TECHNOLOGY BRIDGE PROCESS
The process typically includes:
- Identifying technologies or evaluating new invention portfolios.
- Protecting the intellectual property of the scientist/Institute through the patents and copyrights.
- Forming development and commercialization strategies such as marketing and licensing to existing private sector companies or creating new startup companies based on the technology.
What is Technology Transfer?
Technology transfer is the process of transferring technology from its holder (including those who have rights to transfer a technology) to others through assignment, license, technology consulting, joint research, joint venture or M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions).
TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER & ROYALTY TYPE
Assignment – Full / Partial
A sales type of technology transfer, in which the technology implementer pays the price and receives the nominal transfer of the right to the technology (or patented invention) until the contract is completed
License – Exclusive
The right to use a technology (or patented invention) exclusively within the established scope of the period, place, and contents, etc.
License – Non-exclusive
The right to use a technology (or patented invention) non-exclusively within the established scope of period, place, and contents, etc.
Royalty – Fixed
The price for a technology as a fixed payment, regardless of the sales figures which the technology implementer pays
Royalty – Running
1∼5% of the annual total sales when sales are generated using the target technology which the technology implementer pays
ASSESSING COMMERCIALIZATION POTENTIAL
Commercialization is one effective method of transferring technologies. Establishing a technology’s prospects for commercial success depends largely on five factors:
- Technical Development: The time, materials, and personnel needed to reduce the technology to practice and protect rights to the resulting product.
- Regulatory Clearance: The testing needed to demonstrate the product’s utility and safety, and to meet federal regulatory requirements and to minimize or manage associated risks.
- Manufacturing Requirements: The facilities, people, and equipment needed to make the product.
- Market Development: The plan for successful marketing of the product, created by assessing perceived need for the product, size of potential market, expected sales, advantages over competing products, and the cost of promoting the product.
- Financial Feasibility: The development costs,costs to produce, operating expenses in relation to sales potential, net profits, potential liabilities, and return on investment.
TECHNOLOGY READINESS LEVEL
Technology readiness levels (TRL) are a method of estimating technology maturity of Critical Technology Elements (CTE) of a program during the acquisition process. They are determined during a Technology Readiness Assessment (TRA) that examines program concepts, technology requirements, and demonstrated technology capabilities. TRL are based on a scale from 1 to 9 with 9 being the most mature technology. The use of TRLs enables consistent, uniform discussions of technical maturity across different types of technology.
Generally the TRL are defined as follows:
- TRL 1 – Basic principles observed
- TRL 2 – Technology concept formulated
- TRL 3 – Experimental proof of concept
- TRL 4 – Technology validated in lab
- TRL 5 – Technology validated in relevant environment (industrially relevant environment in the case of key enabling technologies)
- TRL 6 – Technology demonstrated in relevant environment (industrially relevant environment in the case of key enabling technologies)
- TRL 7 – System prototype demonstration in operational environment
- TRL 8 – System complete and qualified
- TRL 9 – Actual system proven in operational environment (competitive manufacturing in the case of key enabling technologies; or in space)
A better definition is given in the table below:
Definition of Development Stage
(Basic R&D, paper concept)
Basic scientific/engineering principles observed a reported; paper concept; no analysis or testing complete no design history.
Proof of Concept
Proven Concept (As a paper study or R&D experiments)
a) Technology concept and/or application formulated
Validated Concept (experimental proof of concept using physical model tests)
Concept design or novel features of design is validated by a physical model, a system mock up or dummy and functionally tested in a laboratory environment; no design history; no environmental tests; materials testing and reliability testing is performed on key parts or components in a testing laboratory prior to prototype construction
Prototype Tested (System function, performance and reliability tested)
a) Item prototype is built and put through (generic) functional and performance tests; reliability tests are performed including: reliability growth tests, accelerated life tests and robust design development test program in relevant laboratory testing environments; test are carried out without integration into a broader system
Meets all Requirements of TRL 3; designed and built as production unit (or full scale prototype) and put through its qualification program in simulated environment (e.g. hyperbaric chamber to simulate pressure) or actual intended environment (e.g. subsea environment) but not installed or operating; reliability testing limited to demonstrating that prototype function and performance criteria can be met in the intended operating condition and external environment
System Tested (Production system interface tested)
Meets all the requirements of TRL 4; designed and built as production unit (or full-scale prototype) and integrated into intended operating system with full interface and functional test but outside the intended field environment
System Installed (Production system installed and tested)
Meets all the requirements of TRL 5; production unit (or full scale prototype) built and integrated into intended operating system; full interface and function test program performed in the intended (or closely simulated) environment and operated for less than three years; at TRL 6 new technology equipment might require additional support for the first 12 to 18 months
Field Proven (Production system field proven)
Production unit integrated into the intended operating system, installed and operating for more than three years with acceptable reliability, demonstrating low risk of early life failures in the field
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