University Startups & Innovation Transfer…

Michael D. Moberly, Intangible Asset Strategist & Risk Specialist

A reflection of my experiences with business things intangible in university-based innovation and R&D environments is rather straightforward; an overwhelming percentage of today’s innovation, and the various goods and/or services that originate – emanate from innovation, e.g., entrepreneurial (R&D) environments, are intangible asset intensive and dependent.

That is, the valuable and competitive innovation content derives largely from collectives and collaborations of intangible assets, i.e., intellectual, structural, and relationship capital. To those outcomes, its’ worth noting again that

  1. it is an irreversible economic fact, 80+% of most business’s value, sources of revenue, competitive advantage, reputation, and sustainability lie – emerge directly from prudent exploitation + safeguards attached to business things intangible, i.e., various forms and applications of intellectual, structural, and relationship capital.
  2. the acquisition, development, infusion + safeguards, risk mitigation, and exploitation of mission essential intangible assets relevant to business leadership’s interests and operating culture = business things intangible you may not know you did not know.

Most all of which will intensify and expand, not diminish, post pandemic.

To build and sustain presumed competitive + lucrative positions which some innovation may promise, be it overseen by privately funded entrepreneurs or a university-based start-up, either is obliged to recognize key challenges + risks associated with developing vertical integration of the relevant and presumably proprietary knowhow and/or conventionally issued IP (intellectual property).

In other words, the business things intangible necessary to produce, deliver, and sustain lucrative and competitive positioning of the innovation = (fiduciary) obligations to neither overlook, dismiss, nor under-estimate the materialization of risk to mission essential intangible assets.

Probable adverse consequences of overlooking, dismissing, or under-estimating also include minimizing (internal, external) relationships necessary for (creating) strategic alliances, collaborations, and/or consortiums for innovation investment.

These types + levels of (internal, external) collaboration are not always naturally occurring,

  • however, they are essential in today’s increasingly competitive, aggressive, and predatorial global business (innovation and transaction) environments, and
  • they are actively shaping the competitive arena for most sectors of innovation 

Ultimately, innovation collaborations, alliances, and consortiums relative to business things intangible, I argue, are merely competition in a different form.


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