ORIC Conceptual Framework
There are three building blocks upon which the ORIC, CIIT concept is structured (see Fig. 1).
A brief description of each building block is as follows:
As defined in OECD Frascati Manual, Applied research is an original investigation undertaken in order to acquire new knowledge. It is, however, directed primarily towards a specific practical aim or objective. At ORIC, research aimed at practical application of knowledge for a specific ‘client’ driven purpose will be encouraged to convert the gained knowledge into commercially viable products and licensable technology for industry. In the backdrop of being a developing country, adaptive research will also be seriously considered to tailor already invented products/technologies/processes to the specific needs/requirements of Pakistani market/industry. For this purpose, CIIT faculty which is amongst the most significant stakeholder, will be provided a support platform in the shape of proposal writing training, access to various research funding, industry need/requirement to identify applied research area, IDEAs competitions, proposal submission support, and sponsorship/participation in international/national conferences/workshops, etc.
There are several sources of innovation. According to Peter F. Drucker the general sources of innovations are different changes in industry structure, in market structure, in local and global demographics, in human perception, mood and meaning, in the amount of already available scientific knowledge, etc.
At CIIT, through applied/adaptive research, concrete inventive ideas may emerge in the following two forms:
- New product development ideas
- University-Industry Projects (UIPs) that will solve specific industry problems or improve current technology/practices
In order to transform these ideas into something useful and commercially viable, the process of innovation will thus start. CIIT Incubation Centres (CIC) will provide the basic infrastructure for carrying forward these new product development ideas towards commercialization. At the innovation phase, the ideas will be provided intellectual property rights protection, market/technical feasibility to adjudge their suitability, technical consultancy from CIIT faculty and seed money for taking them into full fledge commercialization phase. Also at this stage, the inventive ideas will meet the entrepreneurs majority of whom will come from the CIIT faculty/students. The CICs will provide physical infrastructure to the entrepreneurs in the form of furnished office space and shared conference room facilities, computer/internet access, website, etc.
The innovative ideas/industry projects meeting the test of the innovation phase will be developed into prototypes and implementable technology transfer projects ready to be tested for market acceptability.
By now, the entrepreneurs working within the CICs would have developed legal companies duly registered with the Registrar’s Office/SECP. These ‘incubatee’ companies will receive complete array of services from the CICs in the form of business advisory services, technical consultancy, marketing support, assistance in identifying funding sources (investment management), access to venture capital funding opportunities, and networking opportunities. Once these incubatee companies have developed into full-fledge successful commercial businesses able to manage their business outside the incubation centre, they will graduate out of the incubation centre.
The UI Projects will be rolled out for implementation with partner industries. These projects can become opportunities for industry-wide application thus giving the opportunity to transfer technology via licensing or form spin-off companies owned/partnered by CIIT. In addition, spin-off companies may also be formed upon CIIT decisions to venture into an emerging market for commercial purposes.