February 23, 2024

Innovate Biz Pro

Innovation that Brightens the Future

14 Tips For Science-Driven Innovation

5 min read

Recent history has shown the power of scientific research and endeavor in supporting human life and health, better understanding our planet, opening up space exploration and much, much more. Now, consider what could be accomplished by pairing entrepreneurial drive and corporate resources with the practices, knowledge and learnings of the scientific community—the results might literally change the world.

So how, specifically, can industry and science come together for greater impact, and what should businesses know about how such partnerships and processes might work? Below, 14 members of Forbes Technology Council share tips for businesses seeking to effectively leverage scientific research, innovation and methods to drive product development and gain a competitive edge in the market.

1. Be Ready For A Shift In Thinking

Technology transfer from scientific research to commercialization is very difficult. It requires both a shift in thinking—from perfectionism and research to iteration and launch—and the creation of an organizational structure that values market feedback at every stage of development. Too often, businesses build technology in the dark, only to be surprised that the world doesn’t want what they have built. – Amir Emadi, Toofon, Inc. dba Soaring

2. Draw Inspiration From Nature

Explore biomimicry by drawing inspiration from nature’s designs and solutions. Businesses can establish interdisciplinary teams that blend biologists, engineers and designers to emulate efficient and sustainable biological processes in product development. This approach taps into millions of years of evolution, fostering unique and eco-friendly solutions that can set products apart in the market. – Jagadish Gokavarapu, Wissen Infotech


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3. Learn About Collaborating With Leading Agencies

Establish joint research initiatives with NASA Open Science Analysis Working Group members to collaboratively address scientific challenges. Business leaders can actively contribute to and benefit from ongoing research projects by pooling resources and expertise, fostering innovation and positioning their company as a thought leader in the industry, enhancing its reputation and market competitiveness. – Cristian Randieri, Intellisystem Technologies

4. Leverage The Power Of LLMs

Large language models such as ChatGPT make leveraging scientific papers far more manageable. LLMs can more effectively scour existing research to find relevant papers. They can combine concepts from various papers, translate code between languages and pseudocode, and “fill in the gaps” with integrated tools such as MATLAB and Mathematica. This technology will accelerate the adoption of scientific and academic research by industry. – Sam Glassenberg, Level Ex

5. Partner With Academia

Research is a completely different business model—one most companies can’t adopt due to the inherent failure rates and long times to market. However, as good as academia is at performing research, it is equally terrible at commercializing it. Most universities have whole departments that focus on business partnerships to commercialize their research. – Josh Dunham, Reveel

6. Set Up A Dedicated R&D Team

Create a dedicated, cross-functional R&D team within the company, and encourage regular interaction with external research communities and universities. This ensures a continuous flow of scientific insights directly into the product development process, fostering agility and maintaining a company’s competitive edge in the market. – Mohit Gupta, Damco Solutions

7. Adopt An ‘Outside-In’ Approach

To harness scientific research and innovation, businesses should adopt an “outside-in” approach. This includes deploying scouts to track advancements in startups and universities, fostering strategic partnerships within the ecosystem, and encouraging cross-pollination of ideas for innovative product development. This approach keeps companies competitive by infusing new, innovative ideas into their R&D. – Raj Polanki, Wacker Chemical Corporation

8. Keep An Eye Out For Entrepreneurial Academics

Motivating a scientist in the academic world to become an entrepreneur is much harder than everybody thinks. It is easier to watch out for the few entrepreneurs in the academic world who need your support to develop a product in your niche. If you have a small venture team that screens scientific papers and visits these scientists, you can handpick these “diamonds in the rough” and build great ventures. – Yusuf Sar, Hardwarewartung 24 GmbH

9. Establish Collaborative Research Partnerships

Collaborative research partnerships can help businesses gather insights and vet knowledge to make informed decisions and improve services. For example, in healthcare, organizations can gain a better understanding of the patient journey by researching how patients interact with platforms and channels and using the information to guide the development of tools that better align with patients’ needs. – Christopher Rogers, Carenet Health

10. Explore Government-Funded Programs

Specific government programs and funding vehicles allow small businesses and startups to partner with universities, nonprofit research labs or federally funded research and development centers on government-funded R&D projects. The Small Business Technology Transfer program is one such vehicle. – Karim Eldefrawy, Confidencial.io

11. Integrate Design Thinking

One way businesses can leverage scientific research and innovation is by integrating design thinking into the DNA of their organizations. Engage multidisciplinary teams in collaborative, user-centric approaches that combine scientific research with empathetic problem solving. The resulting products will not only embody cutting edge technology, but will also resonate deeply with users. – Hadi Tabani, Liquid Technologies

12. Embrace Iteration

Embrace an iterative approach to product development, incorporating research findings into your product design and continuously refining your prototypes or solutions. Integrate the research findings into your product development process and marketing strategies. – Ranghan Venkatraman, Rezilyens LLC

13. Scout Scientific Conferences

Scout scientific conferences across spheres for fringe theories with application potential and support credibility-building efforts for those theories. Getting behind radical thinking in areas where current commercial initiatives fall short plants the seeds for category-defining intellectual property down the line through sponsored research deals. – Marc Fischer, Dogtown Media LLC

14. Create ‘Innovation Incubators’

One innovative approach is to create internal “innovation incubators” that actively translate scientific research into practical applications. By fostering a culture that encourages experimentation and applying academic breakthroughs to real-world problems, businesses can develop pioneering products and secure a competitive edge in rapidly evolving markets. – Ryan Lasmaili, Vaultree

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