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Sollerta's KITS Transfer Manager (KTMs) team initially carries out a business opportunity study for the client.

The Chilworth process establishes a series of activities, shown in the illustration below, which lead to the identification of business opportunities that can be satisfied with solutions from the knowledge base.

Target companies will be identified with the assistance of the business support organisations.

Although some companies may choose not to complete the entire Chilworth process, they still gain value from the initial interaction, particularly as it provides an insight into the innovation process and the strategic issues that drive their business.  Where appropriate, these companies can be passed to partner organisations that deliver appropriate specialist advice in related programmes

The diagram below sets out the various stages of the process. Business Support Organisations play an integral role in fostering awareness of what can be achieved.
The Chilworth Process in Operation
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Stage 1 - Raising Awareness

Raises awareness of the Chilworth process and stimulates the demand for Knowledge, Innovative Ideas, Technology and Science, thus creating a pipeline of opportunities to progress.

The Sollerta team raises awareness throughout the business support arena by presenting at local business support events and through process referrals from the local business support organisations.

Other activities to raise awareness will include networking with existing business intermediaries, targeted mail-shots to identified companies in given markets, sectors or regions. The Sollerta team has found that 'hot desking' at business support organisations' offices has been most successful at raising awareness and gaining referrals. Publications will also be used to raise awareness by including flyers and appropriate
articles.

Stage 2 - Evaluation and Appraisal Meetings

Companies who engage at Stage 1 are contacted to determine if they wish to commit to Stage 2. This stage evaluates how the business could benefit from an injection of technology, knowledge or know-how from the knowledge base (e.g. PSRE, defence S&T base, universities etc) and assesses whether the company has the commitment and resources to be able to exploit access to know-how and technology.

It is expected that many of the companies who are contacted in this stage will also benefit from the advice and support of established business support organisations.  This may be in the preparation of robust business plans, the provision of incubation facilities, the conduct of effective training and personnel development prior to the insertion of technology, knowledge or know-how, or in the application of various schemes such as R&D Grants, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) or Single Regeneration Budgets (SRBs) to enable the target company to purchase the technology.

Stage 3 - Knowledge Search

Companies from Stage 2 will be contacted to determine if they wish to proceed to Stage 3.

The KTM then matches the company's requirements for technology from sources within the knowledge base. The key skill is capturing the company's requirements accurately and then trawling the knowledge base to find all suitable solutions and filtering the responses to meet the particular needs of the Client company.

As with Stage 2 above, it is also expected that there will be additional benefits to the business support organisations from the companies that decide at this stage not go forward to complete the Chilworth process.

Stage 4 - Knowledge, Innovation, Technology, Science Transfer

The KTM introduces the client company to the appropriate technology provider and continues to work with both parties to facilitate the transfer of technology, knowledge or know-how.

Once the technology transfer has been agreed, the KTM will continue to work with the client to aid implementation.  It is perhaps in this stage that other business support organisations will make a significant contribution to the overall success of the technology transfer.  Their expertise and assistance will be sought to facilitate the process and aid implementation - whether it is through training, development, business advice, financial support or even the provision of interim management. It must be noted that from initial contact it can take up to 18 months to complete the Chilworth process and achieve business benefit in the market place. Various tools eg Gross Value Added (GVA) or the Preston business modelling process can be used at this stage to predict the impact of the technology transfer.

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This page was last updated on 4 February, 2008 at 21:42