commercialisation - innovation (Crédit :

8 October 2020

Bringing technology to market: Challenges and opportunities

Auteur : Josée Fortin

The current pandemic has brought its share of disruption, even panic in our society. However, if we take a closer look, we can discern positive outcomes emerging from the catastrophe and hardship that was provoked. When we think about it, the current environment is now ripe for innovation, proving true the saying that necessity is the mother of invention.

If our long term goal is to continue looking out for our citizens’ quality of life by allowing them to share in the fruits of wealth that comes with the development of innovations, we must be masters of its commercial exploitation. In terms of technology transfer, Sherbrooke has a track record of commercially developing 50% of inventions, one of the best records of any university. The road to commercialization is often a long and arduous one, full of obstacles that are specific to disruptive technologies. For this reason, many innovative products peter out before coming to fruition. In Canada as well as in France, the situation contrasts with that in the US which has a much better performance record.

The main challenge results from the fact that launching disruptive technologies does not follow the normal rules of the classical marketing approach. Paul Millier, from the Université Emylon in France, has developed a process which is specific to disruptive technology products intended for markets that do not yet exist. As Mr. Millier puts it:

Although taken for granted in marketing, many principles can fail when we apply them to technology: studying clients’ needs, conducting a market study, taking the largest possible share of the market, planning before acting.

The segmentuition™ approach developed by Millier, one of the rare experts on the subject, allows to eliminate the risk from commercialization investment. The availability of start-up capitals has always been very limited in the country so that for every dollar allocated to commercialization by Canadian businesses, six were invested by their American competitors.

To sum up, several studies have shown that successful technological startups take root in local communities. These communities offer support, a mentorship network, a showcase, and a testing ground for their new technologies, as well as an expertise and research network, and investors willing to go in for the long haul. In this respect, Sherbrooke represents fertile ground to cultivate.

To better equip innovative businesses, we will hold the Disruptive Technologies Commercialization virtual summit with the participation of key speaker Paul Millier. This major event takes place within the framework of the Sherbrooke – Rennes – Arizona Entrepreneurial Triangle which will allow the three territories to feature their respective ecosystem. While we reinforce our competencies of disruptive technologies commercialization, our hope is to connect our innovative businesses to the global market through partnerships that will enrich each of our communities.

We invite you to join us on November 2, 3, 4 and 6 for four half-days which aim to help you accelerate your commercialization and globalization process. Visit for all the details.

Virtual Summit 2020 - Entrepreneurial Triangle Sherbrooke - Rennes - Arizona

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