Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Are you getting enough out of your commercialization consultant?

By Jason Norris
Published: May 27th, 2009

IP commercialization consultants can sap your time and money, and they can be a godsend worth their weight in gold — and often fall somewhere in the middle in terms of effectiveness. A description of a recent engagement between Cambridge Consultants and Cambridge Enterprise Ltd, the tech transfer arm of Cambridge University (UK), offers a best case scenario. The consulting group, through a multidisciplinary team of technology strategists, recently identified a potential multimillion dollar opportunity in a high-growth drug discovery market. The focus of the assignment was assessing the IP portfolio and market potential of microdroplet technology. Along with an IP landscape and market research review, the Cambridge team was able to provide an expert opinion on the validity of key IP, as well as an assessment of the commercial opportunities and potential for the technology in three specific market areas. According to senior consultant Dr. Richard Day, “we unearthed a densely populated minefield of IP in the microdroplet area, but were able to identify a subset of representative patents for further analysis. A screened list of the ten leading, and potentially blocking, patents of greatest interest were reviewed in detail to establish the validity of their claims. This enabled us to provide specific advice, allowing the university to identify regions in the IP landscape open for further investigation.”

Having identified areas ripe for commercialization, a project team analyzed the market and competitor activity, which included interviewing a panel of industry experts from world-leading companies in the field to identify the most promising and beneficial applications for microdroplets. The result was an industry-validated overview of the potential benefits of the technology, which could be used to inform strategic decision making and to highlight needed product enhancements. The final result was a validation of the technology, and evidence to support a successful market adoption. Commenting on the engagement, Dr Maher Khaled, technology manager for Cambridge Enterprise, said the consulting group “obtained invaluable insight from industry leaders on where this technology could be applied for the greatest value. With a number of potential paths to commercialization, Cambridge Consultants has also assisted the microdroplets team by evaluating established patent positions. This has prompted the researchers to develop alternative approaches that will preserve their freedom to commercialize any promising results with assistance from Cambridge Enterprise.”

Go to: Cambridge Network

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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