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Programme overview

Students work in teams to prepare a commercial feasibility report and present the findings to the inventors. Supervision and support is provided which covers topics such as opportunity evaluation, developing business concepts and making presentations.

The projects are underpinned by a series of faculty and practitioner-led lectures on specific themes, e.g. conducting due diligence, market and industry assessment. Please note that ETECH Projects, including all students' work, is subject to strict confidentiality procedures as stipulated by the University of Cambridge.

There will be practitioner-delivered guest lectures supplementing the lecture/discussions to be led by the faculty. Six two-hour sessions will cover the following key elements of successful commercialisation of novel, emerging technologies:

  1. Conducting due diligence on the science and technology
    Carrying out due diligence to validate the underpinning science and the scientific team is essential to successfully commercialise a science based idea.

  2. Applying creativity in commercialising novel technologies
    Once the decision to commercialise the novel technology is taken, principles of creativity should be applied to plan and identify the next course of action, including identifying potential applications, business models and delivery models.

  3. Stepping stones for commercialisation
    Emerging technologies are at stages that are far removed from markets/industries of today so the role of the entrepreneurial inventor is to find, identify and articulate future market opportunities for his/her innovation and to see how they fit into the current and evolving industry structure.

  4. Market and industry assessment
    Emerging technologies are at stages that are far removed from markets/industries of today so the role of the entrepreneurial inventor is to find, identify and articulate future market opportunities for his/her innovation and to see how they fit into the current and evolving industry structure.

  5. Routes to market
    How to identify the best routes to market for innovations arising out of early stage technologies? What are the challenges that any high-tech based business needs to face before the idea can be exploited? How to tackle these challenges and achieve success.

  6. Leadership and management of emerging technologies
    Leadership, when to introduce professional management, how to reward and deal with the transfer of ownership of the business vision from the 'inventor' to the entrepreneur are critical challenges that need to be tackled to take the invention from the labs into the market.

Each student team prepares a commercial feasibility report and present the findings to the inventor(s).

You're provided with supervision support during the course of the commercial due diligence process. The supervisions will be structured according to the requirements of each ETECH Project, but will broadly cover opportunity evaluation, developing the business concept and presenting the findings.

At present, supervisions are offered for undergraduate students only.

The due diligence report prepared by the students will be shared with the inventors and other organisations such as Cambridge Enterprise, the technology transfer arm of the University of Cambridge, to help in commercialisation. It will also form part of the assessment that the faculty perform on the student teams.

Topics covered will include key aspects of commercialisation as follows:

Commercialisation aspect Key topics
Technology Attributes; IP position
Application Viability; linking technical and commercial advantages
Market & industry Target markets; size and growth rates
Competitors/partners Current/future competition; potential partners
Business model Potential business models; pros and cons
Recommendations Target market; most suitable business model
Next steps Immediate next steps to commercialisation

Considering the early stage of the technologies, a high level of confidentiality is required to ensure that the Intellectual Property (IP) is adequately protected. The work performed by the students is covered by Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA).

Students taking part in ETECH Projects:

  • Gain experience in performing due-diligence on real emerging technologies
  • Develop key skills in opportunity recognition and evaluation
  • Understand the process of taking novel technologies to market