News Article | March 27, 2016
Last month, I went to Mumbai, India, to present at an institutional investment conference that was focused on disruptive technology. Complementing presentations by Piyush Goyal (India’s Minister of State for Power, Coal, and New and Renewable Energy) and Pashupathy Gopalan (SunEdison’s Asia Pacific President), I presented on cleantech disruption — the market disruption from solar power, wind power, and electric vehicles that has already begun and will certainly hasten quickly in the years to come. Check out my presentation below. Although the presentation screen is not very sharp and quite difficult to read, my slides are right below the video, so you can easily skip through them while listening to the talk. Below the video and slides are notes about what I discussed in different segments of the video. 1:00 → I introduce the theme of the presentation, which is a combination of “the future is now” and “change, change, change,” coming together in this instance as “clean disruption.” (I later realized that’s the name of what I’ve heard is a great book by Tony Seba — apologies, Tony, for using the term without request, but I hope you see it as a good advertisement and use of the term! 😀 ) 1:35 → I then slide into some brief highlights of other technology shifts we’ve experienced in order to put these themes into context and help convey the specific points of the rest of the presentation. 4:35 → One of the keys to a disruptive technology actually becoming disruptive is the price being right, but once the price is right, the story regarding that technology takes a massive shift in direction. Disruptive technology typically doesn’t take over the market in a linear fashion, but in an exponential manner — which is largely why “disruptive technology” surprises people (even the incumbent industry experts) time and time again, and why it really deserves its name. I highlight this with a handful of great charts I’ve gathered over the years. 7:05 → Finally, I dive into how these topics relate to solar energy and wind energy, highlighting some of my favorite clean energy charts (which you should be familiar with). This involves charts on annual renewable energy potential vs energy potential from total known fossil fuel reserves, renewable energy price trends, renewable energy growth trends, how projections from even a couple years ago are now clearly off the mark, and how renewable energy technologies compare to fossil fuels on price (hint: very well). 14:40 → With all of those attractive numbers and charts out there, I then ask the inevitable question: Why aren’t renewables growing even faster? One key reason, in my opinion, is simply the powerful effect of societal inertia. Part of that inertia is due to lack of awareness (which is the barrier I often focus on)… but not all of it. I expound on these matters more here than I think I have anywhere else (particularly because the audience was institutional investors, analysts, etc., who didn’t necessarily have much background knowledge on renewables or electric vehicles). 16:55 → Eventually, though, inertia is on our side, so I speak a little bit about our transition into that period, which I think is just starting with renewables, but is yet to kick in with EVs. 17:47 → Coming back to the start, though, I note that a catalyst is needed to help disruptive technology break through to the mass market, people who will largely sit contently with the current situation if not really stimulated. A lower price is generally part of that stimulus, but some external catalyst is still needed much of the time, at least to hasten the transition. One thing that is typically needed is a better product. So, I put a spotlight on some of the obvious and not-so-obvious ways clean technologies are better products. As part of that, 19:00 minutes in, I jump off of a great article by Christopher Arcus (which I had just edited) that comments on countries ignoring the lessons of more developed countries and following them down the same deadly path of extreme pollution. I also reference a recent study showing that we have 10,000 years of sea level rise on order if we don’t stop global warming quickly. Talk about a mistake for the history books…. 22:07 → I finally get around to discussing electric vehicles directly, starting with their clear societal benefits, and also highlighting two consumer benefits that most people who haven’t driven electric vehicles aren’t aware of (yep, instant torque and superior convenience). 26:48 → Delving into numbers again, I discuss EV cost trends and the point at which EVs are expected to be “cost competitive” with gasmobiles — not accounting for the superior consumer aspects of EVs, nor the clear societal benefits. (If you watched my EV Transportation & Technology Summit presentation, you’ve already seen much of this, with a couple of updates from Tesla.) 31:35 → Pulling again from my EV Summit presentation, I also acknowledge one of the remaining barriers to broader EV adoption, and the fact that Tesla is the only company demonstrably knocking down a large part of the barrier — super-fast charging for long-distance trips. I briefly discuss why incumbent automakers may be dragging their feet in this regard. I also slide into comments touching on these stories: 39:30 → I add a few final comments highlighting stats that I thought to add while watching other presentations earlier in the day. Here are some articles on those: 41:10 → Q&A begins. Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.” Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10. Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.
