Special Session #1: Tech Scout Relay Panel

Thursday, November 15, 1:15 - 2:30 PM

Room #: Grand Ballroom I

We have invited a group of individuals associated with Technology Scouting efforts, an increasingly popular element of modern technology management, to participate in our Tech Scout Relay Panel. The participants represent four different entities and will provide snapshots of issues surrounding the identification, the channeling, and the leveraging of emerging technologies into business opportunities to deliver organic growth, initiate spin-off companies, and support open innovation. They will highlight challenges associated with this tactic used routinely to capitalize successfully on technical concepts extracted from other organizations. Some questions that will be addressed are:

  • What makes technologies attractive to scouts/venture companies? What are they looking for? How do they evaluate new concepts?
  • What challenges do Scouts encounter? How do they source technologies? How do they “scout”? Are there challenges with international borders per se?
  • How can R&D institutions help and support scouting efforts? Are business cases/market intelligence essential to pitch? What makes for the best pitch? What support is expected from leveraging entities to ensure success?

There will be a 30-minute Q&A opportunity when audience interaction will be encouraged—with the goal to learn more about technology scouting and enable positioning the approach for success.

Introducing the Panelists:

Vicki A. Barbur, PhD (Moderator)
Senior Director, IP and Technology Commercialization, Commercial Business, BATTELLE

Terry Russell, PhD
Managing Director of Interface Ventures

Terry Russell, PhD, will discuss:

  • People tasked with scouting technologies will prioritize different technologies based on the mandates of their sponsoring organization. A big company might want a plug-in, ready to use technology, in which case the priorities will be: 1) product/market fit; 2) maturity of technology; and 3) soundness of IP.
  • Some larger companies with incumbent products and service may want patent rights to a novel technology to delay or block anyone from competing with them. Their priorities might be: 1) threat of the emerging technology to their business; 2) expense of license and; 3) weak license diligence terms.
  • From an entrepreneur’s perspective, there can be multiple requisites for a “Newco-enabling" technology. Some of the “biggies” are:
  • Enables a marketing claim of “first, best or only. Technology can be translated into a product or service with a compelling and unique value proposition that solves a valuable problem in an economically virtuous fashion.
  • Ensuring that necessary costs (including Technology Development, Product/Service Development, Financing, Licensing as well as Manufacturing, Marketing and Sales costs plus any Risk Premium) < Revenues sufficiently to generate a good return for investors and insulate Newco from early lethal competition, changing market conditions, or human failures.
  • Good technical team with solid IP protection and the potential to act as advisors or co-founders.

Laura A. Schoppe, MBA, MSE
President, Fuentek, LLC

Laura A. Schoppe, MBA, MSE, will discuss:

  • To increase their success in moving their innovations into the public realm, more and more universities and government labs are pursuing collaborative R&D with private companies. Finding a match and establishing the partnership can be challenging for various reasons. Some practical guidance will be provided to help attendees identify and develop successful and longstanding partnerships which have been shown to deliver successful returns.
  • To tap into university and government technologies that have commercial potential, companies must find the institutions that are a source of relevant R&D and establish the engagement that matches up those technologies with their own needs. Practical advice will be presented based on extensive experience.

George Gibson, MBA
Director of Technology Scouting, Xerox Corporation

George Gibson will discuss:

  • The most important challenges facing both (or even all) sides in technology scouting are:
    • The alignment of business models
    • The handling of the potential for joint IP between parties
  • Some potential approaches that have delivered success for Xerox will be presented for discussion and debate to ensure all viewpoints in the landscape are being given adequate attention.

Jack G. Abid
Registered Patent Attorney, Allen, Dyer, Doppelt, & Gilchrist, PA

Jack G. Abid, Registered Patent Attorney, will discuss:

  • The key issues to take note when transitioning Intellectual Property from non-profits to profit-based entities include:
    • Ownership rights
    • Permanent government rights
    • Additional unknown licensees
    • Monitoring federal notices for licensing agreements