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Commercializing Emerging Energy Technologies - Bob Hebner
Commercializing Emerging Energy Technologies - Bob Hebner
Commercializing Emerging Energy Technologies - Bob Hebner
Commercializing Emerging Energy Technologies - Bob Hebner
Commercializing Emerging Energy Technologies - Bob Hebner
Commercializing Emerging Energy Technologies - Bob Hebner
Commercializing Emerging Energy Technologies - Bob Hebner
Commercializing Emerging Energy Technologies - Bob Hebner
Commercializing Emerging Energy Technologies - Bob Hebner
Commercializing Emerging Energy Technologies - Bob Hebner
Commercializing Emerging Energy Technologies - Bob Hebner
Commercializing Emerging Energy Technologies - Bob Hebner
Commercializing Emerging Energy Technologies - Bob Hebner
Commercializing Emerging Energy Technologies - Bob Hebner
Commercializing Emerging Energy Technologies - Bob Hebner
Commercializing Emerging Energy Technologies - Bob Hebner
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Commercializing Emerging Energy Technologies - Bob Hebner

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  • 1. BOB HEBNER, PH.D. DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR ELECTROMECHANICS UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN Commercializing Emerging Energy Technologies
  • 2. Aim of Discussion <ul><li>At the end of the session </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unlikely to be a better investor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Might be a better voter </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Focus on </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What works in government-funded technology policy with some insight into today’s domestic industry </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Focus on energy, not medicine </li></ul>
  • 3. History of Technology Policy in One Chart <ul><li>Before WWII </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I wasn’t born yet, but… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>WWII – 1980’s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vannevar Bush – Science, the Endless Frontier </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Truman </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bell Labs, GE & Westinghouse R&D, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1980’s – 2000 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Japan showed a different way </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. corporations followed, intelligently </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. government worried about “picking winners and losers” and “corporate welfare” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Exceptions – medicine, agriculture, coal mining </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>2000 – 2010 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lots of experiments, no consensus on policy </li></ul></ul>
  • 4. Texas Is a Player <ul><li>Emerging Technology Fund </li></ul><ul><li>Cancer Prevention and Research Institute </li></ul><ul><li>Some university funding </li></ul>
  • 5. Why Me? <ul><li>Accident </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Worked at NIST on technology important to commerce and export control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Primarily electricity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bush I Administration appointed me to OMB to find investments to minimize global warming risk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cost-effectiveness was a challenge </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Back at NIST oversaw review of NIH’s proposed changes to technology transfer laws </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Helped establish and was responsible for Advanced Technology Program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsible for Manufacturing Extension Program and Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AT UT, retail side </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Trying to get three energy products to market every five years </li></ul></ul></ul>
  • 6. University of Texas Technology Examples
  • 7. <ul><li>Fission – Fusion Hybrid </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nearly no radioactive waste </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fusion used to produce </li></ul><ul><ul><li>neutrons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sustain fission reaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transmute radioactive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>material </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Poor candidate for </li></ul><ul><li>commercial funding </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk ~ $100 million to prove </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>concept prior to cash flow </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feds told power industry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> – you build power plants, we’ll handle waste </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Poor candidate for Federal funding </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Organizational barriers </li></ul></ul>Nuclear Power
  • 8. National Priorities <ul><li>U.S. health cost greater than $6 billion/day </li></ul><ul><li>War in Afghanistan costs about $130 million/day </li></ul><ul><li>Venture capital investment in promising new ideas about $3 million (about $5,000/day) </li></ul><ul><li>Venture investment in proven ideas about $30 million (about $50,000/day) </li></ul><ul><li>Federal investment in promising energy science ideas about $0.25 million (about $400/day) </li></ul><ul><li>Federal investment in major r&d programs about $50 million (about $30,000/day) </li></ul>Depending on political persuasion this may be too much, too little, about right, or irrelevant
  • 9. Energy Storage <ul><li>Developed and/or evaluated storage systems for cranes, ships, wind farms, vehicles from trucks to Formula 1, and grid stabilization </li></ul><ul><li>UT develops </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flywheels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Batteries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ultracapacitors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Compressed Gas </li></ul></ul>VG 12983h <ul><li>Commercialization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Efforts continuing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flywheels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Export laws a challenge </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Batteries – fame, litigation, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>new ideas </li></ul></ul>
  • 10. Algal Biofuel <ul><li>The interest in algal oil is not new, though the widespread interest in making biofuels from algal oil is more recent </li></ul><ul><li>Algae contain anywhere between 2% and 40% of lipids(oils) by weight </li></ul><ul><li>The yields of oil from algae are orders of magnitude higher than those for traditional oilseeds </li></ul><ul><li>Algae can grow in places unsuitable for use as farmlands, prairies and forests, thus potentially providing a much needed source of fuel without damage to the ecosystem </li></ul>
  • 11. The Problem--$$$ <ul><li>Algae oil production costs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Present cost to produce 1 gallon of algae oil—$20-30/gal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Future cost goal—$1-3/gal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Issues…production scale-up & cost reduction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strain selection--oil yield, growth rates, stability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Production systems—ponds or photobioreactors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CO 2 source </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Harvesting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Oil Extraction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Capital costs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Energy & water usage </li></ul></ul>
  • 12. <ul><li>Oil producing algae growth capability up to 2,500 gal </li></ul><ul><li>Dewatering process demonstrated at 5000 gal/day </li></ul><ul><li>Flow-through EM lysing apparatus built; used to process dewatered algae. </li></ul><ul><li>Novel version of commercial separation process demonstrated </li></ul><ul><li>Mass and energy balance performed on integrated system of processes </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile extraction pilot plant design in-progress </li></ul>Commercialization Moving Forward
  • 13. Commercialization Approach <ul><li>Apply for all available Federal funding </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on processing, not algae engineering </li></ul><ul><li>Team early with private investors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>OpenAlgae formed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Unique experiment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Personal education </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Learn from the failures of others </li></ul><ul><li>First two possible customers offshore </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Help U.S. balance of payments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rather solve problems closer to home </li></ul></ul><ul><li>First system $6 million away </li></ul>
  • 14. Motors and Generators <ul><li>Advanced motors for hybrids </li></ul><ul><li>Superconducting motors </li></ul><ul><li>DC generator design </li></ul><ul><li>High speed motors and generators </li></ul>
  • 15. Things to Worry About <ul><li>U.S. is not as good at commercializing technology as we need to be </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Competitors were hungry and understood new roles faster </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Government programs need independent impact assessment both </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prospective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Typically 100x </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Retrospective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Typically 4x </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Peer review works to eliminate bad ideas, not choose the highest commercial potential </li></ul><ul><li>Elected officials should only review programs and/or add earmarks, not choose projects </li></ul>
  • 16. Things to Be Happy About <ul><li>We’re falling behind, but not out of the race </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The world still comes to the U.S. for much base technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Taking advantage of U.S. widening the Valley of Death </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Places like UT still attract folks who hope, plan, and expect to make a positive difference </li></ul>

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