What does IPSim do and exactly what’s in the box / App / workshop?
You’ve played Monopoly right? Well if you have, you're gonna love IPSim.
IPSim deals with intellectual property (IP), trading and tech commercialisation – it’s a fun business tool for entrepreneurs and professionals to engage and learn.
IPSim is so much fun it almost guilt trips you for using (playing) it at work!
We've been developing IPSim at Tacit Fusion for a few years now and have been through several rounds of prototyping and testing – originally from a ‘game treatment’ by Dianne Rees (Instructional Designer and Patent Attorney). We've now created and produced an engaging, informative, real-life, practical tool that brings colour and life to IP commercialisation. We created IPSim after commercialising IP and tech ourselves and found that experience-based (experiential) learning in the IP field was not easy to find or pick-up quickly.
IPSim started off as a workshop and we've now created a standalone kit in a nice neat box with lots of nice tangible components. We've also developed IPSim as an App.
There are 3 products you can pledge for in the Rewards section with a few variations:
1. IPSim kit
2. IPSim App
3. IPSim workshop
So really - why did you create IPSim?
Between 2004 and 2009 we were trying to commercialise tech and IP in a VC backed bio-tech start-up. We made mistakes of course and made poor decisions along the way and we had to learn quickly but the key thing was – there wasn’t a trial run or second chance to get these important decisions right - which meant we had to try and look into the future of how our technologies would get commercialised in complex, competitive and emerging markets. Annnddd….we soon realised that no matter how much forecasting or strategizing we did it still didn’t prepare us for how unexpectedly our colleagues, customers and competitors would actually behave when we started to protect and commercialise our tech!
We needed someone that could pass on their experiences to us who’d been there and done it and also understood finance, our IP and technology, corporate funding, law, market dynamics, economics etc…
VERY quickly, we realised that this person just didn’t exist and we could only figure out how to commercialise our tech by just getting on and doing it ourselves – which is fine - but meant our own tech and IP commercialisation was an experiment - and so is every other new piece of tech! Soooooo….in 2010, we started off on the road to creating something that would allow us to simulate IP and tech commercialisation before making those really important decisions and making mistakes. We scoured the world for an existing product, service or course and we couldn’t find any that did what we wanted it to do so we started creating IPSim…being gamers since the early 1980's of course has helped us :-)
Ok – I get it - so why should I play IPSim and what do I get out of it?
You assume control as CEO or CFO of a knowledge-based company that develops technologies and commercialises IP in return for IP royalty incomes. The object of IPSim is to commercialise as much tech in as many territories as possible whilst minimising the risk of being sued for infringement and maintaining a competitive IP advantage over other companies – ultimately being able to create an exit at the end of the sim. A successful and strategic company amasses securely protected IP tech that’s commercialised in all territories as well as IP that’s used for blocking or trading purposes.
Who's IPSim for?
- Science and Technology developers and Creative innovators looking to gain tech commercialisation experience first-hand in a risk-free environment
- Academic technology transfer professionals wishing to expand their knowledge, engage with tech developers and learn new techniques such as IP valuation
- IP and Accounting professionals wishing to learn more about IP commercialisation and engage directly with tech developers
- Students studying business, science, medicine, creative arts, music or technology wishing to learn more about tech commercialisation and make some great contacts
What are the learning objectives?
- Experience of IP portfolio management as a CEO
- Patent rights are territorial
- You can sell or license intellectual property rights
- Examples of patentable and non-patentable tech
- IP trading considerations
- Negotiation scenarios
- Live IP valuation using IPCalc - our on-line valuation tool
- Offensive and Defensive use of IP
- Implications of open source commercialisation
- Infringement consequences
The real experiential learning is in the interactions between players and the insights and context you get regarding your own tech and IP whilst reflecting and having discussions.
Bigger picture - better strategies
IP knowledge is often held by a select few in an organisation. IP related decisions aren’t always as aligned as they should be to organisational goals. IPSim is a safe way to explore and experiment with IP strategies enabling your organisation to make better decisions about IP. Creating an IP strategy requires a big picture perspective of innovation, markets and human relationships. IPSim helps you grasp and apply some of the important elements of IP that can impact tech commercialisation strategies.
Where can we use IPSim?
IPSim has been designed to be used in a variety of settings. It could be a lunch-hour session in a break room within your organisation, in a conference room as part of a larger training experience for professionals or as a workshop for students majoring in business, science/tech or law. You can set-up, break, and come back to it at intervals if you need to.
The simulation is designed to allow for some noise tolerance from other players at other tables. In a training room setting or classroom setting, multiple copies of the simulation would be running simultaneously. IPSim does not require participation from experts in IP, strategy or commercialisation in order to make it work; but a trainer can facilitate a more informed session and learning.
What are IPSim workshops?
IPSim started as a series workshops for tech entrepreneurs in 2012 and 2013 – so far we’ve run them at Cranfield University and Colworth Science Park in the UK. We then got requests from players, colleagues and organisations to develop IPSim as a product - so here we are! There are already workshops scheduled around the world (www.ipsim.com) and you can be the next in line by Kickstarting IPSim:
Dublin, Ireland TBC - 1H 2015
So what’s next?
Well – we’re being driven by demand from our existing customers so we're producing IPSim kits and an iPad App. We have some great plans in the pipeline for IPSim and also interest from lots of organisations and people around the world. So follow-us on Twitter for our next steps and developments @tacitfusion. We're entrepreneurs ourselves and have already begun developing IPSimv2.0. And we've used IPSim to work out our commercialisation strategy ;-)
You see...some people see IP commercialisation as a simple a matter of profit and loss, it's not, we believe it's much more important than that.
So how did you develop IPSim?
Well - it's a great story - we embarked on a few testing rounds with our helpful developers and started making and testing prototypes with our 3D printer - here's a few snapshots...
And some more piece prototyping...
Risks and challenges
We're currently running IPSim as workshops at Cranfield University, UK, Imperial College in London, in New Zealand, Australia and various other venues around the world. In our first batch of IPSim kit production we produced 6 IPSim kits (3 single IPSim kits and 1 triple kit) that we lovingly built by hand in our offices at Cranfield University and we're currently using them for the IPSim workshops. We're aiming to produce around 50 kits using the same methods and production processes for Kickstarter and have lined up our friendly local manufacturer to help us out on our first commercial production run.
We've learnt a lot around production in the years we've been developing IPSim so we'll be able to use this learning to produce 50 kits in double quick time with high quality components.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (43 days)