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TECHNOLOGY PARTNERSHIP ANALYSIS

When a company enters a phase that requires it to update its product range or begin in-house development of new or existing products, it can benefit from having clear answers to the following questions:


1

Should money be spent on product development when another company has already completed similar work?

2

Is there value in partnering up with another company or seeking a technology partner to reduce development costs?

3

Should product development start without knowing what other companies are producing or have produced in a similar space?


These questions can be answered with a technology partnership analysis otherwise known as a comparative technology search.


A Technology Partnership Analysis Can Be Extremely Useful In Locating Appropriate Technology Partners In A Range Of Potential Scenarios:

  • Obtaining a technology license from a third party

    When customer behaviour changes in a fundamental way, a company may decide to update its product range. In this scenario performing a technology search to access a technology license from third parties may be more efficient and cost effective than entering into in-house product development.

  • Starting in-house product development

    A company wishes to begin in-house product development. In this scenario a technology search can be a useful tool in the process of assessing and validating the outlay of capital for in-house product development.

  • Reducing in-house development costs

    A company is looking to reduce development costs. In this scenario, where product development may have begun, a technology search can be considered as a highly complementary process to help guide the in-house development team to maximum efficiency. It may also uncover complementary technologies and teachings that are patented elsewhere but not enforced in Australia.


Technology Partnership Analysis - Example

A Technology Partnership Analysis was performed for a client with manufacturing infrastructure for garden-care products. This client noticed that an emerging customer preference was to use safer “soft” chemicals for pest treatment and deterrence, even though the soft chemicals were less effective than mainstream agrochemicals.

Technology Outcomes conducted a comprehensive search of organic/soft chemicals that have been registered for use by the EPA in the USA, and the following useful information was obtained:

  • 110 “soft chemical” agents for potential garden use were identified. Focussing this search on active agents approved by the US EPA meant that manufacturing and regulatory risks were minimised.

  • A subset of the above soft-chemical agents was found to have potential synergy with the client’s existing products. An important opportunity would be to use such synergistic action to reduce the concentration of active agent in key garden products.

  • A further subset of soft-chemical agents that were available for licensing in Australia was obtained (based on the absence of exclusive licensing arrangements with multinationals).

  • A list of patents with teachings about the above soft-chemical agents was provided.

  • More than half of these patents were taken out in USA but not in Australia, so that the client could consider using this information for its own product development activities.



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