The system does not serve its purpose. It produces a market failure because research creators publicly disseminate their research in circumstances where there can be no commercial protection of the discovery for those who develop through the phases required to make it ready for application.
On the one hand, when research is funded from the public purse, it becomes subject to a condition that the research is shared publicly and openly (whether this is true in the context of the academic journal market is a consideration for another time). Open sharing means that intellectual property protection in the form of a patent can no longer be obtained, and for the most part, university resources do not extend to the point at which that protection can be secured for every publicised discovery. Many innovative discoveries go directly to graveyard because participants in industry, who may see potential application for the research, cannot protect the investment they would be required to make to develop the research and take it to market. In consequence, no further investment in the application of that research is made. This cannot be said to be the true intention of public dissemination of research.
On the other hand, if industry gets involved whilst the research is being undertaken, perceptions of bias (actual or perceived), conflicts of interest and commercial control commonly arise. Academic freedom to pursue impartial, independent research is curtailed.
In each of these cases, the pipeline assumes a linear transaction, which will see a clean handover from research to business. This idea is not fit for purpose.
Change in this field means taking another look at some long-held, commonly accepted ideas that are core to the research community. This is as true for industry as it is for research, and further still for the finance industry, who traditionally stay away from this market. What's worse, many policy-makers don't appreciate the market which is being regulated.
There are plenty of examples of where things have gone off-track. However, the prevailing views that have formed can be changed. Take a look at the common criticisms and see if you think our view about addressing them might have half a chance of setting things in direction that works.
For too long, the approach has been to serve one side of the market at the cost of the core values of the other side. Our mission is to enable the shared purpose of discovery as well as the dual purposes of sharing research resources with the public at large and the wider research community, and promoting commercialisation and public application of those discoveries.
Coalfacer offers a platform for researchers (typically at universities or research institutions) and reserarch-users (typically in industry) to personalise research programs, and identify relevant resources, participants and sponsors from the outset.
We've made it easy to draw out relevant considerations for a counterparty and to structure a project proposal that complies with governance, ethics and regulatory policies as well as sound commercial principles for project participants.
The co-design of a project, the use of relevant resources and the engagement with appropriately skilled partners from the other side of the field, can enhance potential for translation from research to industry, and back to research again.
Attract compatible talent and resources to your research project
Adaptive transaction structures optimised for legal, tax, governance and regulatory issues, as well as internal policies and preferences
Measure the societal and economic impact of your research engagement
Pitch your research project to find data, funding, participants and other resources, or find a project of interest to you.
Identify alignment variables between potential project partners, comparing organisational policies, personal preferences and potential opportunities to attract external support (such as grants or tax relief).
Generate automated transaction structures (and documentation) to comply with project variables, policy constraints and other personal preferences. Documentation can be adapted by permitted project partners, such as approvals managers.
We handle the approvals process, tailored to organisational preferences. We also measure the efficiency with which approval requests are processed and the conformity to policy mandates.
Leave feedback for project partners to help identify those who are well suited to project collaboration, and identify resources for the next project.
Use project level metrics to assess research impact as well as organisation specific performance criteria.
We share from our experience in communicating complex ideas and structuring industry aligned projects and programs optimised for legal, tax, regulatory and financial concerns