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Lowering Barriers for Nanotechnology Commercialisation via Open Innovation

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Facilitating nanotech commercialisation

Widespread socioeconomic benefits for society are already being felt through investment in nanotechnology research and product commercialisation. A large EU consortium developed tools to speed transfer from lab to market.

Industrial Technologies icon Industrial Technologies

The majority of nanotechnology research requires advanced theoretical knowledge and specialised equipment, meaning that it occurs largely at universities, research centres and corporate laboratories. Taking products from lab bench to market faces challenges regarding technical difficulties, funding, and environmental, health and safety concerns. A consortium of 16 partners from 10 European countries initiated the project 'Lowering barriers for nanotechnology commercialisation via open innovation' (NANOCOM) to help get nanotechnology products to market quickly. Representatives from research, venture capital organisations, large industrial companies, small and medium-sized enterprises and technology clusters joined forces to develop proactive approaches based on proven principles. Scientists identified and ranked barriers to commercialisation and studied success stories in other geographical regions or market sectors to develop best practices for Europe. Based on the barriers and best practices evaluation, they developed an ‘Open Innovation Model’ for rapid commercialisation of nanotechnology research. In addition, an ‘Innovation Training Factory’ was developed to facilitate implementation of the model. The project produced a strategic roadmap for research and development and policy, including timelines, milestones and decisions for commercialisation of nanotechnology at European and international levels. Key findings and recommendations are summarised in three ground-breaking reports: the Commercialisation Readiness Scale, Commercialisation Guidelines and the Policy Advice Framework — all of which are freely downloadable from the project website. NANOCOM tools and guidelines for innovators and policymakers are expected to help speed-up the transfer of nanotechnology research results from lab to market. Aligning research with industrial needs through coordinated stakeholders’ action will strengthen the EU nano-manufacturing sector and enhance the socioeconomic well-being of Europe's citizens.

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