Market-first approach to research thrusts
Topic of the practice
RTC research thrusts need a market analysis before proceeding
Good Practice Information
In the framework of the nano4m project, GT-CNRS participated in an anlysis of market orientation for proposed nanotechnologies in the area of solar cells. As part of this process, questions were asked about the path to market that required the consultation of experts external to GT-CNRS. The result of this process has emphasized the need for evaluation of markets before research programs are pursued. The main stakeholder in this process is the GT-CNRS lab, which undergoes research in smart materials and secure networks. The practice involves either partnering with companies through the formation of joint laboratories (in which case a company profieds the external expertise and is also a stakeholder), or hiring an external expert to analyze the market orientation and industrial feasibility of the technology in question.
We have learned that external experts often know market rules-of-thumb for how much benefit the new technology can bring and at at what cost. This allows GT-CNRS to make quick decisions regarding the eventual feasibility of market transfer for a new idea or suite of new ides.
Evidence of success
Since we have adopted this strategy, we have created two joint laboratories. The first of these was an agreement with SILSEF in 2010. This joint laboratory is funded by approximately 2.5 million Euros, 1.5 million of which comes from SILSEF, which is a manufacturer of value added silicon wafers. The goal of the project is to develop the technology for GaN on silicon in the context of unique GaN growth techniques developed by GT-CNRS with the value-added technologies possessed by SILSEF, such as nano-imprint, etc. Another joint laboratory is being finalized in October 2011 with Peugeot PSA with a size of approximately 2.5 million euros. The goal of this OpenLab is to allow Peugeot PSA researchers to be able to watch and evaluate emerging technologies that may impact the automotive industry and to obtain intellectual property related to these emerging technologies. The goal for CNRS UMI is to perform research that is industrially relevant and has economic impact. Targeted areas include the development of advanced metals in order to reduce car weight, the development of advanced plastics, and the development of optoelectronic materials for sensors, display, and solar cell applications. We have also hired one external expert to evaluate and help find markets for betavoltaic devices. Surprisingly, the external expert was able to find secondary markets that we were not aware of and to help contact companies interested in the technologies.
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
GT-CNRS UMI 2958