Abstract: With large format interactive displays becoming more ubiquitous from large indoor and outdoor displays to electronic whiteboards the need has increased for advanced materials that are highly sensitive, quick to respond to touch, and capable of achieving a variety of complex forms and shapes. At the Consumer Electronics Show, January 6-9, 2016 in Las Vegas, SABIC will introduce a transparent, conductive polycarbonate (PC) film that represents a completely new class of display materials with outstanding transmittance and resistance, especially in large formats, with exceptional 2.5 and 3D formability. In addition to its potential performance capabilities in large format displays, this solution also stands apart in its ability to be thermoformed into complex 2.5 or 3D shapes, such as those required for a variety of displays in consumer electronics, automotive interiors and healthcare devices, as well as for architectural uses. The film combines SANTE® nanoparticle technology from Cima NanoTech over a substrate of SABICs renowned LEXAN film to achieve highly sensitive touch screens that are also impact resistant and formable. With the need for information to be constantly at our fingertips, the challenge becomes how to integrate touch screen functionality into spaces where design and aesthetics are also important such as in an automotive interior or wearable technology or where extremely large format touch screens are required, such as digital signage or electronic white boards. Other challenges include transparency and, of course, cost containment wherever possible, Alan Tsai, Director, Technology & Innovation for Display & Electronics, noted. There are alternatives on the market today, such as indium tin oxide (ITO)-based solutions over a glass substrate and conductive polyethylene terephthalate (PET). SABICs solution has definite advantages over both, according to Tsai. First, our transparent, conductive polycarbonate solution is more sensitive, which can bring the response times of small size touchscreens to large format touchscreens. The material is capable of 20 ohm/m2 (compared to ITO, which is > 100 ohm/m2) and in fact, SABIC has created a 55 demonstration touchscreen display that delivers real time response. And, when compared to ITO laminates over a glass substrate, Tsai offers that SABICs transparent, conductive polycarbonate film available in gauges from 800 micrometers to 125 micrometers provides considerable weight savings, which can support thin wall designs as well as potentially reduce transportation costs. Another key advantage is formability: the use of ITO is challenging when considered for flexible touch screens due to its brittle nature. When flexed, ITO will crack, thus preventing the operation of the touchscreen. PET-based solutions are also often considered. However, when compared to SABICs LEXAN film solution, its resistance is relatively high (>150 Ω/m2) and the material exhibits lower conductivity. PET lacks the rigidity and impact resistance properties of polycarbonate, creating challenges when attempting to achieve large format displays. It, too, exhibits only average formability because PET is not capable of withstanding the higher temperatures needed to thermoform the material into complex designs, a definite advantage of polycarbonate. A case in point is center display stack (CSD) for automotive interiors, which typically includes touchscreens for navigation, infotainment features and back-up cameras as well as an area for climate control. With advanced materials such as transparent, conductive polycarbonate film, the opportunity exists to create an integrated CSD design to consolidate these controls in one unit. Conductive PC film can achieve the forms and curvatures typical for center display units with multiple touch-enabled sensors for navigation and infotainment without compromising the self-capacitive capability for climate controls. SABIC has made available large scale samples of its transparent conductive PC film in either sheet or roll form with web width up to 1.2 meters for use in customer trials, with commercial scale quantities available in the second half of this year. For more information, please email SABIC and brands marked with are trademarks of SABIC or its subsidiaries or affiliates. SANTE® is a registered trademark of Cima NanoTech. About SABIC SABIC is a global leader in diversified chemicals, headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. We manufacture on a global scale in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific, making distinctly different kinds of products: Chemicals, Plastics, Agri-Nutrients, Metals, and Specialties. We support our customers by identifying and developing opportunities in key end markets such as Construction, Medical Devices, Packaging, Agri-Nutrients, Electrical and Electronics, Transportation, and Clean Energy. SABIC recorded a net profit of SR 23.3 billion (US$ 6.2 billion) in 2014. Sales revenues for 2014 totaled SR 