You have probably noticed the construction at the top of the Laboratory building. The new building – whether it is called the Incubator or the Innovation Center – is UiB and MED’s most visible and concrete investment in innovation and commercialization of research results. Buildings are good, but activity is better: working with researchers who want to see their good ideas realized and making a difference. So in parallel with the physical construction we are also building a better support system with specialist competence. MED has – as the first faculty – a dedicated innovation advisor, and from 2021 we will get a second one. Together with the department Innovation leader (Emmet McCormack), we are the first helpers on the path towards sustainable company, IP license agreement or transformative social innovation.
But what does an Innovation advisor actually do? The short answer is that we try to help with whatever is needed. I have 12 years of experience from nanomaterial start-up and been through everything from EU applications (and reporting) to product development (and certification) to patent writing (and Office actions) to investor pitching (and business cases) to drafting cooperation agreements, navigating new EU directives and handling random audits from the tax authorities – but that last one I will not help you with.
Specifically I can help with focusing proposals (especially impact and exploitation), focusing and pitching business ideas, first assessment of patentability (including simple searches) and commercial potential/value proposition, submitting DOFIs, or advising on agreements (IPR, secrecy and exit clauses). I am also involved in teaching Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and am the faculty contact towards VIS (the TTO) and also a contact person towards UiB central research and innovation section (FIA) and the hospital innovation section.
Most of what I do is about evaluating ideas from more perspectives than the scientific one – most importantly user perspective and investor perspective, but also the ‘European perspective’ in Horizon Europe (launching 26.october!) and the strategic thoughts behind the increased focus on innovation/impact and cooperation in national and EU funding calls.
Do you have a good idea you want to grow to something? I’d love to talk with you about ways to make it happen.