Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Scientists Benefit as Much as Students from “Cleantech to Market” Program

Better Solar team members (left to right) Stephanie Rohrs, Allen Birsch, Christian Sjogren and Taejoon Park take questions from the audience after making a pitch for the mock company they formed for the Cleantech to Market business class. (photos by Roy Kaltschmidt, Berkeley Lab Public Affairs)
Better Solar team members (left to right) Stephanie Rohrs, Allen Birsch, Christian Sjogren and Taejoon Park take questions from the audience after making a pitch for the mock company they formed for the Cleantech to Market business class. (photos by Roy Kaltschmidt, Berkeley Lab Public Affairs)

Abstract:
Launched as a pilot project at Berkeley Lab, the Cleantech to Market program is finishing its first semester as an official class at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, and it's safe to say the students learned more than they expected on how to take a technology from the laboratory to the marketplace. What was less expected is how much the scientists got out of the program.

Scientists Benefit as Much as Students from “Cleantech to Market” Program

Berkeley, CA | Posted on May 18th, 2010

"It was phenomenal," said Cyrus Wadia, co-director of the C2M program. "They absorbed more information than I ever expected. Then they took my ideas and put a creative spin on them, and went in a direction I hadn't even thought of."

Five students took a nanosolar invention by Wadia, who is working at the White House Office of Science and Technology while on a one-year leave from Berkeley Lab, and developed a market strategy and investment pitch around it, after conducting exhaustive market research. Their conclusion: to position the thin film solar technology for the off-grid market in rural areas of developing countries, such as India.

Similarly, a group of students worked on a thin film silicon solar invention with physicists Alex Zettl, Marvin Cohen and Steve Louie of the Materials Sciences Division and built a mock company around it, which they named Better Silicon. "But for us, this wasn't just an exercise," said Zettl. "We're ready to go. They came up with appropriate business models we thought made sense. I was impressed with how quickly they were up to speed."

Their presentations were delivered last Friday to an audience of scientists, faculty and energy industry professionals. Started as a pilot project by Berkeley Lab's Technology Transfer Department, the Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative and Haas professor Catherine Wolfram, Cleantech to Market became so popular that it is now housed at the Energy Institute at Haas and was offered as a class for the first time this semester. Nearly 120 students applied for 42 seats. "It's closer to an incubator than a class," said program co-director Bev Alexander. "We are receiving many requests to expand."

Students were assigned to work on one of 10 technologies—half from Berkeley Lab and half from UC Berkeley. The majority of students were in the business school, with a handful coming from programs in law, engineering, sciences and energy and resources. "We were very intentional about matching students with technologies," said Alexander. "We selected them as if we were creating a company."

No real startups have emerged from C2M so far, but some interest is starting to emerge. More importantly, the program provides a new pathway for commercializing the inventions produced by Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley scientists, a path that is more time-consuming than many scientists realize and requires more in-depth research than the technology transfer offices usually have time for.

"The students have provided a deep dive not only into the technologies but also into a broad variety of business models, which is very useful for our scientists," said Cheryl Fragiadakis, director of Berkeley Lab's Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Management Department.

Of course the most important product of the program is the students themselves, who leave C2M savvy about commercializing early-stage technologies, not only giving them a head start, but helping to propel the larger clean tech mission in Berkeley and beyond. "Our collective opportunity in the Berkeley area—on campus, in the labs and across the East Bay Green Corridor—is to continue building our cleantech entrepreneurial community, similar to efforts at Caltech [the California Institute of Technology] and Stanford," said Alexander. "We want to help do that specifically around energy."

Berkeley Lab materials scientist Ramamoorthy Ramesh, who participated in C2M last year and plans to do so again this year, said the research and recommendations provided by the students were very valuable. "When I was at the University of Maryland, I did a similar program, and they charged me $3,000," he said. "The [Berkeley] students were fantastic. One was ready to go do a startup with me."

Industry participation is a key element to the program's success. "The program exceeded my expectations by far," said MBA candidate Cristian Sjogren, who worked on the Better Silicon team and plans to start a solar company in his native Chile. "We're very lucky to have worked with among the top scientists in the world today. And we met with venture capitalists, who gave feedback on our projects, and also lawyers on intellectual property. I could never have gotten that in another course."

Some credit the class with influencing their career direction. "This class has given me access to clean energy. It helped me make the transitions MBAs are always trying to make," said MBA candidate Carlo Woods, who used to work in finance and accounting. "My internship this summer is with a solar firm."

Another student team was assigned a different sort of technology: OpenADR, or Open Automated Demand Response, a communications specification developed at Berkeley Lab to help buildings save power during peak times, which is now in use in more than 200 large facilities in California.

"The team's assignment was to find ways to accelerate national deployment of this free technology to utilities and control companies," said Rish Ghatikar from Berkeley Lab, who assisted the students with the project. "It's different since it is a non-proprietary technology with a lot of societal benefits."

