Technological Competence Leveraging refers to the strategy of extracting additional value from an existing or new technology by finding multiple commercially attractive fields of application. Organizations try to find alternative applications to their technologies in order to
- increase the Return on Investment on past R&D expenditures,
- reduce their dependence upon their current target markets,
- increase the utilization level of their production capacities,
- to anticipate whether or not they should further invest is a specific technology, or
- identify the most attractive market for their inventions.
Most organizations are well aware of the fact that their technologies might serve many different market opportunities and underlie various products. However, only few organizations manage to fully exploit the commercial potential of their technologies. The reason: Very often, they simply lack the skills and capabilities necessary to systematically identify, evaluate, and exploit viable and commercially attractive application fields.
The “Technological Competence Leveraging Method” (TCL method) is a systematic approach developed to help organizations in coming up with and taking advantage of new applications for their technologies. Based on open innovation principles, the TCL method draws on the creativity and intelligence of external stakeholders in
- deriving the technology’s benefits and problem solving capabilities,
- finding and evaluating new application fields, and
- designing innovative business models to enter those new markets.
The advantages of the TCL method are twofold: Firstly, companies do not have to reveal any technical details during the process. Since external stakeholders are only presented the technology’s benefits, they do not get to know anything about features, specifications, or functionalities. Secondly, integrating external stakeholders into the process helps to “think out-of-the-box”. Consequently, TCL projects usually result in a large number of far-analogous application fields.
Learn more about the TCL method:
- Paper on the TCL method by its inventors.