I was recently asked how bluebox judges the ideas/disclosures that come through our door, along with that question was you don’t have experts in all fields, how do you know what your backing is sound science?
Well this is typical question that comes along, especially in a University scene. However I have learnt along the years being involved in the Innovation and Knowledge Transfer field that you can have a great 100% sound idea – however if the relationship management with the key people is not 100% then the project will fall down at the end of the day.
You may find as you continue to read any of my blog posts that I believe successful Innovation Transfer is all about the people. You may have the best idea, but if you’re not out there talking to the industry/market to know if what you have may meet their needs, or really driven to get your idea out there – it’s going to be tough to be successful in this space. As some of you may know it can take a long time to get a creation transferred to the real world, sometime a decade or more depending on the space. Without passion and drive for successful commercial utilisation that benefits everyone, interest can be lost and new ideas are moved onto – this does happen.
The second aspect to the above question that I want to address is “no experts in all fields”. I will tell you now – you do not have to be an expert in the science/technology to be passionate about it or understand the market and know the commercial potential of an idea. It is good to have technical knowledge, as everyone in bluebox does. However I will again point to “idea 100% sound science” does not mean it will have great commercial potential. Of course the technical side needs to be sound, however we always come across really early stage stuff with often no or very preliminary data or information that seems exciting – if there is clear commercial potential we are interested in seeing further data that proves the “science” and would support a patent application (if that has been determined as the best way to protect the intellectual property). And in some cases it makes sense to back the project development through our bluebox proof-of-concept investment fund.
I think in the ideal world you would walk up the steps to successful commercial deal, however in the real world those “steps” are more like a maze – you will come across road blocks and you may have to retrace your steps and try another path to get to that successful commercial deal (which may happen repeatedly). Another aspect to that maze is getting so close to the exit that you can see it, however you may still need to climb over the wall to get to it.
It is not an easy road, it is tough, it takes time, you may get close and then circumstances can change in an instant. Keep the faith, drive, motivation – as a creator if you stay involved and keep that faith you will eventually see a successful commercial deal come to fruition.
If you want to have a talk about the commercial potential of your innovative idea or research please do not hesitate to contact us
Lisa van den Berg – Commercial Manager