Material Innovations in Alternative Energy - Collaboration, Systems and Opportunities
In today’s global market system innovation is the driver for economic development and wealth creation. Developing a competitive advantage now requires a business culture of rapid innovation, collaborative strategies, a systematic methodology, and a culture of concurrent change. This is the reality in today’s innovation economy and particularly relative to developing alternative energy systems and materials. With the ever-increasing requirements for energy in a growing economy and the political, environmental, and resource constraints prevalent in today’s world, new, more efficient energy systems are mandatory. The U.S. has experienced inadequate energy generation capacity in key geographic regions further emphasizing the need to enhance our energy generation capacity through a multitude of energy sources. A viable capacity additive to this supply and demand dilemma is the development of alternative energy sources such as fuel cells, photovoltaics, and wind. To achieve this capacity additive will require significant advancement in key engineering materials combined with innovation stimulants to leap-frog the current performance and cost barriers for competitive energy producing alternatives. The energy demand curve experienced globally over the past few years illustrates unmet market needs where opportunity exists to develop innovative key materials to enable the projected growth for renewable and biomass markets. To accelerate advanced materials to market in the energy arena requires a system of enabling innovation combined with the development of a collaborative approach to optimize available resources. Collaborative partnerships between multiple companies incorporating technology, market/distribution, and financial investors are essential to optimize innovation and successful commercialization of technology. Higher value disruptive innovations meet new market needs while pushing a company to new technology and/or capability requirements. Competitive success for innovative technology increasingly depends on speed to market and speed to profits.
J. A. Sekhar and J. P. Dismukes
D. W. Swenson "Material Innovations in Alternative Energy - Collaboration, Systems and Opportunities", Key Engineering Materials, Vol. 380, pp. 67-78, 2008