The Institute’s project-based learning curricula for Advanced Commercialization Training give students practical tools for technology assessment, “voice of market” apprehension and fact-based commercialization decision making.
In the ACT programs, participants learn best practices from the Institute for technology assessment and conduct deep research into a technology from the region, thus creating local case studies. The data collected from primary research into market need, value-chain participants and technology experts is summarized in a QuickPitch format for competitive evaluation. Finally, students practice business communication skills in both written and oral presentation form. Top performers in the program, as judged by written deliverables and team presentations, visit Austin for intensive training and immersion in the local ecosystem to promote product development, commercialization and capital access.
Some programs have been augmented to be training environments for local mentors who assist in ACT training programs, assess homework and mentor participants. This active role in the ACT program is coupled with a discovery-based approach to explore and design technology transfer models, industry engagement strategies and business incubation approaches that fit local requirements. These plans are deployed in-region with consultation and support from the Institute.
Current and recent programs include:
The Practical Technology Commercialization Program (Uygulamalı Teknoloji Ticarileştirme Programı – UTTP) in Ankara, Turkey is supported by the US Department of State Building Opportunity Out of Science and Technology (BOOST) Program. Student teams in the UTTP assess the market value of technologies developed at Turkish research institutions and ready these for commercial opportunity both in and outside Turkey through networking and an intensive week in Austin for the winning team.
The Technology Commercialization Programs supported by Ruta N in Medellín, Colombia train representatives from local organizations including offices of technology transfer from universities, startups, and other S&T organizations. The Programs involve several components: Practical Technology Commercialization Programs (PTCP) delivered in Medellín, internships in Austin for the winning teams, and internships in Austin for a group of mentors. There is also a new PTCP with Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) with focus on the energy sector and a contract with EPM to develop a technology commercialization road map for four technologies.
The Practical Technology Commercialization Workshop held in May, 2015 in Granada, Spain provided technology transfer officers, inventors, researchers, engineers, scientists, university leaders with the skills, knowledge, and initial experience to become individual agents of positive change in their regions. It combined an online pre-course (the Institute’s online Innovation Readiness Series) with a four-day hands-on workshop organized around real-life situations and practical activities in technology commercialization.
The Technology Commercialization for Administrators Program in Yucatán, Mexico which used the Institute’s Innovation Readiness Series to train administrators in the vocabulary and principles of commercialization and use IR as a proactive instrument to draw innovation from their researchers into technology transfer organizations.