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All Researchers Should Become Entrepreneurs

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All Researchers Should Become Entrepreneurs

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We often complain about the challenges associated with a fruitful research-industry collaboration. Wwe propose that researchers become entrepreneurs and play both roles at the same time. This could be the quickest way to get real feedback on the quality and impact of our research

We often complain about the challenges associated with a fruitful research-industry collaboration. Wwe propose that researchers become entrepreneurs and play both roles at the same time. This could be the quickest way to get real feedback on the quality and impact of our research

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All Researchers Should Become Entrepreneurs

  1. 1. All Researchers Should Become Entrepreneurs Jordi Cabot, Hugo Bruneliere, Gwendal Daniel, Abel Gómez @JordiCabot – jordicabot.com
  2. 2. Starting point • We all agree on the benefits of collab with industry to: – Have more impact – Improve our own research thanks to validation / feedback • But it’s far from easy, especially in the current economic context – Companies are more concerned with their short-term survival and cutting innovation budgets
  3. 3. Research-Industry collaboration models • Direct Transfer contracts • Industrial PhDs • Large Consortium projects (e.g. EU ECSEL) • Co-production models • Industrial Research Labs • … They all work (sometimes)
  4. 4. Industrialization triangle
  5. 5. A common problem
  6. 6. Our solution: entrepreneurship path If you can’t beat find them join them!
  7. 7. Commercial open source business model Release prototype as OSS Improve it to be used in a “kind of” real environment Kickstart a community Create commercial services / extensions
  8. 8. Example: Xatkit.com (OSS chatbot dev platform) External DSL – Tree based External DSL – State machine Internal DSL Two DSLs First paper Real chatbots are not trees And replies are not just text Users don’t want to learn a new tool + many other useful feedback, e.g. target platforms, monitoring, trolls, bot generators
  9. 9. When to stop
  10. 10. Is this model really viable? • Evaluation of researchers should be more based on impact than on “bean counting” – All universities signed the DORA declaration but… • Researchers need to be taught business, marketing and financial skills – And must want to invest time on acquiring these skills • Not easy! (but none of the other collab models is that easy either)
  11. 11. jordi.cabot@icrea.cat @JordiCabot jordicabot.com

Editor's Notes

  • Thank you for the invitation.

    It’s an honour to be here.

    I’ll talk about the intersection between these two concepts and how they can help each other

    I’ll try to cover the state of the art but also to focused on some specific applications we’re working on in my team

  • State that we don’t propose to stop all these models but to propose a new one
  • We still get feedback but it’s an indirect one
  • All these models share a common problem: they need to find the right company to work
  • 1) Release the prototype as OSS.
    2) Improve it to make it usable in real environments.
    3) Aim to get free users to kickstart a community.
    4) Try to get paying users by creating a commercial extension or services on top of the open-source core.

    Learning speeds up in steps 3 and 4



    In this journey you Will evaluate product-market fit, talk to users, test product under realistic conditions, …
  • Huge gap between our first paper and the current version of Xatkit thanks to the real feedback
  • You can stop once you reach the plateau of diminishing returns (unless you actually want to go all the way to the end and créate the company)
  • It’s not for everybody

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