Deeptech Commercialization through Entrepreneurial Capabilities


Maine, E. (2024). Deeptech Commercialization through Entrepreneurial Capabilities. Perimeter Institute. https://pirsa.org/24050060


Maine, Elicia. Deeptech Commercialization through Entrepreneurial Capabilities. Perimeter Institute, May. 22, 2024, https://pirsa.org/24050060


          @misc{ pirsa_PIRSA:24050060,
            doi = {10.48660/24050060},
            url = {https://pirsa.org/24050060},
            author = {Maine, Elicia},
            keywords = {Other},
            language = {en},
            title = {Deeptech Commercialization through Entrepreneurial Capabilities},
            publisher = {Perimeter Institute},
            year = {2024},
            month = {may},
            note = {PIRSA:24050060 see, \url{https://pirsa.org}}

Elicia Maine Simon Fraser University (SFU)

Talk Type Scientific Series


Presented in collaboration with Navigating Quantum and AI Career Trajectories: A Beginner’s Mini-Course on Computational Methods and their Applications


Deeptech or science-based innovations often spend more than a decade percolating within academic and government labs before their value is recognized (Park et al., 2022). This development lag time prior to venture formation is only partly due to technological development hurdles. Because science-based inventions are often generic in nature (Maine & Garnsey, 2006), meaning that they have broad applicability across many different markets, the problem of identifying a first application requires the confluence of deep technical understanding with expert knowledge of the practice of commercialization. This process of technology-market matching is a critical aspect of the translation of science-based research out of the lab (Pokrajak 2021, Gruber and Tal, 2017; Thomas et al, 2020, Maine et al, 2015) and is often delayed by a lack of capacity to identify, prioritize and protect market opportunities. Typically, deeptech innovations can take 10-15 years of development, and tens (or even hundreds) of millions of dollars of investment to de-risk before a first commercial application (Maine & Seegopaul, 2016). Academics seeking to commercialize such inventions face the daunting challenge of competing for investment dollars in markets that are ill suited to the uncertainty and timescales of deep tech development. The time-money uncertainty challenge faced by science-based innovators is compounded by the fact that most of the scientists and engineers with the world-leading technical skills required to develop science-based inventions, lack innovation skills training, and so cannot navigate the complexities of early and pre-commercialization development critical to venture success. Some researchers, having developed a mix of technical and business expertise, have demonstrated a long-term ability to serially spin out successful ventures (Thomas et al., 2020). Entrepreneurial capabilities, which can be learned, enable scientistentrepreneurs to play formative roles in commercialising lab-based scientific inventions through the formation of well-endowed university spin-offs. (Park et al, 2022; 2024). Commercialization postdocs, when supported by well designed training, stipends, and de-risking supports, can lead the mobilization of fundamental research along multiple commercialization pathways. Recommendations are provided for scholars, practitioners, and policymakers to more effectively commercialise deeptech inventions.


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