The British Geological Survey commissioned Patrick Eaton of bd3T to research the market and evaluate market demand for a novel new instrument equipment development with the aim of attracting partners. Patrick spoke to and introduced a number of industry contacts so that the BGS could hear first-hand what the industry thought of the product.. After research of what tools and techniques were currently being used to measure the energy required to crush materials bd3T then developed recommendations outlining the market potential, including potential commercial production costs. BGS were also advised on industrial requirements, where they should focus attention, and which elements needed to be prioritised in meeting industry’s needs. Mike Ackroyd, Commercialisation Manager for BGS says that their challenge is that once a BGS researcher has developed something in pursuit of their science they are generally obliged to move onto the next research project. The advantage of working with Patrick at bd3T is that he understands the nature of working with scientists and helping them to engage and deal with corporate engineers.
Recommendations suggested that BGS could look at using the instrument to measure the energy required to crush other materials, other than rock. As a result, the BGS have quickly generated money from the innovation by accepting a contract for work using the instrument, which has also introduced the BGS to three interested industrial representatives who have given useful feedback on the equipment and illustrated greater insight into market potential users. It also opened the opportunity for the companies to take the equipment on license.
The added value of working with bd3T is that Patrick has got the contacts to exploit the technological ideas and help the client’s scientists with the practicalities of taking a technological development to market. BGS now appreciate the usefulness of their ideas and that what they have is an idea and the value of their idea.