Transforming a product idea into a market product

This picture shows undulated wooden panels

"From idea to market": this is the slogan of a workshop hosted by the S-WIN network, the competence centre SCCER BIOSWEET and NRP 66 on 10 September. The workshop gave participants a better understanding of the challenges of wood-based innovation in the construction, materials and energy markets.

"Magic triangle" between innovation and communication strategies

Dr Sabine Sulzer from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences gave a talk in front of 30 researchers, industry representatives and specialists in knowledge and technology transfer. She drew their attention to the main stages of the innovation process and the "magic triangle" with three key questions (what, how and how much) and reminded them that the ultimate goal is to meet human needs. Oliver Klaffke from the firm "Really fine ideas" showed them how communication with investors and sponsors can be adapted to generate specific results and actions.

"Success stories" of cooperation between research and industry

Two successful examples of cooperation between research and industry were presented: the EMPA with Wicor Weidmann and the ETH Zurich with the Henkel company. The success factors were identified and discussed: a simple and convincing idea, a competent and neutral research institute, the close involvement of the industry partner, open and transparent communication between the partners and, last but not least: a research team that is highly committed to innovation.

Positioning of the research topic and assessment of the opportunities and risks

During the workshop, participants were able to allocate their research projects to the relevant markets (in terms of investment volume and development period) and to discuss the opportunities and risks of a successful innovation process. Although there are great differences between the represented domains, it was possible to outline potential solutions. Finally, Hermann Blumer from the "Kreation Holz" association summed up the know-how transfer achievements and prospects in wood-based construction both within Switzerland and abroad: "The markets for wood-based ideas are there!"​