08/06/11

By Ken Primrose, Industrial Tomography Systems

World leader in process tomography, Industrial Tomography Systems, www.itoms.com , started life as an incubator company, bringing technologies developed at UMIST to market.

A decade later the company has commercialised the technology so successfully that its impressive international client base includes names such as GlaxoSmithKline, Nestle and Procter & Gamble.

Rigorous research

‘’When bringing a new technology to market, it is crucial to conduct preliminary market research about the area in which you will release your product. Ideally this can be done to market test your product. This will help identify exactly how your technology will slot in and what it can add to an already successful sector; being able to clearly explain the technology and how it will benefit other businesses is crucial in order to attract customers.

Convey commercial advantages

‘’Finding the technology’s unique selling point and marketing it well is also beneficial in explaining to businesses how it will help them. This in turn helps define the price point at which you will enter the market. A clear understanding of price; margin; volume and timing is essential. Overall, your sales team must also be knowledgeable and well-briefed when it comes to the technology and your customers’ needs — they are the ones who will ultimately sell the technology.

Contacts are key

‘’Ensuring a background of confidence in your company is essential. Build up a strong database of relevant potential customers with which you already have a strong reputation, thus immediately refining your product offering and identifying early adopters.

“Obtaining the backing of the research centres and well-respected names within the sector in which the technology works is also crucial, and be sure to ensure that all relevant accreditations, patents and licences are acquired prior to releasing the product to market.

“Naturally, before embarking upon all of the above, it is essential to seek out the right engineering skills. Finding the right engineering talent in the UK is getting tougher with the Government culling visas from non-EU nationals. This tough stance will open doors to British students but it will take five to 10 years before ripe talent will filter through, during which time employers are training up foreign engineers and losing them from the UK.

“Bringing an emerging technology, product or service to market can be extremely rewarding, providing you have the right talent, research and funding in place.’’