Many established companies and start-ups work in collaboration with others, such as research institutes, academia and larger industries in order to develop new technical solutions.
– To work in collaborative teams to innovate is the easy, often fun, part. The hard part is to get the innovation out, all the way to the market, says Ulrika Wahlström, Innovation Project Manager, IMCG, knowing that this statement might sound a bit provocative.
Of course, it’s not always easy to collaborate, but the point is that SMEs, organisations, institutes etc are very well prepared on having to work hard together on the technical parts of innovating. It’s a little bit like becoming a parent. You get very educated on what will happen during the actual birth of a child, but nobody prepares you for all of a sudden having to deal with three teenagers in the house.
If you are becoming a parent you will get very educated on what will happen during the actual birth of a child. Nobody prepares you for what will happen next. Before you know it you have to deal with teenagers. Compare this to the ones that are skilled to work on innovation together. Too often, nobody prepared them for the next step, how to get the product or service to the market.
Exploitation – planning the pathway to the market
IMCG acts as innovation project manager in several different EU projects and have years of experience on non-technical issues, such as management of intellectual property rights. A main activity for all that wish to get their product or service to the market is to describe the way you are foreseeing getting there. When you have done that it’s time to look at potential barriers for getting there. Here we list some major obstacles that you must address in order to get to the market.
- Ownership– Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) – Make sure that you can prove that you own your product/service. Can you file for patent or can you protect it in another way?
- Funding– Make sure that you have investors and have secured the financing needed for market entrance. Remember that nobody will invest in your product/service if you can’t prove ownership.
- Policies and regulations – Know that the global climate objectives have a large impact on a vast range of areas and that regulations are getting stricter. See to that your product/service will be accurate in the years to come.
- Customers– Make sure that your offer matches the customers’ needs and know that they might need to be educated in order to understand the benefits of your innovative solution
- Competitors– Learn who your competitors are and know that they might be offering a product/service that is very much appreciated by the market. You need to understand how to make potential customers abandon old habits
- Communication– “No innovation without communication” – the market will not know that there is new product/service if you don’t talk about it. Plan how you will communicate with different market segments
If you found this interesting, you might also want to read When patent isn’t enough and Are you a star of high-tech innovations? Here are tips on how to reach the market!