IMCG blog

Exploitation – a word often used innovative EU projects


The whole point of an innovative project is that something new will come out of it. Something of great use. But no matter how great a new solution, technique, product or service is, it won’t be of any use if the only ones knowing about it are the ones who developed it.

– I work in several EU projects and in most of them I have a role where I’m, together with project partners, form a plan for exploitation of project results. Often, people don’t understand what that really means, says Ulrika Wahlström, Innovation project manager, IMCG.

In EU language exploitation is the use of results for commercial purposes or in public policy making. The step to transform the great project results into having a commercial solution, product or service is huge. It doesn’t just happen by itself. There must be other competences involved, not only the tech part.

– A whole new language is needed in order to commercialize a project result. To talk about technical excellence – however great – won’t be enough. You must express your outcome in terms of customer value, says Ulrika Wahlström.

Exploiting the results of a project is highly depending on the ability of tech and non-tech partners to cooperate and to rely on each other’s competences.

People involved in EU projects naturally have an understanding for that there could be cultural differences that one has to deal with in order to collaborate. We all have different backgrounds and come from different countries. What sometimes is lacking is an understanding for another type of “cultural difference”; the one that occurs when we add a layer of both technical and non-technical partners. All partners need to understand that they play important roles when moving what’s being developed in the project towards the market. It could by augmenting the TRL (technical readiness level) of a solution or taking the first steps towards commercialization. It is not necessarily a movement that will get the product, solution or service on the market, but it will go in that direction.

Exploiting the results of a project is highly depending on the ability of tech and non-tech partners to cooperate and to rely on each other’s competences. The technical knowledge must be there, but without the understanding of how to communicate the customer value, the high-tech solution will never reach the market. And if the solution, product or service is a result of a collaborative work, it is of essence that somebody can state ownership of it. If not, nobody will be able to invest in it or buy it.


If you are interested in knowing more about how we work with overcoming market barriers in order for smart sustainable solutions to get market impact, don’t hesitate to contact Ulrika Wahlström.

Did you find this blogg post interesting? Then you might also be interested in reading “6 things to tackle to avoid market entrance barriers”

Here are some of the EU projects where IMCG works with exploitation and innovation management; IRIS Smart Cities, United-Grid and InspireWater.

About the Author

Ulrika Wahlström

Ulrika Wahlström

Ulrika Wahlström är innovationsprojektledare med speciell kompetens inom strategisk kommunikation på IMCG. Ulrika är utbildad civilekonom med inriktning på marknadsföring. Hon har jobbat som exportrådgivare på Danmarks Eksportråd och kommer närmast från Business Region Göteborg där hon jobbade som marknads- och kommunikationsansvarig för Kluster & Innovation.