In technology transfer, we often look at the existing technology that is out there and try to match our offerings accordingly. There is a clear benefit to time and resources by positioning your offering in an already established market that is utilized by specific products. Much of the work of finding the applications has been done, and now you only need to find the right partner. Although, if we are only looking to supersede others with our innovations, there is potentially a lot of meat being left on the bone.
To discover where those other opportunities might exist, it is important to go through the process of specifically defining the underlying proficiencies of the technology. Through this exercise, we are able to “de-link” the technology from the products themselves, and begin to evaluate them differently. When the fundamental functions of the technology are put into a vacuum, other potential applications start to become apparent because we are no longer tied to the established notions of where it fits.
With this level of understanding, surgical antiseptic becomes a cure for bad breath (Listerine), a missile lubricant becomes the go-to for handymen and women (WD-40), and robotic arms go from the factory to powering the most popular rides at theme parks (check out our upcoming post for more on that). Now the technology's viability hinges on broadening your outlook and seeing how creative you can get with the applications.
It may seem a bit daunting, but thankfully there are tools that can help you identify potential partnerships outside of the normal scope and give you insight into them.
Shameless plug, KISSPlatform is one of them, but there are others and we will be discussing them in our upcoming webinar. Sign up below and see if one of them is the right fit for you.