There’s plenty of talk about the hurdles that scientists have to overcome to commercialize their research, and while there’s nothing wrong in recognizing the scale of the challenge, it’s important to celebrate the success stories too. The Royal Society strikes a positive note in its recent video featuring Nanoco, Solexa and ARM, which offers advice on translating technology from the lab to the market.
The speakers are well placed to comment on the journey from discovery to devices, and each of them discusses different pieces of the puzzle, which includes raising money.
In the clip, Paul O’Brien, a professor at the University of Manchester and co-founder of Nanoco, emphasizes that the trickiest part to get funded is the step between invention and product development. To grab the attention of potential backers, it helps to think like one.
“The pull for the investor is the potential for a market,” O’Brien explains in the video. “So, if you can point towards a market like displays and say that [your product] could be in every house, in every country in the world, then they start to look interested.”
– You can find more videos from the Royal Society on its YouTube page
For additional case studies, check out the following articles from the journal Translational Materials Research –
Optical coatings for automotive applications: a case study in translating fundamental materials science into commercial reality – Manrico Fabretto et al, Transl. Mater. Res. 1 025001
Photocatalytic nanomats clean up produced water from fracking – P I Gouma and J Lee, Transl. Mater. Res. 1 025002
A lab-to-market roadmap for early-stage entrepreneurship – Jesko von Windheim and Barry Myers, Transl. Mater. Res. 1 016001