The Benefits of Early Engagement
How Does Early Engagement Help You?
We welcome the opportunity to talk and work with you months or even years before there is an innovation ready for distribution or disclosure to our office. C4C has added significant resources that can help develop the commercial potential of your research, without compromising its integrity.
From understanding how your work fits with industry needs to identifying potential commercial partners, we’re here to help make connections, map out the competitive landscape, provide early intellectual property analyses, and manage intellectual property issues.
One of our Technology Managers will be your primary contact and will be responsible for funneling technology-specific resources to your project. While you’re the expert and owner of your research project plan, C4C will provide support and guidance on how to transform your research results into products with broad societal impact. For example, we advise on:
- data needed to support patent applications and other IP protection
- the proof-of-concept work that industry looks for
- how to identify applications for your research
- market size and potential interest by third parties
Your Technology Manager can bring in our Industry Relations team which is experienced in identifying appropriate and value-add industry partners for UW researchers.
Our Industry Relations Officers organize industry affiliate programs in areas of UW research excellence. These affiliate programs can help your students find positions after graduation, and they can lead to opportunities for sponsored research.
Talk to your Technology Manager about our C4C New Ventures Program which identifies opportunities that could result in start-up companies and provides a variety of services to help them launch. This includes access to our Entrepreneurs-in-Residence—seasoned business executives with relevant domain expertise who along with C4C staff will guide you through the following steps:
- Forming Your Team
- Project and Business Planning
- Creating Your Company
- Securing Gap Funding
Our in-house patent agents can conduct a comprehensive search for patents and patent applications in your technical discipline. This type of information will help you to:
- determine which patents are now in the public domain
- understand the activities and strengths of known competitors and identify potentially unknown players by finding pending patent applications (publicly available 18 months after filing)
- determine how rapidly new innovation is taking place in your space
- identify gaps in research and development
- be aware of densely versus sparsely patented aspects of your research area
- consider whether industry patent holders could become sponsors of your research
- better position your technology to attract funding
Ask your Technology Manager how you can tap into C4C’s affiliation with the Foster School of Business Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to get matched with highly motivated MBA students and College of Engineering certificate graduate science students who will devote time to analyzing the commercial potential of your innovations. Student teams can:
- do market research to assess the overall market size and need
- research the competitive landscape
- help develop business plans
These mutually beneficial partnerships provide valuable input to the business plan around a UW innovation and provide business experience for the students. This market understanding is a significant step in the process of assembling the information necessary to attract investors.
Manage intellectual property issues including UW research results, outside work agreements and sponsored research.
If you have the opportunity to work with industry during a sabbatical or leave, we’ll guide you on IP issues within consulting agreements that need to be in place between UW and the company. We can also provide guidance and support to help you navigate what can be challenging conversations with prospective employers or sponsors around these IP issues.