188.1 billion (US$ 50.2 billion). Total assets stood at SR 340 billion (US$ 90.7 billion) at the end of 2014. SABIC has more than 40,000 employees worldwide and operates in more than 50 countries. Fostering innovation and a spirit of ingenuity, we have filed more than 10,600 patents, and have significant research resources with innovation hubs in five key geographies USA, Europe, Middle East, South East Asia and North East Asia. The Saudi Arabian government owns 70 percent of SABIC shares with the remaining 30 percent publicly traded on the Saudi stock exchange. At SABIC, we combine a rich track record of doing what others said couldnt be done, with a deep understanding of our customers. But our true impact is as a partner who can help our customers achieve their ambitions by finding solutions to their challenges. We call this Chemistry that Matters. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
News Article | April 26, 2016
SpaceX is at it again. After the first successful Falcon 9 rocket landing on a floating platform docked off the coast of Florida early this month, it is aiming for a repeat performance. The Elon Musk-owned spaceflight company is seeking to replicate the success of its April 8 landing, the first time it was able to bring one of its boosters down for a gentle landing and unlike any of the previous attempts ending up in a crash. The picture-perfect landing fueled further optimism in human spaceflight, including reusable booster technology for reduced costs. The next satellite launch is slated for May 3, revealed by a SpaceX representative to ABC News. While it will still attempt to land the Falcon 9 rocket at sea after sending the payload into orbit, the specific booster for this new launch won’t be the same one used in the April 8 landing. Musk said the previous rocket is now going through tests and, once certified to be reused, could fly once again as soon as June. In a previous press conference, he explained that the rocket will be fired 10 times in a row during testing and will be used again on another orbital mission once proven to be in good working condition. The Falcon 9 in the upcoming mission is tasked to send JCSAT-14, a Japanese communications satellite, some 22,000 miles above Earth. This satellite, based on the SSL-1300 satellite platform, will replace the JCSAT-2A and expand its capability to meet the growing telecommunication services demand in the Asia Pacific. The satellite, too, is expected to work for at least 15 years. It will be the same drill: SpaceX will attempt to have the rocket’s first stage make a controlled landing on the floating platform named "Of Course I Still Love You," an autonomous spaceport drone ship waiting for the stage’s comeback out in the Atlantic Ocean. The company, however, is still mum or uncertain about the kind of launch it will carry out in the succeeding months – or if it will involve paying passengers. “We think it’ll be a paying customer, but we have discussions on it,” said Musk, who emphasized that Falcon 9 rockets could be used for 10 to 20 additional space missions. Their lifespan, he added, could be extended to 100 launches thanks to minor refurbishment. © 2016 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
We’re gearing up for the 9th Annual Crunchies Awards, which will take place at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco on Monday, February 8th. Think of the show as an “Oscars for startups and technology.” Chelsea Peretti will host the event, and we have some fabulous tech figures on stage to present the winning startups and individuals with their Crunchies. Here’s who you can expect to see, and when they’ll be taking the stage. You can still get tickets to the Crunchies here. Troy Carter is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Atom Factory, an entertainment management company defining popular culture globally. As a digital and social entrepreneur, Carter has defined the careers of numerous recording artists, including multi-platinum, Grammy-Award winner Lady Gaga. Carter will present the award for Fastest Rising Startup at 8:15pm. Drew Houston is the co-founder and CEO of Dropbox. He has led Dropbox’s growth from a simple idea to a service used by millions around the world. Houston will present the award for Founder of the Year at 8:20pm. Jacquelline Fuller leads Google.org which provides more than $100 million yearly to support tech innovators making transformational impact in areas such as education, development and renewable energy. Jacquelline joined Google in 2007 and serves as the Managing Director in charge of Google’s philanthropic work and advocacy. Fuller will present the Include Diversity Award at 8:25pm. Jessica Livingston is a founding partner at Y Combinator. She is also the organizer of Startup School, the big annual startup conference, and the author of Founders at Work, a collection of interviews with successful startup founders. Livingston will present the Best Hardware Award at 8:30pm. Dave