Addressing the Challenges Faced in Commercialising Your Research Products

Global innovation is the gateway for the economic development and productivity of nations. University researchers are great when it comes to theoretical and technical work involving their expertise. However, they face hurdles in developing the products that is vital to reach the hands of consumers. Often, the challenges of commercializing innovation are related to areas such as marketing, human resources, technical resources, financial resources, the business environment, and the planning and management of the commercialization process.

The Leaders in Innovation Fellowships (LIF) is an enriching programme that brings together the emerging leaders in the global innovation community, providing them with access to high-quality skills training focused on commercialization, a network of peers in their own country, the UK and around the world, and a rich and varied experience with immediate and long-term benefits for their innovations. However, only a small number of researchers are shortlisted to attend and be part of this network. As such, it is deemed critical to engage and work with the local industry experts in moving forward to successfully develop research products that meet the needs and demands of the industry as well as to successfully commercialise the innovation.

We have thus embarked on a project aimed at addressing the barriers to commercialise innovations developed by local universities in Malaysia. A series of modules on entrepreneurship and commercialization with industry experts incorporating local content has been established. A quantitative study was conducted with the help of 134 local researchers to identify the challenges they face in commercialising their research products. The primary challenges identified are the basis for developing a series of modules with industry experts: Academia-Entrepreneurial Mindset, University Support for Commercialization, Sourcing Funds for Commercialization, University-Industry Engagement and Technology Transfer Implementation. Individual webinars complement each of these modules. This web portal acts as a knowledge hub for university researchers to comprehend essential concepts in taking their innovations to market.

A project funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering under the LIF Community Grant 2020-2021 scheme.