One of the roles of government is to foster societal economic growth. Depending on the market sector various tools are used to incentivize or assist industry to achieve this growth. Government programs can be structured to support SMEs, large corporations, minority groups, regional market subsectors, etc. depending on the economic priorities set by government.
Within the technology sector key tools include tax based incentives, international market assistance and technology commercialization programs. Technology commercialization support itself can take many forms. Common elements include such aspects as:
- Networking support:
- bringing together business and researchers,
- facilitating partnerships with prospective customers,
- international door opening;
- Financial support for everything from proof of concept to pilot projects;
- Support for market research and customer facing marketing.
For a company faced with the challenge of bringing technology to the market, the potential for commercialization support can be enticing. And in many cases it can be leveraged successfully. But the attractiveness of an apparent helping hand also needs to be carefully considered.
Here are ten questions to ask yourself about technology commercialization support programs.
- What programs exist that can meet my specific needs?
- Do I truly understand the nature of the market I am pursuing and whether available support programs are appropriate to help meet my company’s business goals?
- Is it worth applying for government funding or is there a way to get this done with my internal resources?
- Will involvement with this program help or slow us down in the time it takes to get to market?
- How could this funding be spent? Could I cover all my project expenses? If not in whole, what % and whet type of costs eligible?
- What will be my return on this money and how quickly?
- Are the potential partnerships to be gained helpful to my organization?
- How do I apply? How much time and effort will it take to get to the money? What are my chances of success in receiving the funding?
- How do I get to know decision makers? Or should I hire consultants that worked with the program before to help me out?
- Are there conditions on the acceptance of funding and are the terms compatible with my business plan?
Keystep has considerable knowledge and experience with government technology commercialization support programs. We have worked with many startup and growth stage companies to identify, evaluate and pursue programs suitable to the company’s needs. Our experience can help you navigate a sometimes complex array of programs, quickly and efficiently. Feel free to contact us if you would like assistance in evaluating or pursing various technology assistance programs.