TO HELP BRIDGE THE gap between technology innovation and the competitive home-building products marketplace, the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH) and the NAHB Research Center have developed a new online resource that will guide building-product manufacturers and innovators through the process of developing and launching new building products and services. This Web-based suite of new-product–development tools provides readily accessible information to help users successfully navigate the product development and commercialization process, build relationships, and understand the nuances of the building industry—based on benchmarking the top-producing new-product developers in the building industry. The three tools are:

“The New Product Development Guide,” which helps users determine market needs for their prospective product as well as evaluate technical and financial capabilities. It provides resources for locating opportunities, testing new product ideas, developing product specs and prototypes, and developing a launch strategy.

The Collaboration Forum, which serves as a “match making” system for users to establish the mutually beneficial relationships required to develop, test, finance, and ultimately commercialize innovations. This tool brings together key stakeholders and bridges the gap for those manufacturers that may not have ready access to the analytical tools, financial resources, and industrial savvy to broadly produce innovations.

The Lead-User Panel, which is an expert panel consisting of leading home builders who will evaluate new product ideas for their likelihood of success in the marketplace. Panel members will provide advice on improvements and point out applications and potential markets where products will most likely find success.

Dr. Randy Cantrell, principal investigator on the project, notes that the tools can now assist building-product and service companies of all sizes while also engaging financiers, legal and regulatory professionals, research and testing facilities, and others in the product development and commercialization process.

For more information about the New Product Development Tools, visit, or to learn about upcoming demonstrations of the Tools in your area, contact Randy Cantrell at 800–638–8556.