The Farmers and Technology Transfer

Innovation is implementation of an idea. When you innovate, you are making improvements. The improvement can be small, radical and disruptive. Any sensory phenomena can be innovated, such as what you hear, what you see, and what you touch or when you sense your ecology (interact with your environment). Let me give you a few examples of process innovation.

1.Let’s say you are a technology transfer director at company (X). A scientist have just discovered something amazing. The scientist approach the technology transfer office to file a patent for their discovery.

The TTO meets the scientist, sits with the scientist, and a patent attorney might be assigned to help the scientist file the patent. Let’s say a year later, patent is granted. Everyone is cheering. It’s time to license out the technology, after some due diligence, as a director you decide to call out on few companies that your team members found them strategic choice for that specific technology. For this example, let’s say this is dominant process for technology commercialisation.

2.Now, a company is not connected to millions of other companies for technology transfer purposes. There are thousands of emerging technologies every year from research centers worldwide. And a few hundred technologies emerging from a medium sized research center. The usual process for technology transfer is the office of technology transfer decides who to give the technology to and also decides the process for the transfer of the technology. The process is the model or at minimum the accepted path to technology transfer. The question the director asks, is our technology transfer process good enough, effective or efficient?

Bangggggggggggggggg!!! After a few weeks of contemplation and seeking consultation, the director speaks out to surprise his team, hey buddies, let’s go meet some farmers. The team gets surprise, em em, ha? Farmers? Speechless, the team asks why farm and farmers? The director explains, the technology they have is around water conservation, let’s meet the farmers, see how useful this technology is for them. Instead of deciding the fate of technology, and needs of farmers from a corporate conference room, its more practical to be in farm. If it is really useful, then we will organise a small event in one of the farms, and invite a lot of farmers and also the industry experts to come by, see our technology, and also speak with the farmers. The industry experts will gain a first hand perspective about the pains of the farmers, meet them in person, shake their hands and the also learn about our pain reliever technology of ours, and subsequently this process will increase the chance for the technology to be transferred. Now, what if the director change his technology transfer approach to a consumer centric technology transfer, like inviting the experts in the farm to meet the farmers and the technology? And let's say the director did it, and it was the most exciting thing ever, technology got transferred much quicker than previously done. This consumer centric technology transfer must have been better experience for the industry experts to gain knowledge of the problem and the opportunity to overcome the problem (technology). The change to this model, however, small it is, is called process innovation. As long, the improvement had some sort of usable or functional benefits over the previous one, you can call it innovation. Off course it will not be a disruptive innovation, but it will definitely be an incremental process innovation that will have a realized and accepted benefit over the previous model.

3.The same thing is true if Australian’s realizes that being republic is beneficial to us in many ways, we will become richer and more powerful because of A, B, C. I am personally pro monarch (the way it is now). Then that will be process innovation, because Australia is being changed or improved due to realized benefits, and improved with clear intention for getting richer and powerful. If done, and works more or less as you conceptualized, then you have innovated either the process, service or product.

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