What’s the commercial potential of your research?

I wonder whether there’s a market for the results of my research?  Or perhaps an industrial partner interested in helping?  What would I need to do to bring this to market?  What would customers need before they’d buy?

If you have these questions, then maybe an i-Teams project has the answer.

On 6th March, in another in the Engineering Department’s series of workshops to help researchers maximise their impact, Amy Mokady, the Programme Manager for i-Teams (www.iteamsonline.org/) described how i-Teams work and the sorts of questions they can answer.iTeam

An i-Team consists of about six postdocs or PhDs, typically from science and technology backgrounds, guided by an experienced mentor, often an entrepreneur or technology consultant and they look for the application possibilities and markets for the technologies and products of research.  The i-Teams programme runs three projects a term for each term.

Amy emphasised key points about i-Teams projects:

  • These aren’t desk research projects – the teams get out and talk to real potential customers (sometimes they even make a sale).
  • Researchers find out not only the potential of their current work, but also what needs to be done to make the end product attractive.
  • Sometimes the teams find whole new application areas – maybe with greater potential than other more obvious markets.  Sometimes they find markets that can act as ‘stepping stones’ to success.
  • The teams will need to work up good ways to describe the research and its potential in order to do their project – and this really helps a researcher to see a good way of presenting their work
  • The best projects are those where the researchers work closely with the i-Team, sharing insights and lessons as the project unfolds.

Amy So, if you think you might have a project or you’d like help answering those important questions about what customers really want then get in touch with Amy (am678@cam.ac.uk).

If you would like to be on the mailing list for future talks in this series please contact Charles Boulton (cb683@cam.ac.uk).  Or have a look at ‘talks with impact’ for the next in the series – talks.cam.ac.uk/show/index/42183.  Further information on the Engineering Department’s theme on ‘Inspiring research through industrial collaboration’ can be found at www.engineerimpact.info or by following twitter.com/engineerimpact.

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