> Can I receive subsidies for my project?
Since most of the projects we execute are innovations, they often qualify for subsidies. We have a partnership with a subsidy consultancy firm to file grant applications. We help you with the technical description of the work packages, whereas the consultant assists you in the business side of the project application. Contact us for more information.
> What about Intellectual property?
Intellectual property (IP) is a hot topic for most of our projects. Generally speaking this can range from a non-exclusive license to a full transfer of intellectual property to the customer. The agreement will depend on the needs of the customer, the available budget and the proximity of the project to our own road map. So far we have always managed to reach an agreement which is satisfying for all parties involved.
> I have an idea, but I don’t have budget yet, can Octinion help out?
We are always open for a discussion about your project, even if the budget is not available yet. Through this discussion we can help determine the exact technical challenges of your project. In the best case situation there are touch points with our own road map which can considerably reduce the cost for the development. Worst case we can still help you create a specification (possibly enriched with some sketches) which you can use to convince investors or a government funding agency.
> How do you distinguish from other engineering companies?
We don’t see ourselves that much as engineering company, but more as a commercial R&D-house. We have a long term road map to generate IP in the field of mechatronic system design and test & measurement solutions, with focus on the agriculture and food sector. This means we often invest in our customer’s projects by reducing the development cost. This also reduces the time to market since a lot of the needed development has already been done.
Another important distinguishing factor is that we not only design but also actually build mechatronic systems. This allows for a strong interaction between state of the art design techniques and the performance in the real world. It also makes us very much aware of the limitations of computer simulations. It also means that we are your one-stop-shop partner from concept over design & validation to mass production.
Finally we have an integrated design team with expertise in amongst other electronics, mechanics, software and vision.
> How can I be sure that you will deliver as promised?
We prepare a project plan with clear milestones. These milestones are always measurable results such as a working component or having part of the functionality operational. We discuss beforehand how we are going to assess the milestones. Intermediate payments are in most cases also conditional on these milestones. Often there is also a success fee (one-time fee) or royalty (fee per product) at the end of the project.
> How far can you go along? Up to production?
We can help from concept to mass production. The reason we can do that, is because we also have internal development projects where we are also required to go the whole distance. We believe that offering the complete package to the customer will help us reduce cost both for our own products and for the customer’s products. You could see it as a form of Open Innovation.
> What do I need to get a quote? How do you typically collaborate?
In order to define a quote, we need a functional specification of the product. If that specification is not available, or if there is too much uncertainty on the translation of the functional to the technical specification, we will always propose a feasibility study. We can work on an hourly basis, but generally speaking we prefer to work on fixed price basis. In case of uncertainty on specification or implementation, we will propose to split the project up in different fixed price projects.
> What is your position on Open Innovation?
Octinion is a strong advocate to Open Innovation. We are involved in a number of projects where we take part of the technical and even commercial risk in return for part of the intellectual property (and thus part of the long term return of the project). Also for our internal R&D-projects we collaborate with several external parties, both commercial companies and research facilities to make sure we have the best possible team working on the project.
> I have a problem, but no idea about the solution yet. Can you help?
Yes! In such a situation we often organize a few brain storm sessions with experts in different fields. This can be together with you, the customer, or can be an internal activity on our side, depending on the situation. This can result in a feasibility study to investigate the most interesting options brought forward in the brain storm.
> Do you also build stuff?
Yes, we do! We have our own prototype work shop, and we work with a network of suppliers for manufacturing components. We are convinced that doing assembly and validation in house is incredibly important to deliver working products & solutions.
> Do you also execute production automation projects?
We can be involved in such projects as subcontractor to supply a specific solution, but generally speaking we only accept projects with a sufficient innovation component. If in doubt, feel free to contact us!