16 November 2010 | Jennifer Ernst
Just how do novel technologies evolve from concept to market? Let's take the example of printed electronics (and its evolution at PARC), which may provide some insight into this question. Besides displays, printed electronics enables new applications from lighting and photovoltaics, to RFID, batteries, memory, and sensors. Given the diversity of applications, how do we move from the fundamental research that unlocks new possibilities, to the market impact of addressing what's needed? Especially when you don't really have a market, but an enabling technology. Especially when each of the players in the market has different technical demands, different distribution and support requirements, and different adoption challenges. And especially when considering that for enabling technologies, there’s a special challenge – you have to choose which markets to concentrate your efforts on, while remaining flexible enough to change as market conditions dictate. So how does one move from establishing expertise and demonstrating feasibility, towards commercial impact?
16 November 2010 | Editor
[e-newsletter archive ~November 2010] printed electronics special
24 June 2010 | Serdar Uckun
Arguably, the all-electric powertrain will be the most significant disruption in automotive technology since Henry Ford introduced the first assembly line over 100 years ago. So far, the gasoline- (or diesel-) powered internal combustion engine has been a tremendous success despite its limited efficiency, particulate matter and CO2 emissions, complexity, and maintenance demands. An all-electric powertrain, however, would eliminate many common failure modes associated with internal combustion engines. The recent introduction of plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles have sparked a new wave of public interest and heightened expectations -- is it finally time for electric vehicles to displace the internal combustion engine for good?
7 April 2010 | Scott Elrod
[contributed article to EE Times] PARC was recently invited to present transformative ideas at an energy technology conference sponsored by ARPA-Energy, a new Energy Department agency charged with funding high-risk, high-payoff technology. The agency recently set a benchmark in government efficiency by reviewing 3,700 project proposals from across the U.S. in record time, ultimately funding 37. I’ve shared some of the innovative ideas I saw at the technology showcase in another post, but the key questions that persist are: Can the U.S. sustain an edge in clean technology? What clean tech technologies will win, and what’s needed to get us there? How can an industry focused on IT make the transition to a completely different technology and market: energy technology?
9 March 2010 | Scott Elrod
Organized by the the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy ("ARPA-E"), the inaugural Energy Innovation Summit that took place recently in D.C. brought together key players to spur the networks that will, according to the organizers, "bring about the next Industrial Revolution in clean energy technologies, in the way the U.S. has led previous revolutions in life sciences and information technology". Participants included venture capital investors, technology entrepreneurs, large and small corporations with an interest in clean energy technologies, scientific researchers, and policymakers/government officials. For a nerd like me, the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit was a candy shop. If you couldn't be there (or even if you were!), read on for what I consider the most noteworthy morsels from the event...
30 November 2009 | Editor
[e-newsletter archive ~October-November 2009] printed electronics opportunity/challenge; keeping U.S. innovation competitive; more
30 November 2009 | Raghu Das, guest contributor
[guest contributor] A $300 billion industry is in the making. Raghu Das, CEO of analyst firm IDTechEx (and the first guest contributor to PARC’s blog), argues that the “printed electronics” industry will eventually become far larger than the semiconductor industry today. By offering such advantages as new form factors, lower cost, and large area electronics, printed electronics have already made available devices such as batteries, photovoltaics, transistors, new display technologies, sensors, printed conductors, and more. But these are enabling technologies -- not products. How can we create new markets and novel designs for products that users need?
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