Western Research Institute is the subject of an innovative business partnership to demonstrate how technology developers, including universities, can find new markets for their technologies.
Western Research Institute (WRI), Manufacturing-Works of Wyoming, and Planet Eureka! of Cincinnati, Ohio, have teamed up to offer technologies developed by WRI on the USA National Innovation Marketplace (NIM).
The National Innovation Marketplace is a kind of internet “matching service” where investors, manufacturers, experts and companies can connect directly with innovations and inventions. The site is operated by Planet Eureka! and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
“The process helps WRI establish the monetary value of inventions and exposes our technologies to investors, manufacturers, and companies looking to license new technologies,” said WRI CEO Don Collins. “It gives us greater exposure faster in more diverse market segments than we could get on our own.”
Anyone can browse the site, and a keyword system makes it easy to find innovations of interest. Each innovation is represented on the website with a comprehensive yet simple-to-read business simulation report. The report quantifies how many might be sold, the quality of the idea, its level of technology readiness and proprietary protection, and the royalty rates it might be expected to generate.
“Obtaining such quality market information has been a challenge for our researchers in the past,” Collins said.
According to Collins, the Institute views the National Innovation Marketplace as a low-cost, high-value business analysis and marketing tool. “WRI can also use the reports during our development process to better allocate resources on the basis of market potential, product reality, and a profit/volume model that identifies the potential payoff,” said Collins.
Vice President Joe Biden cited the National Innovation Marketplace in June 2009 as an element in the nation’s push to reinvigorate American manufacturing. “We’ll rewrite the story of manufacturing in America,” he said. (Click here to read more or view the clip.)
The system, launched in April 2009, is still new and Western Research Institute will be ready, said Collins, “for when the suitors coming knocking.”