Technology transfer template for the Canadian grain grading system

Canadian Grain Commission Members: R. Dennis, L. Schlick, M. Gustafson, N. Forest, D. Hatcher

Industry Members: G. Burns, L. Sweeney, M. Lackmanec, L. Yakielashek, T. Young

The technology transfer template is a process for the conception, testing, evaluation and subsequent implementation of any new technology which will impact the Canadian grain grading system.

Flow diagram

Step 1 - Internal Canadian Grain Commission project management/assessment (concurrent activities)

  • Canadian Grain Commission Research and Services Committee to initially evaluate project proposals
  • Based upon an identified need/request from any source, a Canadian Grain Commission Project Management document, developed by Grain Research Labratory and Industry Services resources, outlining the rationale, objectives, time, cost, resources and potential constraints of the new technology will be evaluated by the Canadian Grain Commission’s Executive Management Committee.
  • The approved projects are prioritized based upon sample availability, resources and existing budgets.
  • Once approved, Executive Management Committee will determine if the project will be a “rights holder” driven project or a “Canadian Grain Commission” driven project. An initial determination will be made but may be subject to revision once the Stakeholder Working Group is established and consulted.
  • The Canadian Grain Commission Chief Operating Officer informs Canadian Grain Commission Commissioners through their standard update mechanism.
  • Relevant stakeholders are identified in a Stakeholder Registry.
  • An initial Communications Plan outlining the project is developed by the Project Leader/team and issued to all interested stakeholders.
  • Canadian Grain Commission Business Group review to identify potential intellectual property issues at the earliest possible point in planning, as these issues may impact on the feasibility of the project, potential constraints, and on the time, cost, resources required to conduct the technology evaluation. Canadian Grain Commission Business Group reviews and addresses known/potential legal responsibilities before a project is initiated.
  • Analyze any potential policy impact and ensure no inconsistencies with existing policies.
  • Initiate the preliminary risk assessment review of the project.

Step 2 - Stakeholder Working Group established

  • Establish a stakeholder Working Group from representative members of the Stakeholder Registry.
  • Decision regarding the structure of the arrangement between the Canadian Grain Commission and other parties to be made by the relevant director(s) and the proposed project lead, in consultation with the Business Group and Legal Counsel as necessary.
  • Canadian Grain Commission Business Group to engage in negotiations and agreement drafting once Canadian Grain Commission approval obtained and Stakeholder Working Group established.
  • Stakeholder Working Group is consulted to determine what would define the technology’s “success”.
  • Ensure that “success” is SMART ie: specific, measurable, agreed to, realistic and timely for the goals of the evaluation.
  • Establish realistic timeline for the project. Need to have a “completion date” established rather than open ended as in the past.

Step 3 - Initial test evaluation

  • The Grain Research Labratory/Industry Services project team develops a complete work breakdown structure and evaluates the new method. Depending upon the technology this may encompass a single unit or multiple units (N=1 or more).
  • Upon completion of this step, Stakeholder Working Group assesses the validity of results and determines/recommends if additional work is warranted.

Step 4 - Canadian Grain Commission decision

  • Upon reviewing the recommendations of the Stakeholder Working Group and Project Team the Canadian Grain Commission Executive Management Committee decides if further study will be resourced.
  • Detailed discussion amongst Grain Research Labratory/Industry Services Directors and Project Team to define a larger, operational evaluation of the technology. This would involve identifying resources, training requirements, facility requirements, logistics and any safety concerns.
  • Based on results re-analyze project for any unforeseen potential policy impacts.
  • Risk Assessment review in greater detail

Step 5 - Operational evaluation

  • Discussion and collaboration with Stakeholder Working Group members to be part of the next stage of the technology’s evaluation. Stakeholder Working Group is actively involved in outlining a detailed but relevant risk assessment and reaffirming criteria for “success”. Particular emphasis will be placed in key areas of repeatability, reproducibility, accuracy, cost of operation,transferability to an operational environment and potential constraints or introducing the technology.
  • Ideally this stage would involve a minimum of one Canadian Grain Commission operational service centre, the Grain Research Labratory, the Industry Services Technical Group and a minimum of one industrial stakeholder’s site in the evaluation.
  • Essential to mirror the new technology with a proven method or existing grading system
  • A more detailed communication plan is developed and used to inform all relevant parties.
  • Eastern and Western Grain Standards Committees and their sub-committees informed.
  • Stakeholder Working Group continuously updated throughout the project on ongoing results on a weekly or monthly basis as determined by the Stakeholder Working Group.
  • Canadian Grain Commission Commissioners provided status updates via Canadian Grain Commission Chief Operating Officer.
  • Upon completion, a decision is made by the Canadian Grain Commission based upon the project’s results and Stakeholder Working Group’s evaluation of the methodology. This is shared via the detailed Communication Plan.
  • The Canadian Grain Commission Project Team in conjunction with the Stakeholder Working Group will perform a “lessons learned” evaluation which will be presented to all members of the Stakeholder Working Group.
  • Risk Assessment revisited and revised in light of operational findings and experiences.

Step 6 - Confirmatory evaluation

  • Assuming continuation, it is expected that a minimum of a second year of evaluation will be required to verify, confirm and ensure that the technology is sound under all conditions, via assessment by relevant experts within the Canadian Grain Commission and with consultation with outside experts.
  • The Canadian Grain Commission Project Team, working with the Stakeholder Working Group will identify and revaluate the SMART criteria for success.
  • Communication plan for informing all stakeholders of project’s continuation is used to convey this information plus all relevant facts.

Step 7 - Final decision

  • In conjunction with Stakeholder Working Group, evaluate the results from a minimum of two years of study and at least a minimum of number of sites to ensure statistical validity, determine if the new technology has achieved the SMART success criteria.
  • Consult and collaborate with Stakeholder Working Group and other industry stakeholders on a final detailed risk assessment (threats and opportunities) of this technology in the Canadian grain handling system.
  • As a collaborative team, determine if the technology has a viable application for grain grading and be taken up by the Canadian grain industry.
  • Canadian Grain Commission Commissioners provided status updates via Canadian Grain Commission Chief Operating Officer.
  • Present findings of study to Western and Eastern Grain Standards Committees and their respective sub-committees and await recommendations/decisions.
  • Using the detailed revised Communication Plan, convey information on the technology to all identified stakeholders.

Step 8 - Implementation planning

  • Working with the industry Stakeholder Working Group prepare a detailed technology roll-out plan focusing on: equipment purchase, training requirements, logistical requirements and financial realities.
  • Develop a time-line for implementation based on ability to meet all of the necessary requirements listed above.
  • Utilize the detailed Communication Plan to keep the general industry and producer groups informed.

Step 9 - Industry roll-out and ongoing reporting

  • Start the implementation but ensure continual checking using the previously identified “mirroring” method to ensure all critical assessments remain the same.
  • Provide the Western and Eastern Grain Standards Committees and all members of the Stakeholder Working Group with project updates/reports on a quarterly basis for the first two year.
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