Presentation on theme: "The assessment of commercial viability"— Presentation transcript:
1 The assessment of commercial viability UMIP®The University of Manchester Intellectual Property Ltd
2 Overview The process we use Assessment criteria Trends at Manchester Benefits for researchersCase studies
3 A judgemental process Its not an exact science Seek quantitative and qualitative dataRelies on experienceUMIP people all have technology backgroundMany industry backgroundThe process asks key questions
4 Commercialisation Executive Business ManagerTiming: StartScreeningDecision If ‘Yes’Shaping(0 to 4 weeks)(+ 4 to 8 weeks)(within 12 weeks)( + 1 to 3 months from decision)ActivitiesPhase OneMeet Academic(s)Information Gathering on:- Technology or Idea- Possible Applications- Stage of Development- Industry Links- IP Position- Research FundingAcademic BackgroundPublicationsPhase TwoSearch for Prior ArtAssess Strength of IP[Arrange Independent Technical Assessment]Identify Products or ServicesIdentify Customer(s)Validate Market ApplicationsConduct Market AnalysisDefine Benefit/Added ValueResearch CompetitorsTest Academic CommitmentPhase ThreeReviewOutcomes:EITHER: Reject, thenInform Academic(s)Signpost ElsewhereOR: Accept, thenAllocate resourcePhase FourProtect IPDefine Commercial PlanSeek Funding (if required)Confirm IP AssignmentFormalise Arrangements with Academic(s)Determine Milestones
5 Unique selling proposition Technology confidence Stages of assessmentOverallmarket sizeUnique selling propositionRoute tomarketTechnology confidenceInitial assessmentMarketFurther deeper assessmentLiabilityissuesPeopleInvention disclosure meetingBarriers to competitionTechnologyPeopleIPOwnershipMarketinertiaNature of competitorsFinancialreturnDependence on3rd party IPMarket dynamics
6 General ruleIt generally takes much more effort to commercialise a technology that only has a modest set of ingredients than it does for one that has a strong set of ingredientsRisks higherFund raising more difficultTime to market longerReturns smaller
7 The balance Potential “World” value Perceived risk Likely effort/ timescale
8 Value and Risk: the balance Potential valueCostPerceived RiskHIGH
15 Palm Centro - a $99 entry-level smartphone This might be one…Palm Centro - a $99 entry-level smartphone
16 1 Overall market size Spin-outs - big markets excite investors If the overall market is £1Bn then even a niche part of it could have significant commercial potentialLicensing – potentially higher royalty rates to be negotiated
17 1 Overall market size Information gathering What is the full range of applications that the technology could be used for?Market reportsData on existing companies e.g. turnoverMarket validationContact end users, distributors, industry insiders
18 2 Unique selling proposition (USP) What are the features of the technology that would make it the technology of choiceFunctionCostQualityHow novel/attractive would it appear to a user/customer?Is there a clear unmet need?Information gatheringA thorough knowledge of the existing and emerging technologiesDialogue with end users/distributors/industry insiders
20 3 Route to market viability Is there a credible route to market?Existing distributor chains/outlets?If no, does setting up an appropriate route to market seemSensible/affordableInformation gatheringTypical margins and overheads in existing distribution systemsIdentify key players – assess what would motivate them to work with usmake contact if appropriate
21 What would be the route to market? A technology that enables electronic components and control switches to be woven into fabricsA low cost cancer imaging technology that has great value ……but all the existing players want to keep it out of the market
22 4 Confidence in the technology Do we have clear proof of concept?FunctionScale up potentialClear understanding of the technical risks/downsides/limitationsInformation gatheringPotential external technical critique, testing or evaluationA good understanding of the investment required to bring to the technology production.
