On Tuesday, July 30, Skoltech held the Skoltech Translational Research and Innovation Program (STRIP) conference, a key component of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI). STRIP is one of the CEI projects that supports research teams that seek to establish proof of concept and to advance a new technology towards commercialization, which includes identifying high potential market opportunities, intellectual property management, and team development.
Established in 2012 as a result of a collaboration between Skoltech and the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at MIT, it is designed to facilitate the implementation of research results in products and processes that are of a practical interest to the economy and society.
The STRIP program methodology works around three main components:
- To select
- To direct
- To connect
Based on this, a commission evaluates the projects taking part in the contest; it includes scientists, experts in innovation, industry experts, and staff from venture capital and development institutions. Two mentors – “catalysts” – are chosen from among experienced scientists and entrepreneurs to offer guidance so that projects move in the right direction. A key moment in the final leg of the program is the setting up of meetings between research groups and potential end-users that are interested in their projects.
The conference consisted of an array of 20+ presentations before a panel of judges and industry experts. The topics ranged from improved solar panels for homes, potassium-ion batteries as a better alternative to lithium, ice-shakers designed to remove ice from power lines (a major problem for northern countries), to specialized equipment for the growing e-sports industry, a metagenome approach for the oil and gas industry, and many more.
Each presenter had a set time in which to make their presentation, followed by a timed Q&A session from the judges. The importance of STRIP is in challenging the participants to present their product/idea to convince the panel of its viability, as well as to improve their project based upon the feedback from the panel.
The STRIP program helps mitigate two major risks – technical risks and marketing risks – to ensure that the invention meets the market/tech requirements and finds a niche. It is also an important means to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation among our students and faculty.
For further information, see the STRIP webpage.
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