Conduct intensive screen to validate novelty, feasibility and utility of envisioned project to commercial partner and within the competitive marketplace.
Define intended outcome of development effort in the context of a technology-based innovation: either a new/improved product in commercial marketplace, or a new/improved process supporting product/service creation and delivery.
Gather input from key stakeholders to assess value, and determine business, market and technical feasibility for envisioned product. Ensure core idea through signed non-disclosure agreements.
Preliminary market assessment — Create potential value proposition including target price and performance parameters. Is concept novel and useful? Will prototype have value to intermediary stakeholders? Will device have value by the time it reaches the marketplace? Are there others who could also use this solution, thereby broadening the market?
Conduct a preliminary SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) of the envisioned product, with input from key stakeholders, to identify potential barriers and facilitators to achieving delivered deliverable. All monetary aspects — from financing the project, to the cost of producing the product, and the eventual selling price — are critical issues.
Preliminary business assessment — For profit or cost recovery? Development and production phases internal or via stakeholders? Is Product disruptive to current options in market? Develop intellectual property strategy (e.g., NDA agreements), examine regulatory and reimbursement issues. Consider opportunity to achieve economies of scale for traditionally niche products, by expanding functional design to accommodate more user groups.
Preliminary technical assessment — Is it technically feasible and do capabilities exist internally or externally to develop and/or produce? Initiate Intellectual Property (IP) protection options with attorney, technology transfer office or others as appropriate.
Does the proposed solution and path to output/outcome seem feasible to implement and accomplish? The project leader must decide now if envisioned project output and path to eventual product outcomes are still considered innovative (i.e., novel, feasible, useful) in light of results from objective value valuability assessments and SLOT analysis. A decision to continue initiates Stage 3 Research which requires secondary research to identify all knowledge relevant to project, and as necessary primary research to generate new to the world knowledge not available through existing literature or expertise.