ITECS can help you get over the hurdle of taking technology from research into product development. We are solution seekers that can help you find technology, partners, funding, opportunities and assist in developing and implementing an innovation roadmap.
We have worked with over thirty Fortune 500 companies and universities to strategically extend their research capabilities, increase revenue generation and enjoy greater speed to market for their technology.
Please review our Case Studies to learn how we help Clients meet their innovation challenges by removing barriers, taking problems off their desk, and helping them navigate the path to success.
Technology for technology’s sake does not increase a company’s bottom line—nor does developing that technology in a vacuum. It is imperative to have a robust roadmap that considers not only the customer’s needs, both spoken and unspoken, but one that also identifies market and technology trends that are shaping the space where technology will reside.
Most companies are lacking this comprehensive roadmap. In fact, when we interviewed over 150 innovation professionals about their innovation challenges, we consistently heard, “We don’t know what we don’t know”. When we asked whether they had technology road mapping which would help them predict the future, most companies said they had one. However, when we asked them what the gaps were in their road mapping process most companies said – “It is too incremental,” and, “It is too short-term focused.” When we peeled back the onion, we found several consistent challenges with existing roadmaps. First, the roadmap is driven by multi-generational product mapping and asset mapping, only addressing the needs of the existing customers and technology platforms. Second, the roadmap addresses opportunities that are two years out, resulting in a very incremental portfolio and does not take megatrends into account. Third, the roadmap is created in isolation with limited external output, thereby missing disruptions and emerging technologies.
Does this sound familiar? Are you comfortable that you have a roadmap that can lead you into the future? Or are most of your projects dealing with today’s problems instead of tomorrows challenges?
ITECS has developed an approach to creating a robust roadmap –one that will identify and evaluate trends in the market to uncover possible disruptions that could upset the apple cart –or illuminate opportunities that were not initially considered. We enhance your innovation roadmap by completing a comprehensive evaluation of the emerging landscape in the space where your technology will reside, including mega trends, macro trends, and emerging technologies. From this analysis we can identify potential problems that need to be solved. Once these problems are identified, we work with the client to understand the best path forward, be it internal development, leveraging outside partnerships or simply making an acquisition.
Below are some examples of how we have helped our clients with our roadmapping service.
Expanding Globally—A major lubricants company felt that their technical programs were only arising from their sales force input, resulting in opportunities that were not bearing enough fruit. They felt they were always behind the eight ball because they were following the market, not leading the market. To break this stalled pattern, they came to us for help in exploring the power generation market as a possible area of interest for their technology. We interviewed their entire value chain and their internal people to understand their current situation. We also used a top down approach, looking at mega trends, macro trends and emerging technologies in the power generation market, followed up with interviews with thought leaders in the space.
Through applying our tools and processes, we were able to identify five areas that could help them invigorate their technical programs –presented to them as short, medium or long term opportunities. We provided them with a well thought out roadmap that helped point them in the right direction, resulting in their ability to expand globally into new applications for their technologies.
Automotive Lightweighting – A large materials company came to us to help them define the thermoset market in North America and Europe, especially as it applies to lightweighting transportation. To meet this challenge, we identified the value chain in both continents, along with the key players along the value chain. This was followed by validating the analysis through interviewing the stakeholders. The next step entailed defining the process steps, from raw materials through to the assembled vehicle, after which we performed a techno economic analysis on several applications. Through this process, we identified the driving factors throughout the value chain and developed a new approach to the market space.
Our efforts provided the client with a comprehensive view of the industry structure, and how decisions were made in this space and provided a clear picture of the drivers and trends, as well as illustrated the competitive environment between steel, thermoplastics and thermosets, showing where there were good indications of where there would be future growth. In addition to identifying barriers that exist in the development of thermosets, we provided the client with a sound strategic path forward. We provided a roadmap that had short, medium and long term opportunities for our client to pursue.
Recasting an NSF Center – The ERC Center, consisting of seven universities, received $25 million in funding for five years – they were coming to the end of their funding. ITECS was chartered to do a portfolio review and determine whether a center focused on hydraulics and pneumatics could be sustainable. They interviewed key stakeholders for the Center,assessed the existing projects and identified core competencies, identified potential sources for funding, spoke with NSF and industry experts, and identified the advantages and disadvantage of the center.
