The Clover Leaf Model

The Clover Leaf Model is utilized to assess the readiness of a new technology to commercialize and enter the market. It is dubbed “clover leaf” because it encapsulates four key criteria which resemble the leaves of a four-leaf clover. Those criteria are: market readiness, technology readiness, commercial readiness, and management readiness.

The “market readiness” criteria assesses the marketability of the technology. Its main purpose is to ascertain how well the technology would be accepted by the market. It does this by analyzing the technology’s benefits, advantages, future uses, its appeal as a product, and the potential of the market itself to which the technology caters to. If all categories of the “market readiness” criteria are satisfied, with confidence, then the technology is market-ready.

The “technology readiness” criteria assesses the technology itself. Its main purpose is to identify whether the technology will maintain itself in the market. It does this by analyzing whether the technology is new, non-obvious, ground-breaking, standalone, and has no conflicts with other IP owners. If all categories of the “technology readiness” criteria are satisfied, with confidence, then the technology is ready to commercialize.

The “commercial readiness” criteria assesses the readiness of the technology’s business model. Its main purpose is to ascertain if the foundation for delivering the technology to the market is stable and ready to move forward. It addresses concerns like access to prospective licensees, industry contacts, financial support, and venture capital. It also assesses the expected profitability of the technology, and whether investment in the technology’s commercialization will provide a net gain through sales, royalties or licensing revenues. It all categories of the “commercial readiness” criteria are satisfied, with confidence, then the technology is commercial-ready.

The last leaf, “management readiness”, assesses the readiness of the technology’s management. The main purpose of this criteria is to identify if the people behind the technology are ready to commercialize the technology. It addresses concerns like the ability of the inventor to “champion” the technology, if the expectations of the inventor are realistic, and if the inventor has a beneficial reputation in the field. It also analyzes access to necessary skills like management capabilities and general commercialization skills, like salesmanship and foresight. If all categories of the “management readiness” criteria are satisfied, with confidence, then the technology has a “ready-management”.

If all “leaves” of the Clover Leaf Model are dubbed satisfied, then the technology is ready to move forward in the commercialization process. If any leaves are considered incomplete, then additional preparation is required to ensure a successful entrance into the market.