Key question to answer in Activity Stage 2: What is the breadth of potential applications for the intended project output outside the targeted field, and what must be known about them?
Define intended project outcome of development effort in the context of a technology-related innovation: either as a hardware Instrument for measurement/monitoring, or as a hardware Tool for manipulation/fabrication.
Gather input from key stakeholders to assess value (business, market and technical) regarding the envisioned Instrument/Tool. To the extent it is relevant to future deployment, consider protecting core idea though registered copyright (software), or provisional patent (hardware). This step towards IP protection requires a preliminary patent search.
Conduct a non-intrusive survey of target users to identify key features and functions. Initiate discussion of Intellectual Property (IP) protection options with attorney, technology transfer office or others as appropriate. If IP protection is not pursued, a patent attorney may provide a freedom to operate declaration to ensure the envisioned Instrument/Tool does not encroach on an existing patent.
Conduct a preliminary SLOT analysis (strengths, limitations, opportunities, threats), in collaboration with key stakeholders, to identify potential barriers and facilitators to achieving delivered deliverable. Technical elements and plans for deployment for use by others are likely sources of potential barriers.
Key question: Is the envisioned Instrument/Tool disruptive to current standard operating procedures or processes?
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.