Struggling to compile your project’s exploitation plan? You don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered!
If you are working on EU-funded research projects, you probably already know how important it is to ensure that the knowledge generated within the research is properly diffused. The structured actions to be taken in order to make sure that this knowledge is delivered to the society is what we call an exploitation plan.
The exploitation of research results can help disseminate knowledge and information to a wider audience, including policymakers, scientists, and the general public. This can help inform decision-making and lead to better outcomes.
Identifying the Key Exploitable Results
An exploitation plan plays a vital role in facilitating the transformation of knowledge and ideas into tangible outcomes.
As Marco Franchin, META Group’s senior expert, explains: “An exploitation plan plays a vital role in facilitating the transformation of knowledge and ideas into tangible outcomes that can make a difference in people’s lives and maximizing the societal, economic, and environmental impact of research initiatives. It fosters knowledge transfer, ensures sustainability, drives economic growth, and meets the expectations of funding agencies.”
- Assessment of the expected impact of the project.
- Identification of the Key Exploitable Results (KERs) and analysis of their exploitation potential.
- Set up exploitation plans for individual technologies.
- Support activities for Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protection.
- How will the project boost the research in this field? – Technology innovation potential
- How will the project boost the economic growth? – Economical innovation potential
How will the society benefit from the projects’ results? –Societal innovation potential
All the above will help to understand how to create your own exploitation plan. Now we share some tips to make it a winner plan and some aspects to avoid!
Do’s: 5 tips to boost your exploitation plan
To ensure the success of your exploitation plan, Franchin advises to start planning the exploitation early in the research process and identify potential applications, market opportunities, and early-adopters from the beginning. Identifying and securing the necessary funding and resources to support the exploitation activities is also essential at this stage.
Access to relevant expertise and infrastructure is essential for successfully executing the exploitation plan. A proper evaluation of the intellectual property (IP) generated by the research and the development of strategies for protecting and managing it effectively is another factor to consider from the very beginning. In order to do so you should:
- Clearly define the project’s objectives and how they align with the EU’s research and innovation priorities. Check the last updates on the EU priorities and funding schemes.
- Identify the potential market opportunities, target audience, and end-users for the project’s outcomes. This way, the exploitation of research results can stimulate economic growth by creating new jobs, generating revenue, and increasing productivity.
- Conduct a thorough analysis of the intellectual property (IP) landscape to identify any existing patents or competing technologies. This can help to ensure that the benefits of the research are shared fairly among those who contributed to it.
- Include actions that will lead you to engage with relevant stakeholders, such as industry partners, policymakers, and end-users.
- Continuously monitor and evaluate the progress of the exploitation plan.
Don’ts: Common mistakes in exploitation plans
Very often, researchers tend to focus on the technical aspects of their research and overlook the commercial or business aspects. This can result in an exploitation plan that does not adequately address market needs.
Due to poor dissemination strategies, researchers often fail to engage with potential early-adopters throughout the research process to understand their perspectives, validate the market potential, and build partnerships for successful exploitation, thus limiting the potential for successful exploitation. Insufficient consideration of funding and resource often hinder the successful execution of an exploitation plan.
To avoid this situation, make sure you avoid these common mistakes and projects risks:
- Don’t overlook the importance of market research and analysis. It is crucial to identify the market demand and assess the commercial potential of the project’s outcomes.
- Don’t delay engaging with stakeholders and potential industry partners until the end of the project. Early collaboration and feedback can significantly enhance the exploitation potential.
- Don’t rely solely on a single exploitation route. Explore multiple avenues, such as licensing, partnerships, or commercial spin-offs, to diversify the project’s impact and sustainability.
- Don’t neglect monitoring and evaluation of the exploitation activities. Regularly assess the progress, impact, and effectiveness of the plan and make adjustments as necessary.
- Don’t wait until the end of the project to start thinking about exploitation. Start planning and implementing exploitation activities early on to maximize the project’s potential impact.