The students produced a 35-page report as well as a list of the top 10 barriers to adoption and suggestions to overcome each one. One of their recommended actions was to launch a third-party nonprofit to focus on outreach and managing the perceptions of OpenADR.

"Marketing and storytelling are not what the Berkeley Lab people are brilliant at, so they need to find partners," said student Laura Schewel, who is getting a degree in Energy & Resources. "This project illustrates why we need people to buckle down and execute in the energy field."

Mary Ann Piette, who helped develop OpenADR, plans to pursue some of the recommendations. "It's extremely valuable," she said. "We don't think the way they do. We have explored many of their ideas, but we need a broad portfolio of outreach strategies."

Lab researchers with intellectual property or ideas that might be commercialized in the clean tech arena who are interested in participating in the C2M program should contact the Technology Transfer Department at

####

About Berkeley Lab
Berkeley Lab is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory located in Berkeley, California. It conducts unclassified scientific research and is managed by the University of California for the DOE Office of Science. Visit our Website at www.lbl.gov.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Julie Chao
(510) 486-6491

Copyright © Berkeley Lab

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

CiQUS researchers design an artificial nose to detect DNA differentiation with single nucleotide resolution September 18th, 2014

Big Results Require Big Ambitions: Three young UCSB faculty receive CAREER awards from the National Science Foundation September 18th, 2014

FEI Opens New Technology Center in Czech Republic: FEI expands its presence in Brno with the opening of a new, larger facility September 18th, 2014

Biosensors Get a Boost from Graphene Partnership: $5 Million Investment Supports Dozens of Jobs and Development of 300mm Fabrication Process and Wafer Transfer Facility September 18th, 2014

Thin films

Beneq launches nFOG™ wet coating technology September 3rd, 2014

Picosun joins forces with IMEC for novel, industrial ALD applications August 25th, 2014

An Inkjet-Printed Field-Effect Transistor for Label-Free Biosensing August 11th, 2014

Advanced thin-film technique could deliver long-lasting medication: Nanoscale, biodegradable drug-delivery method could provide a year or more of steady doses August 6th, 2014

Academic/Education

Biosensors Get a Boost from Graphene Partnership: $5 Million Investment Supports Dozens of Jobs and Development of 300mm Fabrication Process and Wafer Transfer Facility September 18th, 2014

Malvern technology delivers Malvern reliability in multi-disciplinary lab at Queen Mary University London September 9th, 2014

State University of New York Trustees Unanimously Approve SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) as New Name for Merged SUNY CNSE / SUNYIT September 9th, 2014

New Vice President Takes Helm at CNSE CMOST: Catherine Gilbert To Lead CNSE Children’s Museum of Science and Technology Through Expansion And Relocation August 29th, 2014

Announcements

Wear-resistant ceramic powder maximises component lifespan in high-stress applications: Innovnano’s nanostructured 3YSZ offers improved tribological performance for manufacturing components September 18th, 2014

IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting To Celebrate 60th Anniversary as The Leading Technical Conference for Advanced Semiconductor Devices September 18th, 2014

FEI Opens New Technology Center in Czech Republic: FEI expands its presence in Brno with the opening of a new, larger facility September 18th, 2014

Biosensors Get a Boost from Graphene Partnership: $5 Million Investment Supports Dozens of Jobs and Development of 300mm Fabrication Process and Wafer Transfer Facility September 18th, 2014

Energy

IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting To Celebrate 60th Anniversary as The Leading Technical Conference for Advanced Semiconductor Devices September 18th, 2014

Rice rolls 'neat' nanotube fibers: Rice University researchers' acid-free approach leads to strong conductive carbon threads September 15th, 2014

Simple, Cost-Effective Method Proposed for Synthesizing Zinc Oxide Nanopigments September 15th, 2014

UT Arlington research uses nanotechnology to help cool electrons with no external sources September 11th, 2014

Events/Classes

IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting To Celebrate 60th Anniversary as The Leading Technical Conference for Advanced Semiconductor Devices September 18th, 2014

PEN Inc. Chairman, Scott Rickert, Will Webcast a Live Company Update September 25, 1 PM EDT September 17th, 2014

Dolomite to launch Meros TCU-100 temperature controller at Lab-on-a-Chip & Microarray World Congress September 15th, 2014

Seeking Nanoscale Defenses for Biological and Chemical Threats: WPI co-organizes a NATO workshop to improve the detection and decontamination of biological and chemical agents September 13th, 2014

Solar/Photovoltaic

Simple, Cost-Effective Method Proposed for Synthesizing Zinc Oxide Nanopigments September 15th, 2014

Indium/Copper Sulfide Compound Semi-Conductor Synthesized through New Method September 8th, 2014

Material development on the nanoscale: Doped graphene nanoribbons with potential September 8th, 2014

Layered graphene sandwich for next generation electronics September 8th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE