The following is a Q&A that I conducted with Michel Vandenberghe of LENR-Cities. I have been interested in finding more out about the LENRG ecosystem that his company has been promoting, and I tried to ask some fairly simple questions to get a better idea of the LENR-Cites business model.
1. What benefits does an organization who joins LENRG receive?
We are neither a consultant, an integrator nor a broker. Ecosystem development is a new business.
LENRG member benefits from LENRG level offering;
For Partners : An organization who joins LENRG have access to Ecosystem level resources to develop its own business.
We plan to develop 4 main resources, including :
A brand/Communication system (LENRG) to promote his own business during events and beyond.
A scientific/industrial team to build scientific project proposals and develop the corresponding business ecosystem.
A marketplace ( Future : Partner Known – 2 years preparation; waiting for Budget to engage)
An investment fund (work in progress). But currently, funding as usual for Scientific projects.
Special case : Initial players who joins LENRG participate in the implementation of the operating model of LENRG and consequently get a share of the value created by LENR-Cities as they share risks with LENR-Cities to implement the proposed business model..
For Customers : “Shape their future”.
Support to forecast and plan for their business
Participation in Challenges with LENRG.
Better conditions to get technologies and products from LENRG.
2. How does an organization become part of LENRG? If there is a fee, how much is it?
Valid for the current stage only (next stage, model is evolving).
For partners (no fee).
Scientists : Core team coopt scientists,
Industrialists (Only big entreprises for now): It is opportunity driven.
We are looking for 2 other Big players:
We would like to get an automotive company joining LENRG. Second one is Confidential.
We are looking for “Clusters” to join (As presented at Milano on April the 10th) : Scientific projects driven
Investors and Innovators: Need to send us a proposal.
Academics: working with our local representative in their country (UK, Swiss and Italy: we have representatives).
For Customers : Annual fee.
Cost is not defined yet but low cost.
Objective is to offer all capabilities to Medium industries and startups to develop LENR applications
3. What are the obligations that are required of a member of LENRG?
You must add value to LENRG and LENRG must be a way to develop your own business.
Your company must have a commercial agreement with LENR-Cities.
Note that Initial partners have strategic agreement with LENR-Cities (confidential).
4. What kinds of organizations should consider becoming part of LENRG ?
Scientists and their enterprises (to be funded and develop their own business).
Clusters ( An infrastructure to benefit from our action to develop innovation and business ecosystems)
Big industries ( to develop their own ecosystem).
VCs (LENRG reduces the risks for them).
Innovators (Finance, Legal, IT).
5. How does LENR-Cities administer the LENRG system?
6. What is the purpose of LENR-Venture?
LENR-Venture supports a new investment model to fund research (before Venture capital business is applicable);
7. Does a member of LENRG automatically become connected with LENR-Venture, and if so, what benefits does that provide?
Yes, as LENR-Venture is a member of LENRG (like LENR-Cities).
Note that R&D will be funded by LENR-Cities not by LENR-Venture (applications and business funding).
LENR-Venture manages the market demand as help to drive development and investment.
8. What will the funds in LENR-Venture be available for — and what kinds of conditions will apply to groups funded by LENR-Venture?
LENR-Venture funds LENRG Members business including LENR-Cities. Condition is to have a commercial agreement with LENR-Cities in order to apply the model which supports the new investment model.
For initial players, agreements are more strong (confidential).
9. Will it be possible for scientists and researchers to obtain funding for their research work through either LENRG or LENR-Venture? If so, what kind of conditions would apply to those researchers and how would their research findings be made available to others?
Yes, see above.
LENRG members own and commercialize their technologies and products.
LENR-Cities only ask for a commercial licence.
Open Innovation is mandatory inside LENRG.
10. What kind of progress have you made in getting both these new programs started and operational?
All processes are initialized and core is well defined.
We are now doing our first scientific project proposal in UK about Nuclear Waste Management.
We are planning to develop Challenges The scope of the first challenge is defined
Key is to get funding to set up LENR-Venture and go to the next stage with LENR-Cities
11. What is the long-term vision for your projects? How would you like to see the world affected by your work?
A operating model well-defined and replicable at any scale to sustain an increasing pace of innovation.
Developing the “Micro-Factory’ Cluster in Switzerland.
More and more people considering cooperation as the first source of competitive advantage.
Some of the slides from the LENR-Cities presentation at ICCF can be found here.