The Head of KTU Startup Space Donatas Smailys: Market Needs Inventions, Which Solve Problems

2017-04-12 09:45

On Thursday, April 27, the exhibition-contest “Technorama”, organised by KTU Startup Space is taking place. As every year, young innovators will have an opportunity to introduce their invetions to the business representatives, and will have a chance to get their product closer to relisation by finding commercial partners.

Donatas Smailys, Head of KTU Startup Space

“The aim of this event is to encourage young creators to show their inventions, also we invite businesses and potential partners to explore cooperation opportunities”, says Donatas Smailys, the head of KTU Startup Space.

In the interview below, Smailys talks about “Technorama 2017”: about how the works are being assessed, and how the participants should behave to be more visible to the potential partners.

How works, that have the greatest potential, are being selected? How is an assessment carried out?

At “Technorama” works are being assessed by jury consisting of different experts: researchers, investors, business representatives. Jury members assess works in accordance with the areas and criteria, such as, whether a product or service solves an issue and adds value for the society, they also evaluate comprehensiveness of work description, originality of the presentation, visualisation, and completeness of the idea at a practical level.

Every member of the jury assesses works of young researchers individually; after that, the points of all members of jury are summed up. If it is agreed on assessment unanimously, the participant is being awarded.

Are there many interdisciplinary projects presented at “Technorama”? Why are  they important?

Interdisciplinarity is an important aspect of a project and its team as it shows their versatility. Also, interdisciplinarity demonstrates synergy between specialists of engineering, marketing, business development and other fields.

Last year, among all 70 works presented at “Technorama 2016” there were 13 interdisciplinary projects. One of those projects, an invention called “Electronic Pulse Generator for Effects of Biological Structures” became a winner and was awarded with the first prize.

Which skills and knowledge leading to a successful product development and adaptation to market developments are often lacked by young inventors?

Most often products created by young inventors do not meet market demands, i.e. they do not solve any actual problems. It is not wise for a researcher to create a product first, and then search for the area in which product could be used. Inventors, who create products solving real problems, are most likely to succeed. Another aspect that needs to be improved is  presentation quality and skills.

Which works draw most attention at “Technorama”?

Visitors are the most interested in solutions, which have attractive presentation, and in real products that can be touched and observed from all angles. Participants should know who they want to attract: society, business or science community. Knowing this, they can adjust their presentation accrodingly.

What lectures will be delivered at this year's “Technorama”?

Together with student representatives from KTU Faculty of Informatics “InfoSA” we will organise the conference KTU NEXT. At this conference researchers of our University will talk about the advanced technologies they are creating, and will discuss trends and prospects of future technologies. We are planning to invite these researchers from KTU, who are the strongest and have the greatest potential, Professor Arminas Ragauskas and Associated Professor Vidas Raudonis.

How "Technorama 2017" will be different from the previous events?

This year we added Match-making system, which is the meetings organisation system, during which young inventors will be able to communicate and discuss opportunities of cooperation with potential partners – scientists, businessmen, and investors.

General sponsor „Lietuvos energija“.  Other sponsors: Antano Guogos paramos fondas, KTU Alumnių asociacija, „Ar žinai“, „Fab Lab Kaunas“, „Intermedix“, „Jūsų renginiai“, „Kauno mokslo ir technologijų parkas“, „Practica Capital“.