OLEAD survives by mobilizing its purpose-dedicated tech facilities and expert skillsets to sell contract services. We do not get operating subsidies from our shareholders, nor from government, not get grants or subsidiaries, so it is our responsibility to breakeven by making money from these marketable services.
Work projects led for the applied technology centres—our shareholders—are framed in regular commercial contracts.
Over time, OLEAD has developed a relatively big portfolio of clients that bring the workflow needed to keep OLEAD facilities ticking over.
There are two ways that OLEAD can approach a collaborative project:
1) coming in from a subcontractorship position, where all project costs are financed by the partner taking on OLEAD’s share of input.
2) coming in from a partnership position, with funding from one or more co-financers to cover the finance gap not covered by the alliance funding the project.
OLEAD is currently engaged in a dozen collaborative projects, most times coming in from a subcontractorship position.
Most of these projects are relatively complex programmes requiring consortium agreements framing the pathways for research uptake and impact.
The R&D services that OLEAD can deliver you will, in the simplest scenario, be framed as a customer–supplier relationship. After first signing a confidentiality agreement, we will take look into what you need and come up with a contract service proposal. If we get your go-ahead, we will launch the study work proposed and deliver you the outcomes and outputs, which we sign over with full and exclusive ownership.
The deliverable output here is not knowledge for uptake but finished product that is ready—either directly or after further processing steps—for consumer market.
This type of contract work concerns small-scale volumes that industry cannot handle—either where the raw material is rare or where the volumes retailed are just too small to pay for a large-scale production run.
It typically involves extracting specialty oils and refining rare oils in small-scale batches.
The extraction activity is led here as a continuous-process set-up, with a team of people working over 24-hour-day slots.
We will likely start with a feasibility study—which may lead out into preliminary test trials—then contractualize service delivery by defining a set of contract specs. Contract services like this can become recurrent, in which case we can capacity-plan to a workflow schedule that meets your needs.