RVP 2.0 supports the transition of research results to the market, by a customized approach designed to cover business-related needs of selected research teams
The project “RIS3 Support for Lagging Regions”, conducted in North-East Romania (2017-2020) by JRC, showed that universities and other public research organizations (PROs) put insufficient emphasis on their contribution to the socio-economical development of the territory, focusing mainly on their teaching and research activities. Most PROs have an unbalanced focus on patenting, rather than on getting licensing revenues or on the commercialization of research results, as a key policy challenge. Local firms have recorded weak interactions with PROs and the knowledge transfer between academia and industry is scarce. Thus, the low supply of knowledge elicited a strong need for innovation support programs, research collaboration programs, and technical support.
The objective of the RVP is to directly and indirectly support the commercialization of research results from the regional R&I infrastructure. The RVP activities carried out support selected, high-potential research teams to improve the technological and market readiness of their projects, to identify potential markets, and to improve their understanding of IPRs. An immediate commercialization output is expected for at least some of the teams, as well as longer-term benefits for research teams, by fostering a greater awareness of key success factors in commercialization, which may help them to produce more market-oriented research in the future.
RVP 2.0. is conducted in collaboration by North-East RDA & World Bank.
Teams involved in RVP 2.0:
• NE Regional Development Agency: 2 facilitators/coordinators
• World Bank: 2 international consultants, 1 local expert, one IP expert, 1 coordinator
Other human resources involved: occasional experts invited to coaching sessions
Evidence of success
Out of 13 initial applications, 8 research teams with innovative ideas passed through all the phase of the program. All 8 teams are now preparing for the Demo Day (March 2022).
All the teams managed to integrate or strengthen the business perspective into their research project and progressed to higher Commercial Readiness Levels (CRL) levels.
Working with stakeholders from multiple environments is always a challenge. Knowledge asymmetry and cultural differences had to be accommodated.
Also, the pandemics forced project team to go completely online and adapt the activities, initially planned as ‘face to face’, to the online environment.
Potential for learning or transfer
The underneath purpose for the entire practice was to kick-off a community of research valorisation among North-East Romania’s PROs. One major mission of the program team was to create serendipity, i.e., to provide the grounds for research teams to communicate, share ideas and approaches, meet with mentors or experts in other (business) sectors. That enabled research teams to bring fresh connections, cross-sectorial knowledge, in order to increase their projects’ CRLs and foster innovation. A paradigm switch for the research teams was to consider the needs of the potential buyers or end users of their products/services, in order to identify, refine and formulate their Value Proposition and Unfair Advantage (Lean Canvas), instead of focusing on the mere technical description of their projects. For future iterations of this practice, it is advisable to provide the participants a learning platform where they can consolidate their business acumen, outside the coaching/mentoring sessions.