a journal of a researcher

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Transferring Technology

I read one interview of Bob Orchard, the Group Leader of the Integrated Reasoning in NRC-IIT at IEA/AIE conference 2004. Bob has good points on transferring technology to companies. Bob’s group has long term projects with Air Canada and Canadian Railway Via for diagnosis systems.

From his opinion, industrial companies have a reluctance to accept anything that they don’t understand or that has not proven itself. Many companies appear to be late adopters and unwilling to put even a relative small effort into testing new technology. One needs to be persistent, to be upfront with the clients about the expectations of the technology and their need to be involved, to use real data with all of its deficiencies, and to be willing to go beyond just a simple prototype. Here is his recipe:
  • Convince the company to do a study where you demonstrate the benefits to them.
  • Keep the cost to the company as low as possible, but don't do it without getting commitment to the project and all of the support you need (access to any real data, to company expertise, and to those who will be most affected by the technology).
  • Make sure that everyone is very clear about what the expectations are for the new technology: what it will do and what it won't do; what the risks are that could impede its success.

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