ITECS developed three different scenarios for maintaining the center. We developed a SWOT for each scenario.
Finding New Markets for a Commodity Material – A materials company wanted ITECS to review its portfolio and find potentially new growth opportunities. ITECS found that 95% of their portfolio was incremental in nature and they were notevaluating any adjacent markets. An intellectual property review was completed to evaluate markets for applications with biodegradable resins, powder coatings, greases/lubricants, micro porous films, epoxies, and surface treatments.
ITECS did a business assessment on all of the opportunities. We predicted the size of market, rate of growth, and the drivers for each opportunity. The competitive landscape was also assessed, a value proposition was developed and a path to market was identified.
New Markets for Encapsulation – ITECS helped an Adhesives company find new markets for their liquid polymer encapsulation technology. The company had the technology developed, but wanted validation of the competitive landscape where their technology would best flourish. To provide a solid picture of what markets should be considered, we contacted appropriate channel partners in several areas of interest, performed secondary research to ascertain the strengths/weaknesses of the various markets, and identified and evaluated the trends in these markets. Once we identifiedand qualified the new markets, the next step was finding partners with advanced capabilities to further develop the technology. To that end, we sifted through various partnership possibilities, winnowed out the best for their purposes, and introduced them to a potential new partner.
Our client received an Industry Dynamics Study, which provided a thorough analysis of potential new markets, delineating the strengths and weaknesses of the various possibilities for their technology. In addition, we introduced our client to an appropriate partner with the advanced expertise to help them successfully enter into the new market.
Assessing the Landscape for Type 2 Diabetes -- ITECS worked with a major drug company to identify the thoughtleadersinvolved in establishing legislation for Type 2 Diabetes care. ITECS was able to identify potential partners and programs in which the drug company should be involved.
“No man is an island”—“Two heads are better than one”—sayings we are all familiar with. They both stand very true when bringing a new concept to the market. In the environment of Open Innovation, they are especially true. Ask yourself—is your organization being pushed to deliver more with fewer resources? Do you need access to external resources to further your R&D initiatives? Would you like to inject new ideas into your programs which will energize your organization? Can Open Innovation save time and money? Is Open Innovation a buzzword or does it have real potential for your organization?
ITECS can help you with your open innovation initiatives. In our journey to understand best practices for open innovation, ITECS has interviewed over 150 companies to find out what has worked and what has not worked. From this study we have compiled some of the best tools and processes in the industry to find the technologies and partners that you need, and we also conduct due diligence to ensure that the solution is a good fit. Our databases and networks are the envy of any CTO or new business development executive. These tools provide a window into the public, private and academic sectors. Whether you need access to commercialization partners or help discovering technologies that are available to license, we have the resources at our fingertips. See how we have helped our clients in their open innovation pursuits.
Adjacent Markets –An automotive components manufacturer, wanted to bring their technology to adjacent markets. After a thorough analysis by ITECS, in which we assessed the markets, evaluated numerous technologies and their applications, as well as the specifications of the technology and located a number of target companies, our Client selected and actively pursued two licensing opportunities.
ITECS helped the Client understand the value of converting to the new technologies, as well as identifying companies who would purchase those technologies. Out of six options ITECS presented, the Client actively pursued 2 licensing deals.
Securing Technologies – Several large consumer goods companies came to ITECS who were looking for technologies and partners to advance their core platforms. To meet this challenge, ITECS explored the external landscape for opportunities, and created a framework to down select the opportunities that had the best fit for our Clients. We screened the technologies and performed some internal vetting to bring to our Client their best options. In addition to locating and vetting the opportunities, we served as an external source to perform due diligence of the technology, keeping our Client as an anonymous party during the inquiry.
We secured three technologies for our Client for internal testing within a 6 month period.
Nanotechnology Niche – A medium sized materials company who had developed a filler nanotechnology wanted to bring that technology into the drug delivery/drug discovery market. ITECS followed the National Nanotechnology Initiative to assess the market and understand the emerging technologies. We connected the Client with thought leaders in the nanotechnology arena, and used our network to understand the market space. We performed an Intellectual Property Mapping process to further understand the space.
