The operational challenges for a TTO or commercial team must not be understated.
There may well be many project disclosures all at different stages, with different potential outcomes and needing a speedy response. How do you find the most promising opportunities; who do you engage to provide external support from business, investors, grant makers, lawyers and so on?
How do you ensure a consistent approach to decision making and to the reporting of those decisions?
How do you align the TTO and commercial KPIs with those of the university and the researcher/academic?
The primary goal of a university is to educate and the primary source of value is derived from well considered, peer reviewed and widely cited academic publication. While consideration of IMPACT is becoming more widespread, it is still often seen as an obstacle to publication.
This can create conflict between the researcher/academic and the TTO when considering the commercial interests of the university.
How do you ensure that IMPACT is properly considered? Who decides what’s more important, on what basis and when?
The usual approach to the challenge
The university has two paths that can be followed. The BLUE path is the default route, focussed on peer review and publication of research. This approach leads to citations and academic kudos and standing.
The GREEN path is followed when a researcher wishes to explore commercialisation, leading to a potential commercial outcome with financial, environmental or societal IMPACT, all of which have a direct implication for research funding, such as HEIF and/or H2020 for example. But this doesn't always happen. Too often, this path is seen as an obstacle to publication as it can cost too much or take too long.
The PIPE enabled approach to the solution
The PIPE Platform allows the researcher, academic and TTO or commercial team to follow BOTH blue AND green routes in parallel. This allows for the production and readiness of publication materials while ALL research projects are efficiently appraised for their commercial, environmental and societal impact.
This approach creates a decision point, where informed decisions can be made on the final direction of travel for an idea/innovation. Is it to be published and/or is it to be commercialised AND published?