We live in an era of explosive progress in polymer and composite materials science and technology, as evidenced by the accelerating growth of the scientific literature, patent literature, and trade journal literature. Our technology assessment services help clients derive commercial value from this progress. It is most common for a client to request these services at an early stage of entry into a new technology area so that the recommendations resulting from the assessment can provide both high-level strategic guidance and detailed tactical guidance into the client’s exploration of a technology frontier.
What is a Technology Assessment?
A technology assessment project involves the identification of what is really important in vast amounts of information, the development of sound strategic and tactical recommendations, and the presentation of the findings both in writing and orally in a thorough, effective, and timely manner. The relevant scientific literature, patent literature, and trade journal literature are all studied carefully during most technology assessments. Depending on client needs and wishes, however, a technology assessment can instead be limited to just two or even one of these three general types of sources of information.
Examples of past technology assessment topics include compatibilization of polymeric systems (polymers, blends, composites, and laminates), impact modification of polymeric systems, carbon nanotubes, nanoclays, nanocomposites, dendrimers, biopolymers (such as polyhydroxyalkanoates), oleochemicals, various textile technology areas, various polymer recycling technologies, plastics-to-fuel conversion technologies, and smart materials.
Technology Assesment Deliverables
The main deliverable of each technology assessment project is a detailed formal technology landscape report. This report begins with an Executive Summary providing a concise description, ideal for presentation to the management, of the work that was done and the conclusions that were reached. It continues with a main body consisting of sections providing expanded discussions of the highlights summarized in the Executive Summary. For readers (such as the R&D scientists and engineers of the client) who may need to understand the relevant literature in much greater detail, each technology landscape report ends with an Appendix presenting highlights from each of the cited patents and articles. If requested by the client, an oral presentation can also be prepared.
It is often found during a technology assessment that some of the most promising courses of action include collaboration with external R&D resources such as universities, research institutes, and national laboratories. Our technical project management services are available to help clients build effective "win-win" collaborations in such instances.
Dr. Bicerano has been performing technology assessments for more than a quarter century. His skills in making such assessments were first recognized while he worked at Dow Chemical so that he was given several technology assessment assignments. Such projects now comprise a major component of his consulting practice.