Participatory Observer Project

Joe Lane.

NIDILRR Grantees as Participant/Observers in Collaborative Commercialization

KT4TT continues our record of increasing NIDILRR Grantee’s success in Technology Transfer (TT) by engaging them in collaborative product development partnerships with the express intent of delivering products to the marketplace. This project incorporates a process of learning via participatory demonstration showing NIDILRR Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) and Phase 2 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grantees the value of subordinating personal interests to the shared goal of commercialization.


Grantees that join our development/demonstration projects as participant/observers participate though video conference meetings and teleconferencing with the corporate partner and the KT4TT, and through project deliverables and weekly, if not daily, project status emails. Working in partnership with a corporation and the KT4TT, the Grantee experiences a development/demonstration project applying TT best practices (which requires sufficiently allocated resources), and that is applying them within a KT context. Through this Corporate Collaboration development/demonstration project, the participant/observer RERC is exposed to the details and the form in which research knowledge must be presented to a corporate manufacturer.  


The development/demonstration projects with SBIR Grantees are limited to their own funded projects. The KT4TT project team interjects our expertise into the SBIR project so the SBIR participates/observes can see how our approach reflects or differs from their plan. As we are providing free resources, including focus groups, we have found SBIR grantees willing to participate.

Letters of support

Design of Development/Demonstration Program

Each development project follows a standard framework or set of best practices as outlined by Product Development and Management Association (PDMA) and refined through the 20 years of TT experience of the KT4TT staff. This framework includes: project definition and commencement; consumer oriented product requirements definition; product designers solution detection; product designers materials and component selection; consumer beta testing of prototype; and in depth consumer environment appropriate testing.