How to commercialise your research - ESRC


Tips for commercialising

Tips for commercialising social science research include:

  • speak to your institution’s commercialisation support team
  • speak to another social scientist who has been through the commercialisation process for tips and ideas
  • consider licensing – it is often the quickest way to take a business proposition to market
  • consider consultancy – it can be an easy first step to commercialising your research and help you to understand the most commercially valuable aspects of your work, before making your next move
  • if setting up a private company, do not include the intellectual property in the company’s assets. Instead, you should keep it with the university and grant a licence to your company. Otherwise, if the company fails, the intellectual property will have to be bought back from the liquidators before it can be developed further
  • enhance networking opportunities by joining a local chamber of commerce. This is a great way to build new connections, raise your visibility, and learn how to talk about your work with businesses
  • take into account the value and worth of social science research from the outset: it should not be seen as a bolt-on to commercial projects
  • follow the problem-focused approach seen in science, technology, engineering and maths disciplines, by identifying societal problems and addressing them directly to provide solutions with a real commercial need
  • if scaling up a business, consider how knowledge can be shared as the business grows and more people become involved – train-the-trainer skills can be valuable and a useful way to maintain consistency and integrity of approach and purpose
  • be the first to set up a consultancy or business relating to a particular area of research and become the foremost authority in the field.

Last updated: 31 August 2021

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