Developing Relationships within the SBIR Program Part 4 – Assessing the Marketplace for a Technology

By EARLE HAGER published SEPTEMBER 20, 2018

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Competitive data is key to market evaluation.  Is the research current?  Are others working on similar projects, or is the competitive research part of the past?  Is the technology too far into the future for the marketplace?

If the research is too old, the project may not have an opportunity in the marketplace.  If the technology is too far into the future or too far from entering the marketplace, the technology would be best managed as a research project for a few more years.

If the patent space is crowded, an innovator will need to be careful in their patent applications, to ensure the space claimed is not too large or too limited.  If there is little patent activity in this space, innovators should consider whether or not patents will be part of the market development process.  Many technologies rely on trade secrets or are simply “sales and marketing” plays.  If the technology is a “sales and marketing” play, the innovator will want to find no patent protection and seek partners who are interested in working with them on getting the product to the marketplace.

Finally, what are the competitive products and trials?  Companies with a product already in your space may want to seek additional patent protection.  Companies without a product may want to enter the space.  Companies testing a product that has recently failed may want to substitute a new product in this space.

There are many tools to review the pipeline.  Innovators should look at all opportunities to enter the marketplace.


Technology Pipeline

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