Case Study

R&D Portfolio Optimization and Funding

Business Need:

Leadership team lacked a consistent approach to define, prioritize, and allocate key resources for its most compelling, commercially-oriented research projects. Build a mechanism for reporting and outreach to internal and external stakeholders.

Project Description:

Establish a process to help select and maximize strategic value of innovative cancer research and early development at a leading U.S. Comprehensive Cancer Center.


  • Assemble leadership team to agree on goals and unmet needs;
  • Survey organization’s existing competencies, benchmarked to comparative organizations, and identify gaps and opportunities;
  • Collaborate with an internal advisory team to design relevant evaluation, funding, and partner/investor outreach processes compatible with organizational culture to achieve goals;
  • Pilot and operationalize the process with full facilitation support;
  • Transfer the process with training and support;
  • Support building business development and strategic competencies related to the optimal use of the process.
Portfolio Optimization Process Steps

Deliverables & Outcome:

  • Map of current competencies and gaps related to achievements in translational research and technology transfer, benchmarked to peers and leaders in field.
  • Developed Technical and Commercial Assessment Reports and templates for 3 leading technologies in 6 potential disease indications.
  • Created and piloted process and supportive templates to review and score leading research projects across 4 major criteria determined to be key to the strategic mission of the organization and to commercial potential (Scientific Rationale, Strategic Fit, Clinical Utility and Business Potential).
  • Assembled expert committee for periodic scheduled project reviews, scoring and development advice, including recruitment of external advisors from venture capital and industry.
  • Created business development roadmap to increase internal competency in out-license of early stage technology; piloted with a leading technology.

Project Profile


U.S. Comprehensive Cancer Center and Medical Research Organization


Strategy, with Operational Application



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