The best business advice, opinion, news and expertise in Greater Manchester and further afield.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Friday Guest Blog

Ken Primrose, Managing Director of Industrial Tomography Systems, shares his tips for successfully commercialising a new technology.

Industrial Tomography Systems (www.itoms.com), started life as an incubator company, bringing technologies developed at UMIST to market. ITS has now commercialised the technology so successfully that it trades with companies as far afield as Brazil and the US and boasts an impressive client list including household names such as GlaxoSmithKline, Nestle and Procter & Gamble.


Bringing a new technology to market relies upon a strategic plan and well-targeted research. It is crucial to scope potential markets and test your product offering so you identify exactly where your technology will slot in and what it will add to each market sector targeted. Finding the technology’s unique selling point and positioning it well will be of pivotal importance. A clear understanding of price, margin, volume and timing is also essential.

A business’ sales team are the ones who will ultimately sell the product so it is essential that the sales force is well briefed and knowledgeable with regard to the technology and its applications and critically its potential benefits. An ability to clearly explain the technology in straightforward terms and demonstrate how it will benefit potential client companies is highly important when attracting customers to a new product.

Having all of the relevant accreditations, patents and licences prior to releasing the product to market will not only save time, but reassure potential customers that it is a product that they can trust. However these take time and money, so you should be confident that you are addressing the right segments before investing in areas which may take a long time to pay back. Equally, a strong company reputation will work in your favour – build up a target database of relevant potential customers with which you already have a favourable reputation. This will immediately strengthen your pitch and encourage customers to immediately consider investing in the new technology, based on the company name alone.

A similar way in which to attract confidence in your product is to have the full backing of research centres and well-respected names within the sector in which the new technology will feature. Favourable recognition from well known and renowned names within the field will further strengthen the brand.

Naturally, before embarking upon any of the above, it is essential to seek out the right engineering skills. Finding the right engineering talent in the UK is getting more difficult as the Government culls visas from non-EU nationals. Although this will open up the door to British students, it will be up to 10 years before ripe talent filters through.

Commercialising a new technology can be extremely rewarding both personally, professionally and financially, however it is important to have the have confidence in the talent at your disposal, research and funding when you set off.

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