Posted on September 21, 2018
From independent research in enterprises to academic discoveries in universities, students, researchers, professors, scientists, and engineers are constantly innovating new technologies.
However, most university discoveries never leave the lab, even though they can be transformed into growing startups or commercialized within international companies.
In fact, these discoveries can be turned into products and solutions that improve the quality of life, help businesses grow or even disrupt entire industries.
Technology transfer, also referred to as technology commercialization, is the process of transferring technology, in addition to skills, knowledge and manufacturing methods, from an enterprise or university to a wide range of users, while creating economic value and developing the respective industry.
LineStream is a perfect example of a success story that moved from the research lab to the market. It started when Early Stage Partners invested in a technology that improves the performance of automated machines to industrial equipment.
The technology was developed by Professor Zhiqang Gao in Cleveland University but it was not marketable until Dave Neundorfer worked on it as part of his MBA. Soon after he graduated, Dave became its CEO and was able to raise $6 million dollars in funding.
The process of commercially developing research technology into new products or services varies widely. It could include licensing of intellectual property, offering technical consultancy, or selling the developed technology or the assets and knowledge developed around it. All have the potential of generating tremendous revenue streams for the people behind the technology.
However, the process can be overwhelming and risky for non-business people, which can be mitigated through joint ventures and partnerships with established businesses.
Take Tekcapital, a UK investment group that is focused on acquiring, improving, and developing technology innovations from 4,500 universities and research centers across 160 countries. On one hand, they serve businesses by offering them a pipeline of screened IP acquisition candidates; on the other, they help universities bring their research out to market.
Their work generates $200B+ in annual investment in university research. Their portfolio of technologies includes solutions and IPs such as Salarius – a patented process to produce salt crystals with 50% less sodium, EGravitas – a portfolio of IPs that produce energy-generating footwear and Frigidus – another portfolio of IPs for improving the energy efficiency of central air-conditioning.
On a country level, improving the process of technology transfer in Lebanon will foster innovation in tackling economic, environmental and social challenges, creating job opportunities and empowering both academics and young entrepreneurs towards creative problem-solving.
In this context, and part of its mission to reinforce innovation and economic development in the MENA region, The Next Society is focusing on accelerating technology transfer through their Research to Innovation Labs. These are national and regional challenges which call innovators and researchers in the water, food, and energy fields to “Showcase their Technologies” and get the chance to accelerate their visibility and market entry.
In Lebanon, Berytech – the exclusive partner of The Next Society, is organizing a 3-day intensive Technology Transfer Bootcamp to help Lebanese innovators learn the essentials of turning their research into viable businesses. The bootcamp will take place from October 18 to 20 in Berytech Innovation Park in Mar Roukoz, and is open for applications from all individuals, universities, and research labs across Lebanon.