The UTILE business support program links industry experts with high potential innovations in the Life Sciences & Health sector. The industry experts provide individual coaching services to help innovations further towards exploitation. UTILE makes sure only relevant innovations and coaches are matched, by looking at individual needs of the promising innovation and the interest and expertise of the mentors.
The Business Voucher process is expected to open in the first half of 2019 and consists of 6 phases:
- Application: innovation owners of promising innovations can apply for a voucher.
- Selection: UTILE aims to select 13 applications who will receive a voucher of €2.000 based on First Come First Serve.
- Matching: Selected projects are machted with a coach, either form the UTILE network or from their own network.
– Comming up soon: meet our coaches here
- Coaching: Coaching sessions on mutually agreed format and contents of the sessions (approximately 12 hours in total).
- Evaluation: Both parties fill in an evaluation form and send this back to UTILE.
- Payment: UTILE’s voucher will cover the costs of the coaching sessions (up to €2.000).
UTILE is looking for Business coaches! Are you an expert and/or coach in the Life Sciences & Health? Click here for more information to become a UTILE business coach.
- Application phase: innovations that are evaluated by UTILE as promising regarding their exploitation potential can apply for a UTILE business voucher. All innovation owners (coachees) of the eligible assets will be send an email to inform them they can apply for the voucher. By means of an application form, coachees are given the opportunity to specify their need (if known) and choice of coach (via own network or via UTILE).
- Selection phase: UTILE aims to select 13 applications who will receive a voucher of € 2.000,-. All submitted applications will be evaluated on the following points: 1) eligibility of the asset for the service; 2) the specific skills or expertise needed and fit with UTILE’s scope; and 3) the coach of choice and fit with UTILE’s requirements (if via own network). In case any of these requirements is not met, UTILE will notify the applicant. Applicants are given the opportunity to re-apply if there are still vouchers available. The selection process is as follows:
- Innovations that previously have submitted a questionnaire to UTILE are given priority
- Vouchers are allocated on a First Come First Serve basis (taking the point above into account).
- Remaining vouchers after the deadline are made available for all evaluated projects
- Matching phase: UTILE will mobilize respected and experienced innovation coaches in the Life Sciences and Health sector. This will be done by setting up an open platform where coaches can register. A short bio of all UTILE coaches will be presented on the UTILE website, describing their background and area of expertise. Coaches need to meet the predefined criteria to be accepted as coach for UTILE vouchers. UTILE assumes coaches are integer about complying with these criteria. UTILE can perform random background checks to validate this is indeed the case. Coaches that do not meet the criteria will then be notified and removed from the platform. Asset owners are given the opportunity to indicate whether they want to make use of a coach within their own network or want to make use of one of the registered UTILE coaches. In the former case, the asset owner has to determine whether the criteria for a UTILE coach are met. The coach, on his/her turn, can agree to coach the project and in that case the match has been made. If the coach does not agree on coaching the asset owner, the asset owner can choose another coach.
- (Online) coaching: The exact goal and content of the coaching services is determined by the asset owner and coach at the start of the coaching sessions. The coaching sessions will be held online, for example via Skype. If preferred, physical coaching sessions are also accepted. However, associated costs (such as travel costs) are not reimbursed by UTILE. UTILE expects the coaches to spend approximately 12 hours on coaching activities. Time can be used for direct coaching, but also for preparing the coaching sessions, reviewing documents, and/or answering questions of the asset owners that require some additional research. The asset owner and the coach will agree on this during or before the first coaching session. The vouchers focus on supporting activities that fall within the ‘business modeling’ category from UTILE’s valorization toolbox and is divided in three broad groups:
- Business development: focused on the identification, analysis and evaluation of potential business opportunities, the definition of business segments and the development of an effective marketing mix;
- Organisation: aimed at mobilizing the resources of the SME to ensure the efficiency and performance of the company’s organisation;
- Cooperation: to support SMEs in planning and implementing innovation partnerships and project consortia.
- Evaluation phase: After the coaching sessions are finished, both parties need to fill in the evaluation form. This form is meant as a verification means that the coaching sessions have taken place and are finished. Furthermore, it is a measure for effectiveness of the coaching sessions and it enables improvement of the service.
- Payment phase: After finalization of the coaching sessions, UTILE will cover the costs for the coaching sessions up to €2.000. The exact method for payment is currently being set-up by UTILE.