With a goal of creating economic value for client companies, Bio-Com International draws upon its extensive academic and industry experience employing commercial mapping and analysis tools to assist its clients. Of particular utility in highly uncertain biotechnology-based environments, strategic roadmapping and scenario planning provide a framework for laying out the evolution and timing of emerging market opportunities, new commercial offerings and proprietary platforms. The resulting integrated product and technology-intellectual property (TIP) roadmap (see Figure 1), serves, in its simplest form, to do as follows: link customer needs with the company’s R&D plans; and assist executives with sequencing critical milestones and rationally allocating resources for achieving business objectives. In addition, the roadmap is a valuable source of intellectual capital that can be leveraged in future strategic planning and decision-making activities. Although Bio-Com adds value by addressing the client’s specific needs and requests, the proposed methodology broadly encompasses new market development, competitive analyses, TIP assessment and financial forecasting. Based upon proven success, the following four-step roadmapping process (see Figure 2) will help companies save valuable time and reduce product-commercialization cost overruns. Frequently this can be the difference between a product ‘making it’ or not. So is your biotech-innovation-enabled business going to be successful?
By working to understand prospective customers in light of the competitive landscape and dynamic market trends, new market opportunities including potential business-to-business partnerships, are identified. Analytic data gathering and documenting tools are used to segment the emerging market and to gain access to the voice of the targeted customers so that their input can be turned into top- and bottom-line results.
Market-directed product definition is the second stage in the roadmapping process. The customer drivers are translated into product specifications so the market segments can be addressed with new releases or versions targeted to the needs of those segments as they evolve over time. As part of a discovery-driven planning process in combination with timely customer development principles, additional customer-centric research enables market uncertainties to be tested that allows emergent market forces to be accommodated.
The third roadmapping step is to connect the desired product features as dictated by customer demand – the “market pull” – with a technology platform that can be the driving force for change in the marketplace. To provide the required product functionality and performance, a platform architecture must be designed and developed. A realistic assessment of the company’s core technology and its potential for becoming the platform of choice in a given market segment enables product and TIP gaps to be more readily identified and filled. Bio-Com’s ‘spider/radar plot’ visualization tools are employed to graphically illustrate the results of its TIP/market gap analysis.
Intellectual property mapping and freedom-to-operate (FTO) landscaping should be a fundamental component of a company’s strategic planning. Prioritization of licensing alliances, acquisitions or other opportunities to build the firm’s intellectual assets, follows from the preliminary FTO analysis. Linking the platform technology and underlying IP to the value proposition of the commercial offering, assists with evaluating the tough “build-versus-buy” business development options. Also, the holistic roadmapping method enables licensing and valuation to be coupled directly to the market opportunity and the pro-forma financial profit and loss (P&L) forecasts (see Figure 3).
A graphical portrayal of this strategic planning method yields a comprehensive business roadmap that comprises multiple ‘levels’ on a time-based chart including the targeted market segments, which are linked to current and/or future products that in turn are linked to the company’s proprietary technologies. Another conceptual representation of the resulting market-product-TIP roadmap is to envision a two-dimensional framework on which the ‘dimensions’ of knowledge, including ‘know-why’, ‘know-what’ and ‘know-how’ are illustrated on the ‘know-when’ axis (Fig. 1). The roadmapping alignment process provides a construct for connecting the unmet customer needs with the product and technology/IP decisions of the business. Implementation of this strategy-driven commercial development approach provides a solid foundation for fostering a sustainable competitive advantage for the company.