“No shortage of capital for good ideas!”
This week I spoke with Ben Apted, Senior Partner at SPP, an independent and general management consultant firm in Melbourne. Ben’s expertise and work are unique and probably unknown from most researchers. Ben offers insights on how consultant firms like SPP can help researchers by facilitating conversations between researchers and investors. Ben and his team can help a) make a case for research to raise funding; b) identify the market and applications to translate research; and c) quantify and qualify impact (that has happened, short term or in the future) largely to facilitate conversations with investors
By providing a frame and structuring thinking, Ben’s role is to translate research into investable ideas people want to support. To convince investors, Ben argues that researchers should move away from a grant application mindset to a better understanding of investors and their drivers. Ben argues that business money is not dirty money and that a better understanding of industry is key to translate research and have impact.
Ben believes that it is easy to evaluate impact – ‘impact is, in simple terms, good ideas applied’ – if you keep it simple and follow these 3 steps
- Clearly understand which investor you are talking with – be aware of the drivers of the investor
- What are the most relevant parts of my research that could be of interest to that investor
- What is missing – what is required to translate my idea so that’s it’s valuable to that investor
This framework is useful for translation generally, ie not only to secure funding from investors but also to create impact by influencing policy changes.
Ben also argues for a better understanding of the end-users, the people who will directly benefit from research translation.
This short episode provides a different perspective and resource that can be used to translate research and have impact.
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