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What is Commercialization and How Does it Drive Impact?

Commercialization helps deliver the work of innovators like you into the right markets, giving you a chance at recognition, distribution, and utilization of your work to its full potential.

  • Here are the steps you’ll take to pursue the commercial impact of your innovation.
  • What are the real-world opportunities for our innovation?

Your work has resulted in an interesting breakthrough. You believe it could yield real benefits for someone or something — but how do you discover its best use?

  • What is “it” — the product or service?
  • Who exactly would use it, and why?
  • How would they get access to it?
  • How big an opportunity is this?

Your innovations are just one piece of a successful model for distribution. Before you move forward, you also have to identify your customer base and an appropriate prototype.

  • Whose help do we need to launch?
  • How do we identify our customer base?
  • At a minimum, what deliverables do our customers need from us?

You’ve considered the potential use for your innovation, but what pieces of it are you actually able to isolate, protect and deliver? That’s where intellectual property (IP) comes in.

As you prepare to share your idea with the world, you need to create a prototype that clearly shows its benefits.

  • What prototype or demonstration could impress our potential customers?
  • Which customers should we focus on first?

How do you know when you’re ready to distribute, and how does it happen?

  • Are initial customers signed up?
  • Is our product or service ready to deliver?
  • Do we have the team we need to launch?

Getting your innovation into the real world is an outstanding accomplishment, but you always need to keep an eye on the future —reaching more customers, additional releases or updates, and more.

  • How can we work toward broad adoption of our solution?
  • Will our customers need ongoing support?
  • Should we continue to build on this idea or head in a different direction?

Ways to distribute innovations

Training Xchange Biological Materials Startup Resources Licensing Models
The Training Xchange produces multimedia training programs for delivering your new method or intervention to practicioners in the field. We help distribute research tools, cell lines, and other biological materials. For those interested in technology entrepreneurship. We tailor the distribution model to your opportunity.


Experienced entrepreneurs are available to help determine the best model for distribution.  The President's Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellows are experienced UW faculty members.  The Entrepreneurs in Residence bring their success in business and product strategy to support UW researchers.

Pursue your Innovations

Connect with the UW community of makers at the CoMotion MakerSpace.

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Developing Intellectual Property

Guide to Keeping a Lab Notebook, by C4CFeatures

We provide help in all phases of the development of intellectual property.  We can advise on best practices for your lab or research group.  We can perform a landscape analysis, to place your work in the context of prior art, competitors, and markets. Then we can design and execute an intellectual property strategy that fits this opportunity.  Learn more

There are several ways to protect intellectual property.  Which ones best suit your current opportunity?  Learn more

FAQs on Intellectual Property

Depending on the distribution model and phase of development, there are a number of programs that offer funding for developing customers and prototypes, including the UW CGF program.