Goldsmith Technology Commercialization Model
Step 7: Engineering Prototype
The objective of the Development Stage is three-fold: technical, market and business validation.
Technical validation is accomplished in the Engineering Prototype step. In the development stage a limited amount of engineered product is introduced to the market. The finished product prototype, the primary technical objective of the development stage, is the single part, assembly, system, or service that accurately represents exactly what the final production units will eventually be in terms of:
- Material content
- Physical configuration
This limited amount or number of finished product or services provides the basis for final analysis of technical feasibility, cost and market acceptance. From this product, final design and production specifications will be established. For a service-related product, the development phase involves a final test, or “beta” test, of the technical components of the system before launching operations. The single part product or service is usually an expensive proposition due to the lack of economies of scale in production and the disproportionate design and testing costs attributable to the product.
Definition: The process of identifying the most appropriate and efficient materials, processes, and designs suitable for commercial production to be incorporated into the product.
Objective: The objective of the engineering prototype is to make improvements in materials, designs, and processes in the product and to verify that the product will perform as specified.
Product: The product of this activity is an engineering prototype or a pilot process.
During the engineering prototype step, the following activities must be completed:
- Identify materials, processes, components, and manufacturing steps required to meet technical performance and specifications
- Test materials, components, processes
- Design and construct a pilot process or engineering prototype
- Optimize the design iterations
- Conduct final tests
- Estimate pre-production prototype costs
Milestones: An accurate prototype representing the materials and functionality of the end product
Funding Sources: Angel Investors, SBIR (Ph II) (seed round)
Technical Information: The engineering prototype will usually result in knowledge about the product specifications, the required manufacturing process to produce the product, proof of expected reliability, and refined production cost estimates.
Do you have an engineering prototype of the product?
Have you identified what critical materials you will need?
Have you conducted final tests on the prototype?
Do you have a pilot production process?
Do you know how reliable the manufacturing will be?