23 4 Confidence in technology How easily will the technology scale upReproducibility? – works every time in volumeCost of manufacture in volume environmentAbility to manufacture with a commercially acceptable level of skillHow confident are we that it can deliver the performance desired by the market
24 5 Potential return on investment What is the ratio of gain to effort? Is it favourable?If so, is this likely to be achieved within an acceptable timescale (e.g. 5-7 years?)TimeEffortMoneySociety benefit£ returnEnvironmental benefitEconomic benefit
25 5 Potential return on investment Information gatheringPotential business valueOther potential benefits – quantitative/qualitativeResources/effort required to commercialise
26 6 PeopleCommercialisation can be very time consuming and is not for everyoneKey attributes of successful entrepreneurshipOpen mindedFlexible styleFocussedTenacityTeamwork
27 7 Barriers to competition Does a strong intellectual property position exist currently?PatentsKnow howSoftwareIf “no”, is there a good likelihood that strong IP will be developed from the work ahead?If “no” to both of the aboveAre there any other measures that could be taken to help the technology/product stay ahead of the competitionCustomer benefitsCostInformation gatheringPrior art searches of existing and potential future IPIdentify Specific skills and expertise that are not replicated elsewhereTechnology road mapCan it be kept secret?
28 8 Market inertia Is there either significant… Customer entrenchment in this market sector?Significant new infrastructure investment/required to get the technology/product to marketHas this sector already invested heavily in current technology, and will therefore be unlikely to orphan that investment?Are there obvious opinion leaders or early adopters that could help overcome these barriers?Information gatheringCanvassing of existing customers/distributors etcTechnology roadmap of industry
30 9 Nature of competitorsDo we fully understand the strengths/weaknesses of the competitor technologies?Are we confident that we could take a significant market share?Would competitors be able to take measures to undermine our project? E.g.Undercut on priceOffer additional feature/benefitInformation gatheringCompetitor analysisContacting existing customers/distributorsSpecialist opinions/consultants
31 vs vs 9 Nature of competitors An ambitious competitor may end up winning, even if their product is inferiorvs
32 10 Market dynamicsDo the dynamics for this market match the timing of the product/technology?A new mobile phone technology may be very risky if it has a 5 year development planWhat are the market trends/pace/volatilities?Information gatheringProject timing planLegal or regulatory requirements/constraints
33 11 Dependence on 3rd party IP Is ownership of the technology clearPeople who have been involved3rd parties organisations who have been involved“Freedom to operate”Information gatheringThorough questioningPrior art searchesSearch for umbrella patents
34 12 People skillsAre we sure that the skills available to deliver the technology to market are available?Management team?Industry/sector experience?Technical sales?Technical/support skills?Admin/accounting/finance?
36 14 Scale of project Is the scale of the project within our experience i.e. a £500M project is too big!If so, the project is almost certainly limited to the licensing routeInvestment criteria comfort zone
37 15 Other risks? Health of key individuals? Possible legislation changes?Dependence on failure of a competitor technology?
38 Experience at Manchester – EPS data 200 invention disclosures in 2 years30 active projects170 - not currently commercially viable110 – no intellectual propertyor no market50 – too early stage10 – people commitment issues
39 Benefits of commercial activity Harnesses the commercial world in getting your work out there!ReputationOrganisationPersonalAdditional incomeDepartmentThe experience!
41 Case study 1 Biomedica: antimicrobial peptides StrengthsBroad range of applications in “world scale” marketsMarket applications ofhigh potential valuelow risk withnear termlow barrierLonger term, high barrier, high risk applicationsGood proof of conceptPatent protectedWeaknessesCollaboration with US University complicated ownership – assignment obtainedTechnology needed UMIP Proof of Principal investment to gain licensee traction
42 Case study 2 EPS example – toxic contaminant removal StrengthsWorldwide marketSignificant running cost advantages compared to existing technologiesHigher performance/more effective than existing technologiesGood proof of conceptVery broad range of applicationsSimple technologyPatent protectedWeaknessesWater industry generally very conservative on new technologyHigh investment cost for customers
43 For further advice or if you have any questions please get in touch with your relevant UMIP Commercialisation Executive