Saturday, March 12, 2011

ARPA-E Innovation Summit

In a piece titled ARPA-E Comes Out Swinging, Clint Wheelock noted Pike Research's assessment of ARPA-E:

ARPA-E is an initiative with significant potential in terms of producing innovations that could address several of the energy world's foremost issues, including:

- Advanced batteries for stationary, portable, and motive applications - with a strong focus on electric vehicles

- Energy storage for utility applications - including both bulk storage and ancillary services

- Advanced fuels, including biofuels

The program is focused on other energy breakthroughs as well. In our opinion, though, these other sectors are not ARPA-E's strong suit. Discussions about the future of the electrical grid, for example, are a pale reflection of what you'll hear from utility and technology industry leaders about the opportunity for smart grid technologies. Similarly, ARPA-E's emphasis on the huge potential of energy efficiency in commercial buildings - without a doubt, a strong focus for us here at Pike Research - is somewhat lacking. We would argue that, whatever ARPA-E's budget ends up being, the program should narrow its focus to its areas of strongest expertise. Let other industry groups and agencies concentrate on opportunities like the smart grid and building efficiency.

See also 4 Intriguing Inventions from the ARPA-E Innovation Summit, the first of which was Nth Degree Technologies making the debut of what it calls Printed Illuminated Paper (involving LEDs). From the website of Nth Degree: We are an innovative market leader in the research, development and application of printed electronics. Our flagship product, Printed Illuminated Paper (PIP), is a programmable, dynamic signage product that lights up, and creates the illusion of motion. Apart from the science, Nth Degree is very much about trademarks and branding ("Impact at the Speed of Light"). Yes, there is something on YouTube.

In passing, one notes that Harrison Dillon is from Solazyme, not "Zolazyme" as depicted in the ARPA-E pictures:

Of Harrison Dillon: Harrison Dillon is the President, Chief Technology Officer, and co-founder of Solazyme, overseeing technology strategy, intellectual property and legal affairs. His scientific training in the field of microbial genetics began in the Microbiology and Immunology Department at Emory University. His later research, including X-ray crystallography and quantitative trait loci characterization, was performed under the direction of Dr. Jean-Marc Lalouel, a Howard Hughes Investigator and Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Utah, where Dr. Dillon received his Ph.D. in genetics.
Dr. Dillon formerly managed the biotechnology patent portfolio of the University of Utah in the University’s Technology Transfer Office. Dr. Dillon received a J.D. cum laude from Duke University School of Law and is licensed to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He is a member of the State Bar of California and has worked as an Associate in the Biotechnology Group at Townsend and Townsend and Crew, and has authored many articles in scientific, business, and legal journals.

Also, of Dillon, from Duke Environmental Law :

“At the end of my first year, I sat down
with Steven Schwarcz [Stanley A. Star
Professor of Law and Business] and asked
him what courses I should take to help
me start a biotech company, rather than
those he would recommend if i planned
to become a patent attorney in a law firm,”
says Dillon, who wrote Solazyme’s first —
successful — patent application while a
2L and now manages the company’s legal
affairs and intellectual property portfolio, in
addition to his other duties.

Solazyme's first issued US Patent is 7,135,290 is about generating hydrogen.

The LA Times is keeping track of Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger: "Why should a dried-up little country like Libya with a crazy dictator play havoc with America's economy and security?" he asked at a recent summit for Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, known as ARPA-E, the young Department of Energy program that helps fund early-stage energy research.

Of algae, the LA Times wrote: Wind power accounts for just 3% of the country's electricity, despite a decade of blockbuster growth. Solar represents an even smaller percentage. And aside from a few test runs in airplanes and show vehicles, biofuels derived from algae, jatropha and other plant-based materials are mostly stuck in research and development.

The race to make the world's
strongest magnet

A wing of the Energy Department called the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E, has put $6.6 million into grants for programs to develop a magnet that is stronger than any that exist on earth today -- and uses much less neodymium.
That's important because a world without rare earth magnets -- or some unknown substitute -- would mean big changes in technology, said Karl Gschneidner, a senior metallurgist at the Ames Laboratory, which is in this race. For example, without rare earth magnets, laptops would be three to four times as heavy as they are now.

***UPDATE. Solazyme IPO

S-1 for Solazyme



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