Materials science company uncovers innovative solutions to their technical R&D challenges

A Technologist at an American materials science company, who asked to remain anonymous for this case study for competitor sensitivity, recently ran two Discover campaigns to identify academic researchers to address their technical R&D challenges. The company specialises in creating solutions for extreme environments, including inhospitable conditions on Earth, inside the human body, and space.

The Technologist worked with IN-PART to develop their Industry Call for Opportunities (ICO’s) briefs for the campaigns to ensure the most relevant opportunities were found. The Technologist found the ICO production process useful as it “helped [them] clarify the most valuable topics and approaches of interest.”

The first ICO launched by the company was looking for expertise and strategies to be used in the immobilisation or encapsulation of live non-mammalian organisms for use in fermentation. IN-PART’s Discover team found 47 active opportunities that were interested in collaborating with the company. After a series of reviews, the company asked to be introduced to four research groups.

The Technologist recently updated us on the progress of those introductions:

Of those contacts, we are in various stages of project scoping with two research project submitters. We have established a consulting agreement with one of the experts. We choose not to move forward with only one of the four teams.”

Their second campaign six months later uncovered 54 opportunities in advanced materials for incorporating immobilised enzymes in chemical catalysis.

They recently completed their review of the opportunities from the second campaign:

As before, our team sorted through responses and came up with three groups to approach immediately (two Research Projects & one Expert). We have started conversations with these contacts and are moving forwards with plans to scope a research project with one of the groups. We reserved an additional five groups to consider approaching in CY23.”

We also asked the Technologist about how they managed the conversations with the researchers after the initial introduction from IN-PART. They explained:

Our next steps start with learning more about the degree of overlap between our interests and the contact. We also explore preferred ways of interaction and, so far, have not encountered any challenges with furthering a relationship. We anticipate maintaining consulting relationships in both areas and hope to execute collaborative research projects. Such projects may investigate a critical technical uncertainty or perceived barrier to commercialization.”

Their final comments on their experience using Discover explained the advantages of using the platform to scout for new academic connections;

We have been impressed with the value provided by our IN-PART Discover efforts. The time required for research, outreach and report delivery was reasonable, especially considering the wealth of information obtained. The format and information content of the report made the difficult process of selecting the most exciting opportunities as convenient as possible. Finally, the introductions process was seamless. We cannot imagine a more effective way to explore our areas of interest across such a large group of outstanding academicians.”

Read more case studies of partnerships initiated through IN-PART’s matchmaking platforms for university-industry collaboration.

Written by Frances Wilkinson. Edited by Alex Stockham.

Copyrights reserved unless otherwise agreed – IN-PART Publishing Ltd., 2022: ‘Materials science company uncovers innovative solutions to their technical R&D challenges

About IN-PART:

We believe brilliant connections can solve real-world problems. We match research pioneers from academia with decision-makers in industry sectors striving for a greater positive impact.

Our goal is to enable connections from around the world to match academic research with industry on a level playing field. Through our intelligent, matchmaking platform we showcase leading university innovations and connect academics with an international community of decision-makers in industry, creating meaningful dialogue and partnership.

Connect, a digital partnering platform for university-industry collaboration.

250+ universities and research institutes around the world currently showcase their research and innovation on IN-PART to find new collaboration partners in industry. R&D teams get free access to the platform (create an account here). There are no hidden costs and we don’t claim downstream success fees.

Discover, a bespoke scouting platform for open innovation.

With the aim of solving a technical requirement or challenge, Discover enables R&D teams to identify new opportunities for commercialisation or to solicit proposals for new research from our extended academic network, which has confirmed touchpoints in 2,400+ universities and institutes worldwide.

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