IG Consultants Methodlogy
1. The Technological Approach
Establish how the project will be managed and what technical approach will be adapted. This will require the production of a summary project plan, project management structure and technical approach the project will take including the main objectives of the work. Also the main work packages will be broken down to establish resource and project management resource requirements. It is important to highlight the innovative steps and how difficult these will be to achieve.
The final aspect of this research involves a description of rival technologies and what alternative R&D strategies that may be available.
2. The Innovative Step
Establish the extent to which the approach is innovative commercially and technically through research into published research papers, trade publications and public domain information.
It is essential to evaluate the following aspects of a project:
- Does it push boundaries over and beyond current-edge world science or technology?
- Is it implicitly innovative; commercially, scientifically or both
- Is it looking towards utilising existing technologies in new innovation applications
- What new commercial prospects and opportunities does the project represent
It is important to establish drivers for the novelty of the research areas of the project and establish risks of obsolescence or loss of competitive advantage.
It is important to provide independent evidence to support any project. Work undertaken to support the project claims may include patent searches, competitor analysis, literature surveys etc.
3. What are the technical, commercial and environmental risks
When undertaking research and development, funding bodies will seek assurances that adequate arrangements for managing risks have been put in place. Arrangements for managing and mitigating risks include:
- Identification of key project risks and uncertainties
- Provide detailed risk analysis for the project activities including technical, commercial, managerial and environmental uncertainties
- Establish a risk mitigation strategy
- Identify key project management tools and mechanisms that will be implemented
4. Does the company have the right skills and expertise and access to facilities
A company must detail its track record in undertaking and exploiting the results of research and development projects. In appraisal of a company’s capabilities it is necessary to consider:
- Does the business have the appropriate available mix of skills and experience
- Does the company have access to the appropriate subcontractors where in-house skills are insufficient or unavailable in the required timescale
- Does the company management team have experience in managing external contractors
5. What is the business opportunity
It is important to clearly identify the business opportunity that has been identified and what needs to be done to address it successfully. It is necessary to describe the nature of the issues facing the industry sector as well as the company and how the intended outcomes can address the problems. This could include relevant customer needs and how a project aims to address these including independent evidence where possible.
6. What is the nature if the market opportunity the project might open up
It is important to research the market to establish the size of the market opportunity including:
- Current nature of the specific market
- Size and predicted growth rates
- Projected market share of the new innovation
Independent evidence of the market size and dynamics are critical in obtaining reliable data.
Where highly innovative projects are undertaken where the market may be unexplored it is essential to identify:
- What the route to the market might be
- What the market size could be
- How best to establish the market potential
- What sources of data could ensure sufficient demand exists
7. How will the results of the project be exploited
The potential exploitable outcomes must be clearly defined:
- Intellectual property
Identification of an exploitation strategy and where applicable, protection of intellectual property rights are essential. Other effects could involve the value chain, business models and business processes.
Impacts of a project can be economic, technical, social, environmental, political and legal and should be trended out over a 5 year period.
The benefits and the overall timeframe for exploitation must be considered at the earliest opportunity.