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SPECIALIST SERIES: Taking The Next Steps With Medical Research

You have completed your research project, possibly published the results, and maybe presented the work at a conference.  Now what?  Perhaps you would like to see the technology translated into medical practice and meaningful health outcomes.  But what are the next steps?

You may think the next logical steps are to refine the technology and conduct in vitro or animal testing if not already done.  Those steps may be needed, but may not be the best next steps.  You may want to step back and look at the bigger picture – What is the unmet need the technology addresses? Who is the customer? How large is the market? What is the value proposition? These are all questions that potential licensees or investors will need answers to – your technology will not likely make it to market without compelling answers.

These questions are scary for many researchers.  After all, you are not a Business Analysis, you are a Scientist.  Luckily there are organizations that can help.  Your institution’s technology licensing office and some grant organizations (such as the Boston Biomedical Innovation Center) have resources that can assist you.  With a bit of guidance, you will find that understanding the business basics of translational research is not that hard.

You may also find that taking the time to learn these new skills not only helps with your current project, but can help with your research career as there is a growing emphasis on translational research. Understanding the business basics of translational research will help you select appropriate research topics and to obtain funding.

—  By Paul Tessier, B-BIC Coach