What happens to project results when the project ends?
During a collaborative innovative EU project several outstanding results often are the outcome of the work performed by many different partners working as a team. What happens to these results when the project ends?
The worst-case scenario is that the answer to that question is “nothing”. And if that is the case, then the project will not have reached any impact. The smart grid project United-Grid ends in April 2021 and exploitation of project results is put high on the agenda at the consortium meeting held online in November 2020. Like in many similar Horizon 2020 projects there is a deliverable, a report, in the end of the project, where project partners are to describe how the results will be handled so that a preliminary commercialization plan can be designed for each project result that has been positively validated. This is not an easy task in research projects where many results have not yet reached the maturity level needed for being commercialized.
“It is necessary for result owners to visualize and suppose that the result will be commercialized in the coming years and then state the exploitation road map needed for this to actually happen.”, says Ulrika Wahlström, innovation project manager, IMCG.
A preliminary commercialization plan should preferably contain a description of:
- the solution/product/service that will be available on the market
- the problem it solves for a clear need-owner
- the barriers that can inhibit market entrance – such as alternative solutions
- the Unique Selling Point (USP)
- its’ commercial value
- the market where it will be used
- the competition with a list of competitors
- the business model – how the solution will be made available to the customers
- IPR, ownership rights of this solution/product/service
- estimated time needed to get to the market
“It is easy to forget that such as sales and market activities as well as supply and distribution chains are things you need to plan for, meanwhile you are still developing your solution.”, says Ulrika Wahlström, who now is in the midst of supporting all partners in their work on forming suitable commercialization plans.