From Lab to Market: The Brainstorming Process and Commercialization


From Lab to Market: The Brainstorming Process

Patent protection and freedom to operate are essential for commercialization.

Innovation and the creative process:  Here is a process for Medtech   This approach is based on my experiences of brainstorming sessions at the management consultants, Arthur D. Little, in the mid-1980s. These sessions were similar in many ways to the scenes in the movie Apollo 13 in which the engineers brainstorm solutions to the loss of oxygen in the command module.  This clip from the movie Apollo 13 captures this spirit

From the broader commercialization perspective: The key question is how to bridge the gap between the realm of scientific discovery and the world of product development (1). The four essential ingredients to facilitate rapid product commercialization once an opportunity has been identified and defined and a venture created to move things forward:

  • Investment dollars to resource the venture (people, equipment, space, etc.).
  • Marketing knowledge to orient the venture (develop strategy; point and move people in the right direction).
  • Intellectual property expertise to position the venture (differentiate from and defend against competition).
  • Project management skills to steer the venture (maintain or change the strategic focus and tactical course; schedule milestones; set priorities; assign resources; track and measure progress, etc.). 
  • (1) Michael Helmus, Peter Gammel, Fred Allen and Magnus Gittins, “Commercializing Bionanotechnology: From the Academic Lab to Products," in Bionanotechnology: Global Prospects, ed. D. Reisner, CRC Press, 2009, pp 71-78.