How to Spot a Good JIP
- PARTICIPANTS MUST KNOW THEIR INDIVIDUAL COMPANY NEEDS
To be able to assess if a particular Joint Industry Project (JIP) offers any realizable benefit, potential participants must regularly identify the key technology areas that they currently feel have the highest potential to add value to their companies current or future planned operations.Having identified key technology areas, when JIP proposals are floated by others the decision making process is simplified. If JIP proposals are first screened for their fit into a broader strategy then it is more likely that the necessary infrastructure for translating the results from a JIP to “bottom line” will exist.Conversely, if technology areas are identified that will be left to others to champion and commercialize then it would be frultless to participate in any associated JIP’s.
- PARTICPANTS MUST PLAN HOW TO USE THE DELIVERABLES
For each type of JIP the deliverables have to be converted into a form that the participant companies can readily use in their daily business before any real benefit is realized. Hence, funds must be set aside for effective technology transfer, as well as for JIP participation. The amount set aside for technology transfer must be related to the effort required. To capitalize on a fundamental research type JIP will probably require a considerable amount of follow up work to transfer the results to the bottom line compared with other types of projects. Identifying the follow up technology transfer work required can help companies decide if their organization has the type of expertise and commitment to a particular technology area to reap the full benefits of participation.Participation in a JIP without the means to fully capitalize on the deliverables is like someone who is not a pilot buying a new airplane without budgeting the time and money for flying lessons! Instead of becoming more competitive you have instead become less competitive by sharing the cost of the JIP with other participants who are committed to doing the necessary follow up work to capitalize on their investment.JIP’s span the whole spectrum of project types from fundamental research to initial field testing of prototype tools. Individual JIP’s will likely fit into one (or a combination) of the following general categories of projects and have corresponding deliverables:
TYPE OF PROJECT TYPICAL DELIVERABLES Investigative/analytical New data
Validation of a model (old or new)
New understanding of a process
New understanding of a product
Literature search Listing of availble information
Training manuals and/or seminar
Software development State-of-the-art engineering software
Training manuals and/or seminar
Field data gathering/analysis Validation of a model (old or new) Equipment development Laboratory test data
Prototype system ready for testing
Prototype equipment testing Field test data
System ready for commercialization
Compilation Best practices or procedures
- KEY ELEMENTS OF GOOD JIP PROPOSALSClear Definition of the Problem in Technical and Financial Terms
This implies that some type of preliminary study of the problem has already been conducted by the main sponsor or contractor that has identified both the state- of-the-art and the potential commercial impact of the proposed woork. A listing of previous woork, related papers and patents is useful to establish prior art. The business context of the problem needs to be in terms of potential cost savings (overall cost reduction) or added value (improved project economics). Note that if target incremental costs for commercial application of the technology can be defined then this can prevent $100 solutions for $25 problems being proposed.Clear Objectives
This is where the type of project must be clearly defined, e.g., investigative, software development, etc. A strong linkage of project objectives with the identified business need is critical.
Clear Methodology and List of Tasks
If an objective is to be achieved there must be a clear set of steps to reaching it. For example, for valid conclusions to be drawn from laboratory data there must be adequate test matrix and adequately demonstrated repeatability of results.
The key word is “specific” as deliverables must be usable to participants. Also, if possible, a typical implementation plan should be included. If certain deliverables are linked to the number of participants this needs to be clear.
Time Line with Mile-Stones
This helps to understand the inter-dependence of different tasks within a JIP and key events. Risks and contingencies should be addressed as the results from early tasks are often required before later tasks can be completed.
Cost Breakdown and Projected Cost Per Participant
Important to understand where the money will go and the relative cost of each task proposed. It is possible that all the participation fee is needed at the start of the project but many projects allow participants to select alternative payment options.
Personnel and Facilities Assigned to Each Task
Required to assess likelihood of completing each task. Important to know if personnel have history of delivering the goods in similar type projects. Also helps to ensure that sufficient resources are allocated to meet the project expectations.
Profile of the JIP Participants Required
If data sharing is an important aspect of the JIP then participants must be willing to share the relevant data. Implementation may require participation of one or more service companies to ensure smooth commercialization and application of the technology.
Number of Participants Required
Minimum number to start the project and effect of additional participants on scope or cost.
Management of the JIP and Role of Participants
Including steering committee make up and role, progress reporting, additional phases, etc.
Draft Participation Agreement (Should be Attached to Proposal)
There is no standard JIP agreement. However, key elements of the agreement include rights and liabilities of the contractor and participants, protection of intellectual property, patent or licensing issues and commercialization of any technology developed.