The article presents some strategic aspects of the KOMAG Institute of Mining Technology in the field of creating innovative ideas and innovative technical solutions concerning machinery and devices for mining and preparation of minerals as regards their operational safety, productivity and reliability. Special attention is paid to a process of stimulating innovative ideas in a creative atmosphere, as KOMAG researchers and engineers are encouraged to be open-minded and to think in an unconventional way. Two examples of innovative technical solutions are described in detail, i.e. the water-and-air dust control system and the KOMTRACK haulage system for highly productive longwall systems of a new generation. The article contributes significantly to Innovation Engineering which is an important component of Production Engineering in the scope of generating and implementing innovative solutions. The authors presented an ecosystem of innovations, describing several methods of creating innovative ideas. The article concentrates on a role of Polish research institutes which play a key role in creating and implementing innovative solutions, bridging science and industry. Due to an analysis of different methods of generating innovative technical ideas and solutions, it can be concluded that an idea and a need of generating an innovative solution may appear in the research institute or at the industrial partner’s organization. In the case of the KOMAG multi-year experience and practice industrial partners include not only producers of mining machinery and equipment, but also representatives of mines of minerals. In general an innovative idea is generated in the result of an inspiration from the business environment and then it is transformed into an innovative product or service. The article contains the authors’ practical recommendations as regards a creation of innovative technical solutions. It is ended with a summary of general character and with some final conclusions.
The need to undertake research work on the commercialization of results from scientific research and development projects emerged from the Author’s professional experience as well as the incomprehensive literature on the role of Polish research institutes in the process of technology transfer and commercialization of innovative solutions, in particular in the case of mining machinery and equipment. From the available literature, the commercialization of research results and technology transfer are analyzed from the perspectives of academia and entrepreneurs, but there is no analysis of this challenge from the perspective of the research institutes which create the majority of innovative solutions implemented in Poland. The research results presented in this article identify and highlight not only the main factors which facilitate knowledge transfer in the widest sense, but also the barriers which should be overcome. An integrated commercialization model of research results, developed by the Author, is described in the article. Some examples of other models, used to assess innovative technology transfer processes, i.e. Transfer model of the Cracow University of Technology, Jolly’s model, United model (science + market), Trzmielak’s linear – subsequent model, Network – interactive model and IpOp model, are also presented. Special attention is paid to the process of generating innovative ideas and to the area of efficient project management. Based on the integrated model, practical management recommendations for the successful commercialization of innovative solutions are given. It is highlighted that the integrated model can be treated as a diagnostic tool, enabling an efficient assessment of the transfer of research results and commercialization of innovative solutions.