What is Technology Commercialization?

how is it related to innovation, technology adaptation, and research and development?

The results of technology commercialization reside in almost all the products and services we use. Technology commercialization is the process of taking an idea to market and creating financial value with it – typically through licensing an invention, developing a new product or service, or creating a new business. Products or services created through commercialization may be "new to the world" or just new to a region or country.

Technology commercialization does not necessarily refer to moving a specific “finished technology” to market, but may involve commercializing an earlier stage development. Sometimes technology commercialization involves marketing the know-how or intellectual property associated with a technology to companies that need what's "inside the black box", but do not need the box itself.

Benefits to Economic Development

Technology commercialization helps create new start-up businesses and expands the product lines of existing companies.

Commercialization increases business-to-business transactions as commercialized technologies are frequently used in manufacturing processes rather than sold to the consumer. Commercialization creates expanded opportunities for entrepreneurs and the development of support networks. It is these supportive ecosystems we see in successful regions of the world.

Our Services for Technology Commercialization

Technology Assessment services

Assessment of the potential for technology commercialization in your organization, region or country. Rainforest Strategies consultants have delivered hundreds of technology assessments and detailed expert recommendations around the globe. See our client case studies: Republic of Georgia and Russian science and technology assets

Benefits of technology assessments include:
Improved university-industry relations, more efficient use of resources, new opportunities to work on intellectually stimulating problems, and expanded opportunities for small businesses. 

Objectives of technology assessments include:

  • Assess the strengths of departments within a university, research institute, or company. This may include technologies, equipment, and most importantly the expertise of researchers.
  • Measure results of technology commercialization.
  • Identify opportunities to promote the expertise of the department being assessed. These new opportunities may lead to increased direct and indirect income for the department.
  • Provide information to inform strategic management.
  • Motivate staff and increase awareness of the department.
  • Support local technology transfer (inwards and outwards) and technology commercialization, particularly involving small and medium sized companies.

In some cases a technology roadmap will be developed to bring together a team of experts to organize the technology development process and performance targets, and make decisions regarding trade-offs among different technology alternatives. 


consulting for Incubators, Accelerators, and Science and Technology Parks

Rainforest Strategies assists clients with:

  • Planning Services for incubators, accelerators, and science and technology parks.
  • Pre-Conditions for Development of science and technology parks and incubators.
  • Policy Integration that weaves science and technology parks into a country's economic development policy.
  • Facilities of various types including new business incubators, accelerators and proof-of-concept centers.
  • Planning to Finance science and technology parks and incubators, developing a budget, strategies for realizing a return-on-investment, sustainability of science and technology parks and incubators.
  • Successful Implementation including good practices, success factors, metrics for science and technology parks and incubators, measuring outputs and outcomes.

See our client case studies: Medellin, Columbia and projects for the World Bank globally and specifically for the World Bank in Vietnam.

Technology Commercialization: the basic elements

the commercialization process begins with an idea or concept for a new product, service, or process.

Ideas may come from universities, businesses, or individual inventors. Everybody has ideas, but to succeed at commercialization, weeding out ideas or inventions is just as important as finding them. If there will be no market for an idea, or there are already competing products, or the idea is just not technically feasible, best to send them back to the drawing board early on. The process has six key elements:

  • Technology Assessment:  First, you have to discover and determine the commercial potential of intellectual property (IP) and expertise at the organizations to be assessed. A technology assessment can be the basis for discovering and understanding the technology capacity and potential for commercialization of a country's science and technology institutions.
  • Feasibility Study and/or Production of Prototype: Determining if the final proposed product is likely to work is the second step. The study and/or prototype is valuable as a demonstration to potential users and investors.

  • Gather Market Intelligence: A key step is uncovering competitors or competing products and evaluate if the resulting product will satisfy a known market demand, or might create a new market.

  • Package Intellectual Property: To identify and decide whether and how to protect associated intellectual property (IP), including costs/benefit assessments.

  • Assemble Financing & Expertise: Seek out finance and expertise for each stage of the commercialization process, and the resulting licensing, sale, or new business creation (a “spinoff” company).

  • Negotiate & Set Timing: Negotiating with potential users and customers (who, in many cases, may be other businesses), and deciding on the best time to launch the product and at what price. 

Email or call us to start the conversation about Technology Commercialization in your organization or region.