For many researchers, clinicians, and innovators, conceptualization and early stage development is often the “fun and exciting” step in creating new technologies. Meanwhile, commercialization is treated as a straight-forward, multi-step process that takes a device from point A (concept) to point B (market). In our experience, however, every technology and subsequent commercialization effort has a unique set of technical, legal, financial, and, in the case of rehabilitation and assistive technologies, societal circumstances that dictate the commercialization pathway. TREAT has developed and refined a modular and easy to follow process to help clients evaluate, understand, and define the pathway for their rehabilitation and assistive technology before expending significant resources, both financial and time, on development and translation.
Technology & Market Assessment
The TREAT Technology and Market Assessment (TMA), is a multi-module evaluation instrument that helps innovators assess all aspects of commercializing their technology. Through this instrument, innovators are asked to quantify and challenge technical viability and market opportunity of their technology concept using both objective and subjective measures. While designed to be primarily self-guided, TREAT advisors are always available to provide guidance and feedback when difficulties or questions arise. This method of facilitated discovery enables innovators to identify and capitalize on new technology opportunities while avoiding some of the pitfalls that are common in technology development.
While the TMA doesn’t provide a dichotomous determination on a technology’s commercial viability – individuals must determine that for themselves based on personal financial goals and entrepreneurial desire – it does help answer the following crucial questions:
“Can I move forward from a technical, legal, and clinical effectiveness perspective?”
“Should I move forward from a financial opportunity perspective?”
A completed TMA provides the innovator with a solid foundation for:
- A comprehensive business and commercialization plan.
- A refined need statement and value proposition to help solicit investment or licensing opportunities.
- A proposal for pursuing public and private grant opportunities – including TREAT in-kind service and pilot funding award.
Because of these tangible and practical benefits, all TREAT clients, even those with a previously developed business strategy and / or mature technology, are encouraged to complete a TMA for their technology.
Dartmouth College Lecture Series
To complement and support the Technology and Market Assessment program, TREAT offers access to several lectures that have been filmed at the Tuck School of Business and Thayer School of Engineering. Access is provided upon acceptance to the TREAT program and can be viewed online at any time. Entrepreneurship lectures are led by TREAT Business Advisory Board member, Gregg Fairbrothers, who was the Founding Director of the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network (DEN), an Adjunct Professor of Business Administration at the Tuck School of Business, and Founding Chair of the Dartmouth Regional Technology Center. Prior to returning to Dartmouth in 1999, he served in a variety of management and executive positions in the oil and gas industry for over 22 years, managing and founding exploration and production companies on three continents. Information is presented in an entertaining and easy to follow way that is conducive to helping individuals with and without a business background. In addition to providing general entrepreneurship education, several rehabilitation technology specific topics are introduced.
Engineering Design lectures are led by TREAT team member Solomon Diamond. Dr. Diamond is an Associate Professor at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. His general areas of expertise and interests include mechanical engineering and design, biomedical imaging, magnetic nanoparticles, physiological modeling, brain injury, and cancer diagnostics. His research focuses on developing medical imaging technologies for studies of human brain function and magnetic nanoparticles in medicine. Course offerings are organized into three separate modules:
Introduction to Entrepreneurship
16 part series (approximately 50 minutes each) that addresses how to think more “entrepreneurially” and the fundamentals of conceptualizing and launching a new business. Viewers are exposed to all aspects of the commercialization process, including: assessing market need, creating a business model, intellectual property, strategies for financing, and executing an exit strategy.
14 part series (approximately 50 minutes each), with each lecture conducted by world-class industry experts who provide insights and lessons learned from their personal perspectives in business.
Computer-Aided Mechanical Engineering Design
13 part series (varying lengths) from the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth covers aspects of computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided engineering (CAE), and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) for machine elements and products. The focus is on design for manufacturing, rather than on manufacturing processes.