The program structure is based on the past research and experience of Winthrop Professor Tim Mazzarol and his colleagues from UWA. Over more than 20 years they have developed best-practice peer-group mentoring and support programs for entrepreneurs, small business managers, and large firm project teams engaged in new product development (NPD).
Why this program is needed
Research into entrepreneurial learning highlights the importance of application or learning-by-doing. The process of moving from invention to market success is also a complex and challenging one for those with commercialisation projects. In addition to in-class workshops there is a need for facilitated networking and problem solving. Facilitator or mentoring support is common within technology incubators and centres around the world.
- Assisting participants to understand and learn new concepts, and ideas taught in structured workshops
- Assist participants to use the techniques and tools introduced during learning workshops
- Help participants implement changes and activities required to progress projects along the commercialisation pathway
- Provide an "external" perspective and sounding board for participants in making strategic decisions
- Enhance participant’s networks and social capital.
The CRT Learning Roadmap
A key objective for successful commercialisation education is the creation of a learning environment in which the project development teams can access education, information, peer-to-peer support, and the guidance and validation of expert teachers and mentors.
The CRT program is based on an action learning model that recognises the importance of embedding learning into practice, and the need to recognise the existing knowledge and experience that the learner brings to the program. This pre-existing knowledge and competence need to be respected and used within the program to enhance peer-group learning and knowledge exchange.
As shown in the accompanying diagram, the action learning model involves three interconnected stages comprising:
- Education & information – this stage provides the project owners with the knowledge and awareness of best practice so that they can better understand what they need to do, how to do it, and why they need to do it
- Mentoring & Coaching – this stage links peer-to-peer mentoring and support with the new knowledge acquired in the previous stage to facilitate knowledge exchange, enhance the learning process, and enable project owners the ability to make better strategic decisions
- Implementation – this stage project owners will progress their projects with the support of Action Learning Tasks (ALT) that provide structured guidelines and tools to assist with new product development (NPD) and other important tasks (e.g., marketing, financial).
Participants in the CRT will have viable projects for commercialisation, and these are examined prior to commencement using the innovation diagnostic and a product-technology development roadmap that serves as a planning tool for the projects.