Commercializing Your Research Work: Transferring the Knowledge to Industry

Do you believe your research results will lead to an innovation with high market potential? Do your results show your innovation could help companies develop a competitive advantage? Then you’re ready to commercialize your research results. The ÉTS Office of the Dean of Research will support you through the process. 

What is the commercialization process?

The commercialization process (valorisation de la recherche in French) is a sequence of activities, the goal of which is to transfer the technology to a (new or existing) company. It aims to increase the value of the research results from a social and economic perspective. Research results that meet a real market need and that provide a competitive advantage with respect to what currently exists are good candidates for commercialization.  

Under this process, researchers, whether faculty members, professionals or students, work closely with the research advisor and the commercialization advisor to find a vehicle for the new technology, either by launching a new business or licensing it to an existing one.

Beginning the commercialization process

You must start this process as soon as you believe your work can be commercialized. You should contact an ÉTS research advisor right away. He or she will assist you with the commercialization process.

Avoid disclosing the results of your work too soon

It is very important to start this process before any public disclosure of your work, since publication of your work seriously threatens the protection of your invention by patent.

How do you begin?   

The process begins with the filing of a declaration of invention. This internal ÉTS form must be completed by the inventors (with the support of a research advisor). You must also provide a detailed description of the solution to be protected. An article on the subject can serve as the description.  

You must then have the declaration of invention signed by all the inventors. This step will launch the technical/commercial assessment phase. The assessment will be carried out by a research advisor and probably by a director of business development from Aligo Innovation, the company that markets research on behalf of ÉTS.

The Dean of Research might ask you to more soundly specify your proof of concept or evolve your technology to add value to the intellectual property. Certain grant programs are well suited to this type of development. If this situation applies to your case, the research advisor or the Aligo Innovation director of business development will assist you in obtaining this type of subsidy.

Who should launch the commercialization process? 

One of the inventors of the solution to be marketed can start the commercialization process by filling out a declaration of invention. When you complete the declaration of invention, you must name all the inventors of the solution. An inventor is a person who has made an active and decisive contribution to an essential, innovative and non-obvious element of the invention that led to its development.

An individual may not claim the status of inventor if he or she suggests a problem to be solved or a goal to be achieved without specifying the means to achieve it, or if he or she simply followed the instructions of the researcher(s) who originated the solution. In addition, persons whose contribution is limited to a work of assistance, test or laboratory refinement are not considered co-inventors.

Finding an industrial partner

If the technology you’ve developed is not tied to any industrial partner and it has commercial potential, steps may be undertaken to establish a partnership. More specifically, Aligo Innovation, ÉTS’ marketing representative, can find an industrial recipient for your invention, either by granting a license to an existing business or starting a new business.

In parallel to their research, maturation activities and protection of intellectual property will be undertaken. Throughout this process, researchers, faculty, professionals, and students will work in close collaboration with the research advisor and Aligo innovation.