The Client started work in a collaborative program to develop their technology in the desired markets.
Finding New Markets –A large lubricants client wanted to understand adjacent markets for their technology. ITECS performed IP mapping, which identified windmills as a viable new application for their technology. ITECS followed the money to discern who the thought leaders were in the windmill industry. Our efforts provided a brand new market for our Client.
Anti-counterfeiting – Our client wanted to get into a new application with their technology sooner than later. They were looking to find partnerships for both the technology development and market penetration. ITECS followed the money and patent applications to find thought leaders in industry and academia.
ITECS found a partner in both academia and business to allow the anti-counterfeiting application to be quickly commercialized.
The US government accounts for about one third of all the research dollars spent in the United States. Moreover, they work on groundbreaking technologies that are generally ten to fifteen years ahead of the private sector, dramatically changing existing markets and establishing new markets. For example, do you remember life without the Internet? This technology was developed in the late 60’s for the Department of Defense so the Navy, the Air force and the Army could share information in real time. Likewise the investment in nanotechnology in the 80’s, has touched all of our lives, bringing us new drug discoveries, new drug delivery methods, not to mention a host of smart materials. What would the world be like without biotechnology and the major advances that were brought about by the federal investment in the human genome program?
Likewise, the landscape of the future will also be touched by investments made today in brain research, big data, and advanced manufacturing. Many companies have found leveraging these investments in technology can be a valuable asset within their Open Innovation portfolio, using public sector funds to mitigate the risk of developing transformational technologies. Other companies are actively participating in the ecosystem allowing them to direct the funds into areas that will give them a competitive advantage. Is your company taking advantage of this sort of investment? Are you comfortable letting your competitors lead with emerging technologies?
ITECS provides a couple of services to help you leverage the public sector.
The first step in the process is to develop the business plan for leveraging the public sector and deciding whether the initiative will bear fruit. ITECS offers a feasibility analysis, a four to six week process where we review and analyze our client’s technology portfolios and core platforms. Our analysis, which filters through several layers of market, industry and agency experts, will provide a clear vision of what is possible for our clients in the governmental ecosystem. It will identify partnering opportunities, potential intellectual properties, along with funding opportunities. A business plan is then developed with SWOT and Return on Investment analyses to provide the client with a solid business plan. Our feasibility study not only provides a solid business plan, but also provides the information that allows the client to make informed Go/No-Go decisions on their programs.
Through our service contract, ITECS helps clients execute on the business plan, facilitating connections to the appropriate fund keepers and agency program managers. In addition, this service provides the fine-tuning needed to improve the client’s chances of success in securing funding –whether that might be augmenting their projects with additional technologies or appropriate partners. Whatever gap we uncover, we put our team to task to address the gap –finding the right solutions –and negotiating the best deal possible for our client.
During the pursuit of funding, it is necessary to prepare grants. ITECS can help develop a value proposition for the proposal, manage the proposal writing process, and provide experienced grant writers to write and edit the proposal. This will ensure that the proposal fits the guidelines of the request and has a clear value proposition that is reinforced throughout the entire document. In addition, some of our clients do not have experience with managing government contracts. ITECS can provide technical writers, accountants, and lawyers to ensure that the right deal is made and the resultant contract is executed to meet both the clients need and the government needs. Not only does this give our clients peace of mind but, in most cases, the cost of the service can be paid for from the monies received by the government.
Below are just a few examples of how our clients benefited from leveraging the government.
Accelerating Commercialization –A $12 billion Chemicals company had multiple technologies they wanted to take to market, but wanted to find a means to accelerate the commercialization. In order to minimize the risk, they were seeking new partnership opportunities. ITECS’s team investigated their projects, and determined which agencies would prove most effective. We facilitated visits to agencies to introduce our Client and their capabilities to the appropriate agencies. We also identified funding opportunities for our Client.
The Client received $15 million in funding and established ongoing relationships with both the USDA and the DOE.
