Section: Software

Industrialization strategy for research prototypes

Research labs, as a source of innovation, are potential key actors of the Software Engineering market. However, an important collaborative effort with the other players in the software industry is still needed in order to actually transfer the corresponding techniques or technologies from the research lab to a company. Based on the AtlanMod concrete experience with the previously mentioned open source tools/projects, we have extracted a pragmatic approach [3] for transforming the results of scientific experimentation into practical industrial solutions.

While dealing with innovation, this approach is also innovation-driven itself, as the action is actually conducted by the research lab via a technology transfer. Three different partners are directly involved in this process, using open source as the medium for maintaining a constant interaction between all of them:

  • Use Case Provider. Usually a company big enough to have to face real complex industrial scenarios which need to be solved (at least partially) by applying new innovative principles and techniques;

  • Research Lab. Usually a group from a research institute (public or private) or university evaluating the scientific relevance of the problems, identifying the research challenges and prototyping possible solutions;

  • Technology Provider. Usually a small or medium company, with a particular technical expertise on the given domain or Software Engineering field, building and delivering the industrial version of the designed solutions;

From our past and current experience, three main characteristics of this industrialization business model can be highlighted:

  • Win-win situation. Each partner can actually focus on its core activity while also directly benefiting from the results obtained by the others (notably the research lab can continue to do research);

  • Application-driven context. The end-user need is at the origin of the process, which finally makes the developed solution actually relevant;

  • Iterative process. The fact of having three distinct partners requires different regular and consecutive exchanges between all of them.