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Technology Commercialization

Technology Commercialization
The EERC has mastered the art of leveraging research dollars by developing true working partnerships with government, the research community, and private sector clients from all over the globe. The majority of EERC contracts are funded by nonfederal entities. The EERC has been perfecting this approach of leveraging federal money with nonfederal money for more than 20 years. It is instilled in the very culture of the organization, and it is a cornerstone of success in commercializing technologies. This philosophy sets the EERC apart and makes it a unique professional partner.

Two market forces (energy and environment) shape the business model, expertise, and technologies of the EERC. The energy industry is focused on the growing demand for more efficient and economical techniques for a variety of fuels; the environmental field is challenged with the growing demand for the cleanup and control of pollutants and other environmental hazards. Opportunities in the energy and environmental arenas are dynamic, and the EERC anticipates tremendous growth over the next 20 years. The aim is to secure sufficient energy; clean air and water; and fertile, productive soils for the future.

The key to the successful EERC business model is innovation based on partnerships and best business practices. The EERC enables its entrepreneurial partners to cost-effectively translate breakthrough inventions into marketable products. The success of these innovative products in the marketplace results in significant economic, environmental, and societal benefits worldwide.

The EERC develops intellectual property for its partners' competitive advantage. The successful commercialization of energy and environmental technologies requires, first and foremost, talented and passionate people, capital, effective partnerships, market knowledge, practical experience, state-of-the-art technical facilities, strong organizational support, and a tolerance for risk. The EERC has all of these key components to convert intellectual property into commercial reality. The EERC's intellectual property is the impetus for commercial partners to excel in the competitive market.

Invention vs. Innovation

EERC Director Dr. Gerald Groenewold commonly quotes Thomas Edison who said, "Don't invent something that nobody wants." Popular history usually gives credit to Thomas Edison for inventing the lightbulb, Alexander Graham Bell for inventing the telephone, and Guglielmo Marconi for inventing the radio. But the truth is they invented none of these things. Their recognition and association with these successful technologies are largely due to their inspired business practices. Their success and fame resulted from their ability to cost-effectively translate inventions into marketable products or, in other words, to be innovative. The same innovative spirit is at the heart of the EERC. The invention of the lightbulb by Heinrich Goebel led to the innovation of the Edison Electric Grid (a marketable product). The invention of the telephone by Antonio Santi Giuseppe Meucci led to the innovation of the Bell Public Switched Telephone Network, and the invention of radio transmission by Nikola Tesla led to the innovation of wireless telegraphy and the opening of the world's first "wireless" factory by Marconi.