Replacing Earmarks -- A major Coatings & Glass company with a robust government program department, successful in obtaining Congressional Asks, came to ITECS when earmarks went by the wayside. They were sophisticated about government opportunities and funding, but were falling short of their goals. ITECS spend time with the Client to learn their capabilities. We set up a strategy to make them thought leaders, engaging with consortia and industries to cement their image as a thought leader. Additionally, we helped them reorganize their partnering strategy to help them become a better candidate to secure government funding for their technologies.
ITECS’ increased their percentage of winning proposals, winning four proposals in a row, for a total amount of over $4 million.
Guns & Munitions – One of ITECS’ Clients, a Composite Manufacturer, was developing advanced composites for weapons that would allow metal workings to be replaced with high-strength polymers. The result would be weapons that were lighter for soldiers to carry and lighter for the manufacturer to ship. The composites were strong, durable, and had tremendous potential for military use. ITECS connected the Client with a government lab to develop specifications for weapons around their new technology. After the specifications were set, the company sold their technology to weapon manufacturers that needed to meet those specifications.
Creating a Powerful Team—a large Consumer Goods Client had a sunscreen technology and wanted to acquire new technology to extend their product line into near infrared protection. ITECS sent out a network query, using our 12,000 member subscriber list, to help locate who would be working with this technology. We located a University, who was working on a cost-efficient nanoparticle technology which already had FDA approval. We linked the University and our Client together. We also located a small business that had expertise with product evaluation and brought them to the table to help develop the product, and to help make funding streams more accessible.
We submitted 2 SBIR proposals in 2013.
Lightning Strike Technology – ITECS is currently working with a Client to obtain funding from the U.S. Department of Defense for lightning-strike material for airplanes. With the new material, lightning energy will dissipate better across the surface of the airplane.
Protective Clothing – ITECS worked with a Client to identify and secure a funding source to develop protective clothing. We helped create a team including the supplier of the technology, the supplier of the clothing, the specifier at the government and a major university.
Power Conversion – ITECS helped foster a relationship between a small business and a major university, resulting in $2 million in funding from a State government for the development of a power conversion system for commercial hybrid vehicles. Out of the hundreds of proposals submitted for the solicitation, our Client’s proposal ranked first.
Energy Center – ITECS helped to capture $10 million in funding for a major University to fund an alternative energy resource center.
Drug Delivery – A major University Client developed drug delivery technology in the form of an ultrasonic insulin patch. The patch measures the amount of insulin in the wearer’s body and then distributes the insulin when necessary. ITECS worked with a research institute and the National Institutes of Health to evaluate revolutionary nanotechnology as a mechanism for drug delivery.
Smart Roads -- The ITECS team is working with a client in response to a National Institute of Standards solicitation for smart roads, in which the client’s technology can be used to create roads that change color when there are freezing conditions to prevent black ice, and roads that sense stresses and fatigues and report them to technicians.
Sustainability Center -- A major Research University was a recipient of public funding from the State of Florida for ornamental agricultural research. The funding was drying up. ITECS came in and did a portfolio review by interviewing both the professors and the ornamental agricultural industry. We found that much of the Center’s research could be realigned to focus on Sustainability. ITECS recommend that the Center recast their focus to the sustainability arena, opening up new sources of public and private funding.
Shoreline Erosion Technology -- ITECS worked with a chemical company that developed technology to decrease erosion on coastlines. By spraying polyurethane on rocks and gravel on shore, water will wash over the rocks but sand and soil won’t leech out. The technology is currently being used in the Netherlands for dikes. ITECS made contacts for the Client within the Federal Government, and as a result, the chemical company is working on specifications for the shoreline technology with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Ecosystem Lab -- ITECS helped capture NSF funding for a mid-size University to set up a lab that studies how organisms interact in an ecosystem.
Bridges -- A Client in the composites industry developed bridge technology, in which bridge sections are prefabricated and then brought to construction site. This bridge composite technology has applications in any situation in which a bridge needs to be built quickly. The technology was utilized in a bicycle bridge that needed to be built over a railway in Washington D.C. Stopping the daily trains for construction was not a cost effective option, so the composite bridge was prefabricated, enabling the project to be completed in less than a day. The bridge technology was also scaled up and a bridge capable of automotive traffic was prefabricated and assembled at a site in Ohio. ITECS secured $2 million from the State of Ohio, and secured $2 million locally from the Federal Government for the client in both projects.
