Acceleration of commercial uptake

The purpose of the Business Prototyping Projects is to help research groups in HPC identify and evaluate business cases based on their research results. Around each technology, teams will be formed consisting of the principle investigator, an entrepreneurial lead, and a mentor with industry experience. Each team is then guided through a method of where they will quickly and effectively identify and test critical business related hypotheses, e.g. who is our customer; what problem are we solving for them; what should our offering be (product/service/IP); how do we reach the customers with our offering; how and how much should we charge for it.

While good technology is critical, the focus of the business prototyping projects will be on testing business related hypotheses, e.g. by talking to customers and other external stakeholders. This is something the projects are expected to do largely independently. Therefore the capabilities and ambitions of the team members are an important factor when choosing participants.

Applications will be evaluated in the following three areas:

  • Team (weight 3)
    What is the quality and commitment of the project team members that will occupy the following roles: Principal Investigator (PI), Entrepreneurial Lead (EL), Mentor (M).

  • Technology (weight 1)
    How clearly is the status of the technology described: what are the unique aspect of the technology, who are the owners of the technology, how can the technology be protected, and what is the technology’s current stage of development (e.g., proof-of-principle, proof-of-concept, alpha or beta prototype). Here the applicant will also explain how the technology uniquely address specific problems in High-Performance Computing (HPC).

  • Commercial Potential (weight 2)
    How well has the commercial potential of the technology been considered? To enable evaluation, proposals should include the following hypotheses: what the product/service is, a brief description of a typical customer, how the product/service meets customer needs, how customers currently meet those needs, how many potential customers exist, and how much they are expected to pay.

To support the efforts, each team will receive €25.000 in financial support, that should be used to test the most critical business related assumptions, e.g. by paying for the time of the entrepreneurial lead and mentor, by paying for trips to meet with potential customers and partners, by paying for development of prototypes and presentation materials. All team members are to be paid for their participation; proportions are up to the PI. The teams, including mentors, are also expected to participate in a kick-off workshop at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The timeline is as follows: application deadline is March 1; after an evaluation process, project selection will be made in March 1; the business prototyping projects kick off shortly thereafter and end in late June.

The series of videos below describes the Business Prototyping Process: