Identify open innovation opportunities faster
For industry tech scouts, patent licensing professionals, emerging technology startups, and scientific researchers, the seed platform helps to find collaboration and licensing opportunities quickly, and lowers the cost of executing a deal. It’s all driven by non-confidential profile information contained in a searchable database.
Our searchable catalogue is a starting point, and it’s connected to a set of practical and powerful tools. Before looking at specific tools, consider seed itself as a big tool for members and subscribers to harness the baked-in, mutual interests of industry, emerging technology, and scientific research to accelerate the move of scientific discovery into the marketplace. Let’s take a quick look at the community of interests available to be harnessed for the parties’ mutual benefit.
Beyond transactions, it’s about the power of networked collaboration
No doubt it’s great to find a patent to license that fits perfectly, or a startup whose innovative new product is ready to scale up. Nice work – it’s the core job of tech scouts.
However, when tech watch finds an institution on the same wavelength, magic can really happen. In an interview last year, Leopold Demiddeleer, former head of Solvay’s Future Business unit (open innovation team), talked about getting to know three researchers in electronics materials who moved to Georgia Tech. It turned into an eight-year collaboration that generated over 60 patent applications, and which was funded by tens of millions of dollars from Solvay. Connect the dots: collaborative research, licensing, startups.
brings network self-assembly to its members and industry subscribers
’s platform facilitates network creation and expansion among institutional scientific research and corporate R&D. It does this by simplifying the process of finding each other and making it cheaper and more responsive to the ways that individual member and subscriber organizations work.
Research institutions: innovation headwater, source of quality, and catalyst for startups
Institutional scientific and engineering research teams have a lot they can bring to the table in cooperation with industry. Likewise, industry has enormous contribution to make, too – not just money, but practical insights, deep knowledge of market ecosystems, and ownership of valuable specialized assets.
Why startups attract industry partners to the institutional licensor
Hundreds of institutions around the world crank out a lot of serious and novel research. Very smart scientists produce academic papers, present at conferences, and file disclosure memos that turn into patent applications. But how can industry tech watch identify which institutions it should get to know, given limited time and resources?
Literature searches and citations can be useful. Academic research networks can be a source, too. However, a growing body of tech scouts consciously seek out potential partners among institutions that actively generate spinouts and license startups. Some call it technology de-risking. We all know startups are risky business. But if there is some real de-risking of the technology by the startup, that points to efforts by the startup and not to the research capabilities of the institution, or its suitability as a potential partner.
What startups do say about the institution is something else: that the work of those researchers turned into a patent application, which appeared practical enough to pursue and capable of making money at some point. That’s a big deal.
Leaving aside the occasional corporate-supported fundamental research program, industry typically looks to institutions for collaborative research to solve real-world problems. They look for practical solutions that convert to cost reductions, higher performance, greater reliability, and higher user friendliness, all of which can make their products more competitive.
Active startup licensing is a great sign of the practical, real-world orientation of the prospective research partner, and, most important of all, of its research faculty. Why? Not because the institution fosters entrepreneurs. Nope. It’s the other way around: it’s that the commercial prospects of the invention itself motivate a smart PI to pursue a business plan based on her invention, and to do so, puts her own, and other people’s, money at risk.
Inviting startups to publish profiles is good for startups and good for the licensor
Some people think that the institution might be competing with its startup for industry collaboration or licensing. Actually, it’s a referral opportunity for each one – either licensing, or even further upstream to industry-sponsored research, or downstream to a young company already out there trying to commercialize.
is free for scientific research organizations, incubators, and young companies, and available at a fixed rate subscription for corporate use.