Sustainable Materials -- Working with a glass manufacturer, ITECS is investigating funding opportunities for technology that allows manufacturers to produce stronger packaging materials. The new packaging will require significantly less material decreasing transportation and raw material cost.
Using Less Energy and Water—ITECS is working with a wide range of manufacturing facilities to obtain capital funding for technologies that reduce energy, emissions and water usage.
With technology becoming more complex, and with an increased competition to get products to market faster, a strong innovation initiative is an essential asset to provide a strong foundation for your technology innovation agenda. Whether you are a technology executive developing a new innovation platform or want a new set of eyes to evaluate your existing innovation platform, an outside view can provide new insights to your innovative initiatives.
ITECS provides that “new set of eyes”—an unbiased, informed look at the robustness of your innovation strategy, uncovering new opportunities, identifying blind spots, and maximizing the value of your innovation initiative. We have years of experience running technology portfolios in a wide variety of industries, working with the entire value chain. Through our networks we have access to technology and business executives and can get to the right people to understand best practices in a wide variety of businesses. We can point you in the right direction—our insight will help identify red flags for you, freeing up valuable resources which can be used on more promising projects. We can help your organization think “outside the box”—inspiring creativity on where your innovation portfolio can take you.
See how we have helped our clients with our Benchmarking Service.
Measuring Up –A major chemicals company was struggling with their open innovation initiative. The company had recently discharged fifteen percent of their technical group, replacing them with an external crowdsourcing service to facilitate developing new technologies. The technical group, dissatisfied with this move, approached us to examine the health of their open innovation initiative – asked us to provide an in-depth analysis of their open innovation practices –and to provide them with recommendations based on best industries practices for open innovation.
To accommodate this request, we performed thirty interviews within the company, across technical, marketing and manufacturing groups, to understand what was happening at the company. We found both strengths and weaknesses in their existing processes and strategies. First, we found that the marketing group had established excellent practices to effectively leverage open innovation, including the performance of a cross industry study of emerging trends, and the formation of a swat team to understand those trends and how they could benefit the company. They were especially interested in the automotive sector, so they formed a consortium-like group of professionals in that sector to tap more deeply into the megatrends of today that would likely affect the future of automotive manufacturing.
Another strength we uncovered was that they had a robust stage gate system in place. All their projects were put up against an open innovation checkpoint at each stage of progression, injecting the open innovation thought process into all of their projects. Additionally, we found that they had a strong program established to effectively leverage the public sector and universities for technologies, funding and partnering opportunities.
Having uncovered their strengths, we looked for what they were missing to improve their initiative. We found that they were not investing enough money into open innovation. In addition, they lacked firm goals for their open innovation initiative, and they had not developed appropriate metrics to adequately measure the success of their efforts. Moreover, they did not have a strong buy, build or partner model in place, where they could plug in their projects to assess which method was best to achieve that particular project –One size does not fit all. Finally, we found that they lacked an internal advocate for open innovation, one person who was accountable for managing the overall open innovation initiative.
We summarized all of our findings to provide them with a clear view of how their open innovation initiative was very successful, as well as where they needed to improve to achieve a more successful program. We recommended that they be competitive in their approach, at least meeting their peers in best practices. In addition, we recommended that they establish a system of internal accountability, appointing one go-to person to manage the overall initiative. Finally, we recommended that they work together to set firm goals for their initiative and adequate metrics to help them calibrate the results of their work along the way. Once they had these improvements in place, they would have a better foundation on which to move their open innovation initiative forward.
Widening The Scope – A personal care company had an open innovation program they were working with during the previous five years. They recently changed management and wanted to ensure that they were aligned with the new management team. They asked ITECS to measure them against peer companies.
Our first challenge was to understand what the new management team’s goals and objectives were, from the R&D goals as a whole, in addition to their open innovation initiative specifically. Once we gained an understanding of these, we could put together a set of criteria for identifying “peer” companies. A peer company, in this case, is defined as a company that has similar goals and objectives, as well as similar constraints, both internally and from a market perspective, as our clients.
