Investment-ready early-stage tech innovation

This good-practice guide explains how focusing on early-stage innovation in a proactive way – through activities that identify problems, generate new ideas, and build productive teams – leads technology innovation projects to success and later-stage adoption.

Use the interactive guide to de-risking innovation for successful commercialisation through the Translate 2015-2018 website.

The guide is an interactive experience – just like the innovation process itself. The user may enter and exit the process at any stage, and each stage ends with a stage-gate with four options: repeat the stage, move to the next stage, end the project, or hand-off the project.

A series of useful quick-guides are also included on topics like project scouting, leading productive innovation workshops and freedom to operate analysis, prior art, novelty and IP landscaping for patentable technologies.

A note to knowledge exchange and technology transfer professionals

The guide is for Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation (KEC) practitioners.

As a KEC practitioner, you translate research outcomes into products and services that have an economic and social impact – often with endless complexities. It can be a long, complex and difficult journey.

Reducing the risk and uncertainty associated with new technologies is more likely to open the door for private sector investment to develop commercial products and deliver economic benefits. Managing risk is crucial to businesses working at the forefront of novel technologies. Translate’s experience has found that by focusing on early-stage innovation in a proactive way – through activities that identify problems, generate new ideas, and build productive teams – technology innovation projects are more likely to lead to success. Translate have also discovered that investing our time into one specific sector – building knowledge and expertise, developing capability and capacity, and creating a network of academics, research users, and innovation enablers – greatly increases the chance of innovation success

This guide explains how supporting innovation at an early stage (Technology Readiness Levels 1-2) – rather than solely the later stages that a KEC practitioner might usually work at – will accelerate technology progression.  It takes key learning points from Translate, a HEFCE Catalyst-funded (now Office for Students) programme established to improve health and wealth in the Leeds City Region by translating ideas into new medical technologies.

This is a step-by-step good practice guide that can be applied to a wide range of technologies, across several stages of development, to de-risk technologies at an early stage. This early support will lead to better commercial potential and later-stage adoption.

It includes practical quick guides with tips and useful documents, which can be used to deliver some of the suggested activities.  There are also case studies to illustrate the process with real examples.

Use the interactive guide to early-stage innovation on the Translate 2015-2018 website.