A total of eight research groups from different research centers and universities participate in the first edition of the Lab to Market (L2M) program, an initiative promoted by the R+D+i Energy for Society Network (XRE4S) with the aim of helping participants to identify technologies that have potential for commercialization.
In this first edition, the 8 research groups belong to IREC, ICMAB-CSIC, the University of Girona and the University of Lleida. From ICMAB, the Superconducting Mateirals and Large Scale Nanostructures (SUMAN) group, led by Teresa Puig, is the group participating in this program.
The Lab to Market (L2M) program offers personalized attention to researchers who are part of the network and who wish to valorize or transfer a technology in the field of energy. The ultimate goal of the L2M program is to help groups protect innovations, find licensees or valorize the technology through the creation of a ‘spin-off’.
The R&D&I Energy for Society (XRE4S) network, which includes 35 research groups from 14 universities, technology centers, research centers and universities in Catalonia, has promoted the first edition of this initiative, with the aim of helping participants to identify technologies with commercialization potential.
In a first phase, the experts carry out a pre-assessment of the technologies to determine the degree of innovation, the level of intellectual protection and the potential for commercialization. Subsequently, according to the XRE4S promoter, Joana Tarrés, "personalized and detailed advice is given on market strategy, the business model and the strategy of and intellectual property protection strategy for a limited number of technologies that have passed the first phase". In addition, a guide has been prepared for researchers with advice on how to bring technologies from the lab to the market.
Tarrés, who said that a new edition of the program will be organized this month, assured that the participants "are very motivated" and their degree of satisfaction "is very high".
In this sense, Raquel García, from the LEQUIA research group at the University of Girona, emphasized that participating in the L2M program "is the perfect opportunity to explore the market opportunities of the technologies that are in the laboratory or pilot phase" and, in the specific case of the her team, it has helped them to "promote ideas in business forums, advance in the analysis of our technology, and to verify in which sectors our solution fits the market demand".
In the same line, Roxana Vlad and Teresa Puig, from the SUMAN group of the ICMAB-CSIC, have celebrated the great impulse they are receiving to valorize the technology developed in superconducting tapes through the L2M program. "We are delighted with the program and the consultants chosen for their great professionalism, commitment and depth of analysis, helping us to establish the most appropriate strategies for the transfer of our technology" they said.
In total, the XRE4S brings together 528 researchers, working in the areas of low-carbon technologies, electrical networks and distribution, and energy efficiency. This organization is an evolution of the R&D&I network on Advanced Materials for Energy (XaRMAE), born in 2003. In 2018, the XaRMAE was reconfigured with the will to broaden its thematic scope to all areas of energy and to become a cross-cutting and interdisciplinary network promoting the energy transition at the Catalan and international level.
The director of the XRE4S, Manel Sanmartí, emphasized that, at present, "the XRE4S is an ecosystem of transfer between research, development and innovation, and the productive and social environment in the energy sector, and is a key element for improving the competitiveness of the energy sector and the deployment of a low-emission society. We want to increase the impact of this transfer in the productive and social sector in Catalonia and turn it into a pole of energy innovation at international level".
The XRE4S organizes multiple events for its members and is currently preparing some videos featuring the capacities of the laboratories of the whole network, technology capsules focused on specific solutions related to energy, and interviews to the principal investigator of each of the 35 groups integrating the XRE4S.
The XRE4S project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union in the framework of the ERDF Operational Programme Catalonia 2014-2020 and supported by the Secretary of Universities and Research of the Ministry for Business and Knowledge of the Government of Catalonia.