 2003

Role of innovation in firms
Role of Innovation in firms

Oxford Innovation Ltd 2003

Opportunities for latvia

Opportunities for Latvia

Take advantage of the trend towards distributed R&D

Reduce bureaucracy compared to other countries

Establish clear point of contact for industry at each university

Support exchanges of scientists between universities and industry

Work with existing Latvian organizations

Advertise Latvian successes to gain new industry customers

Oxford Innovation Ltd 2003

Mis match of supply and demand

Mis-match of supply and demand

UK/USA Other

Supply Demand

Supply Demand

Oxford Innovation Ltd 2003

Positioning strategies

Positioning strategies

Feasibility studies Few long-term

Prototype development benefits

Internal investment in both More long-term “R” and “D” to progress benefitsbeyond prototypes

External Investment


Oxford Innovation Ltd 2003

Management of intellectual property inpublicly-funded research organisations:Towards European Guidelines”

Open Science model - PROs do not retainany intellectual property rights (IPR)

Licensing Model - PROs retain,protect and commercialise inventions through licensing the IPRto industry and to start-up companies

Innovation Model – PROs have active policy of collaborative research with industryand a pro-active involvement in the creation of spinout companies.

Oxford Innovation Ltd 2003

Importance of technology transfer factors

Importance of technology transfer factors

N= 150 1 2 3 4 5 6

Oxford Innovation Ltd 2003

What drives market opportunities
What drives market opportunities?

% effect

Survey of 1000 European firms

Oxford Innovation Ltd 2003

Why latvia

Why Latvia?

Why should a company look to Latvia to access research expertise or outsource R&D?

Is Latvian research of any value, is it innovative?

How can we overcome barriers of language, culture, distance?

Will the cooperative R&D be carried out efficiently?

Will our company’s IPR be protected?

How can investors make a return on investment?

Oxford Innovation Ltd 2003

What do investors want from universities and research institutes

What do Investors want from universities and research institutes?

“Show me” -- don’t tell me

Promote successful ventures

Recent cases of successful contracts or alliances

Is there a market for the technology?

What is the size of the market?

How should the market be entered?

What are your industrial contacts?

Finished technology or expertise?

How will the investor make money?


How much money is needed?

Oxford Innovation Ltd 2003


Issues institutes?

Feasibility of conducting technology audits at Latvian universities and institutes, or –

Accessing and promoting expertise at Latvianuniversities and institutes, previously identified and evaluated by the institute 

Promoting technologies, expertise, and resources from Latvianuniversities and institutes to foreign companies.Industrial Liaison Office modelWeb Portal

Oxford Innovation Ltd 2003


Issues institutes?

Promoting success stories

Analyse existing contracts with Western companies for attractiveness to investors 

Selecting a small number of companies who can act as "bridges" between universities/institutes and foreign companies

Strategies for Latvian Government investment in technology commercialisation

Incentives for innovation, and retention of young scientists 

The "Why Latvia?" question. What is Latvia's competitive advantage?  

Oxford Innovation Ltd 2003

Strategic drivers of r d outsourcing

Strategic drivers of R&D outsourcing institutes?

New markets

New technologies

Access to IP

Access to new specialist expertise

Filling capability gaps

Resources flexibility

Management of risk

Time to market

Focus on core activities

Build on core strategic assets

Oxford Innovation Ltd 2003

Overall New Product Development process institutes?

Fuzzy front end

New product development

Traditional Stage Gate™ Process

Technology Stage Gate™ Process

Oxford Innovation Ltd 2003

New Product Development Stage Gate institutes?™ Process



Testing &validation

Full productlaunch





Decision onbusinesscase






Oxford Innovation Ltd 2003

Six Elements of the Stage Gate institutes?™ Process

TR1 TR2 TR3 ……

Technology Review Committee

Technology Review Process



New Member joins

Current member leaves


Technology Development Team

Oxford Innovation Ltd 2003

Tech Stage Gate institutes?™ Process

Stage 2

Gate 2

Gate 1

Stage 1

Technology Review 1

Technology Review 2

Technology Review N

Stage 1 Activities

Technical literature searchPatent and IP searchCompetitive alternativesResource gapsPlan for feasibility assessmentExperimental workAnalysis and interpretationDevelop action plan for Stage 2


Understanding of IP situationDemonstrate feasibilityResults of experiments

Stage 2 Activities

Perform technical workAnalyse and report resultsCompetitive assessmentEnvironmental assessmentCommercial product possibilitiesPreliminary market assessmentPreliminary manufacturing assessmentDevelop action plan for Stage 2


Results of feasibility experimental workResults of commercial application assessmentForward planning

Oxford Innovation Ltd 2003

Bio-fuels Stage Gate institutes?™ Process

Reduced risk Increased costs

Technology audits

















Exploratory Research




Oxford Innovation Ltd 2003

Expected Commercial Value (ECV) institutes?

$ PV


Commercialise$ C


Development$ D


Commercial failure

Technical failure

$ ECV = [($ PV * Pcs - $ C) * Pts - $ D]

$ ECV = Expected Commercial Value of the project

Pts = Probability of technical success

Pcs = Probability of commercial success

$ D = Development costs remaining in the project

$ C = Commercialisation costs

$ PV = Present value of project’s future earnings (discounted to today)

Oxford Innovation Ltd 2003

Risk-Reward Bubble Diagram institutes?



$10M 8 6 4 2 0 NPV


Oxford Innovation Ltd 2003