We identified twelve companies that were a good fit and interviewed them on best practices around innovation and then, more specifically, what they were doing around open innovation.
From this study we could provide recommendations to our client that they needed to broaden the scope of their open innovation initiative to include design changes along evaluating business models. This completely got them out of the box and provided them with a vision that justified increase investment in their open innovation initiative.
ITECS employs a robust network of consultants from a vast array of industries. Our experts are best in class -- extremely accomplished professionals that provide an informed perspective of the heartbeat of their particular area of expertise. These are people that have many years of experience in developing technology, building strong businesses and understanding the complexities involved in this ecosystem. Read on to see how our team has helped clients in diverse technological arenas.
Does your company have products or technology to offer that are related to ground transportation or the automotive industry? Are you aware of how to identify opportunities and secure funding? Do you have the appropriate team in place to develop your technology? Do you know what the future trends will be needed to achieve meeting the government initiative of improving fuel economy? Download our Automotive brochure to see how we have helped our clients in the automotive industry.
The applications of chemicals research and development are endless—the need for newer, better and more cost efficient technologies can be applied in most everything we use, consume, buy and sell. Are you aware of where your chemical technology can fit outside your core markets? Have you created your team—both internal and external—to develop and commercialization your new initiatives? Is your company in a position to avail themselves of funding from the myriad government agencies that support this research? Download our Chemicals brochure to see how we have helped our clients in the chemicals industry.
The government buys more consumer goods than any other entity, especially as they pertain to feeding and caring for our troops. Does your company know which agencies are interested in any given consumer goods? Does your new product-in-development have all the necessary components to be the best on the market? Would partnering with an university, or another industry player, help solve your development or commercialization problems? Do you have a good overview of where the trends in consumer goods are leading the market? Download our Consumers Goods brochure to see how we have helped our clients who are creating products to enhance our daily lives.
From safe and responsible domestic oil and gas production to transformational alternative energy production, new technologies are needed to power up the nation, cleanly and economically. The race to find the next major energy source is on – is your company in the running? Are you positioned to leverage the available government funding? Have you assembled the best team to reach your goal? Do you have a firm grasp on the future trends, the government mandates and regulations around energy production? Download our Energy brochure to see how we have helped our clients in the energy industry.
From innovative medical devices, new pharmaceuticals, impactful therapies and treatments, and improved diagnostics, to health care information technology, new ideas and products are needed in this arena. If your company or institution has potential technology or products to offer, do you know which government agencies are invested in your particular technology? Is your team the best it can be to bring your product to market? Can your technology be applied in adjacent markets? Download our Healthcare brochure to see how we have helped our clients in the medical industry.
Technologies are needed to rebuild America – to provide safe highways, strong bridges, modernized airports, as well as energy efficient buildings. Is your company positioned to secure government funding for the infrastructure rebuilding projects? Are you aware of the types of products and services that will be needed as the government moves forward with this enormous undertaking? Have you assembled a powerful team, with all the necessary expertise and resources, to develop and commercialize your technology to help rebuild the nation? Download our Infrastructure brochure to see how we have helped our clients who are providing products to rebuild America.
New materials hit the market every day. Do you have the appropriate technology and team put together to advance your technology initiative? Do you have a clear picture of the market, the present state of it and where it is going in the future, and how your company is positioned to make sure that you can be first to market? Are you up to date on the latest government "green mandates"? Do you understand the specifications and regulations that have been set for sustainable materials to facilitate energy efficiency in federal buildings--and how your company can contribute? Is your company aware that many different government agencies fund research that leads to the development of advanced materials – and does your company know which departments within which agencies are looking for which materials? Download our Materials brochure to see how we have helped our clients who are developing new materials.
The government is beginning to invest in trying to make it easy to go green through allocation of research dollars, and through the “green mandate,” a group of policies that require the government to buy green technologies. How can your company or institution capitalize on the shift toward sustainability? How might you reinvent your products and services so they are positioned to benefit from government funding for sustainability? What new products or services can you offer that will position you for growth and funding in this era of cultivating sustainability? Download our Sustainability brochure to see how we have helped our clients who have been taking advantage of the sustainability initiative.