“The market need and addressing this”, is the short answer. However, it is not that simple. Let us open it up a bit.
Evaluators are always having several things in mind when they are going through proposals. They are typically: the application, the commercialisation plan and the impact.
In order to cater to the market, one needs to find a real market need to which the innovation connects. This forms a market based application. Too many researchers discuss the innovation and do not think of solving a problem in the market. Yes, this is what you are used to but in order to get more resources and put the innovation to use, we need someone to want it. One needs to bring added value to real people. Can you really concretize and start finding real sales arguments? “With our approach, you will do the task in half the time and half the costs”. This is what evaluators love. Concrete, very well articulated and measurable added value.
The Commercialisation Plan
To whom are you bringing added value? A bit of thinking and you start to discover a focused target segment willing to purchase your application. How is this market evolving and what are they using now? How do you compare to the existing solutions?
Once these questions have been answered, it is time to think how do you enter the market. The very common approach is: “We apply for a patent and then our technology transfer unit sells it to a big organization”. Yeah, sure, but should you want to get more points from the evaluators, you need to be more imaginative than that. In order the TT organization to sell the patent, it would be good to develop the approach to a certain point.
For example: “After the PoC is done and we have good test data available, we are able to approach potential development partners in the value chain. Our goal is to have our patent transferred to a big organization x. In order to get there, we will seek a partner who has the capacity to carry out the clinical trials (or whatever is needed) and decrease the commercial risk of the approach. For this phase we are going to apply funding from H2020 programme and arrange a funding round focusing on private and especially institutional investors. Etc.”
No one is really doing this type of thinking and here is your chance to shine.
The best application is such that once commercialized, it can help the lives of millions. Why are these people suffering? How many people? Are there European policies already set to target these challenges? What about the European priorities? If you address this challenge, what are the consequences for these people and the society? Will you affect also industry while doing so? This is not rocket science. It just requires a bit of out of box thinking and research to formulate a nice page containing all the important information in it.