McClure is a venture capitalist and founding partner at 500 Startups, a venture capital firm & startup incubator headquartered in Silicon Valley founded by PayPal and Google alumni, with over $200M in assets under management. Dave has been geeking out in Silicon Valley for twenty-five years as a developer, entrepreneur, startup advisor & investor, blogger, and internet marketing nerd. McClure will present the VC of the Year Award at 8:35pm. Andre Iguodala is an NBA Champion and Finals MVP currently signed with the Golden State Warriors. He advises Twice, a startup acquired by eBay in 2015. Iguodala will present the Best New Startup Award at 8:40 pm. Kimberly Bryant is the founder and executive director of Black Girls CODE, a non-profit organization dedicated to “changing the face of technology” by introducing girls of color (ages 7-17) to the field of technology and computer science with a concentration on entrepreneurial concepts. Bryant will present the Biggest Social Impact Award at 8:50pm. Michael Arrington is a general partner at CrunchFund, a serial entrepreneur and the founder of TechCrunch. Arrington will present the Angel of the Year Award at 8:55pm. Om Malik is the founder of GigaOM and a venture partner at True Ventures. He is also a technology journalist.Prior to that, he worked as a Senior Editor at Forbes.com. He also worked at H&Q Asia Pacific as an investment manager before returning to the media world as a senior writer for the Red Herring magazine and later at Business 2.0. In 2003, he published his first book Broadbandits: Inside the $750 billion Telecom Heist. Malik will present the Angel of the Year Award at 8:55pm. Roelof Botha is a partner at Sequoia Capital, and works with a broad range of companies. Some democratize technology access (Square, Eventbrite, Unity, Nimbula); some create global user communities (YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram); and others disrupt markets through innovative business models (Evernote, Weebly, Xoom). Botha will present the Best Mobile Application Award at 9:00pm. Bastian Lehmann is the CEO of Postmates, the on-demand delivery company he co-founded in 2011. The idea for Postmates was originally conceived in 2005 when Bastian was relocating from Munich to London and he struggled with finding a simple solution for moving goods around a city. He later pursued this notion of “ride-sharing for stuff” through AngelPad in San Francisco, where he met his co-founders Sean Plaice and Sam Street. Postmates now operates in 40 US markets. Lehmann will present the Best Technology Achievement Award at 9:05pm. Marc Benioff is chairman and CEO of Salesforce. One of the pioneers of cloud computing, Benioff founded the company in 1999 with a vision to create an on-demand, information management service to replace traditional enterprise software technology. Under his leadership, Salesforce has grown from a groundbreaking idea into the fastest growing top ten software company in the world and the largest customer relationship management (CRM) company. Benioff will present the CEO of the Year Award at 9:10pm. Mary Meeker is a general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. She focuses on investments in the firm’s digital practice and helps lead KPCB’s Digital Growth Funds, targeting high-growth Internet companies that have achieved rapid adoption and scale. Mary serves on the boards of Square, Lending Club and DocuSign and has been involved in KPCB’s investments in SoundCloud, LegalZoom, Spotify, Twitter, Instacart, NextDoor, Stance, slack, Bitstrips, Houzz, Affectiva, One Kings Lane, Trendyol and Jawbone. Meeker will present the Best Overall Startup Award at 9:15pm.
Instron, Norwood, Mass., celebrated its 70th anniversary on March 15, 2016. This milestone marks continued success in providing customers with the highest quality products, expert support, and world-class service. Instron was established in 1946 by Harold Hindman and George Burr, who were working together at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to investigate suitable substitutes for silk that could be used in the manufacture of parachutes. After discovering that there was no testing machine available with enough accuracy to meet their requirements, Mr. Hindman and Mr. Burr designed a materials testing instrument. The prototype was so successful that Instron Corporation was formed. Instron has continuously been at the forefront of the industry, earning recognition as one of the first companies to use video strain measurement, and as the first in its industry to offer automatic transducers and reverse stress loading, among many other accomplishments. In October of 2005, Instron was acquired by ITW as the first company in their Test and Measurement platform, under the guidance of Steve Martindale, Executive Vice President of ITW. Today, Instron thrives under the leadership of Darcy Hunter, Graham Rogers, and KC Goh. "ITW arrived at a crucial time in Instron's seventy-year history," says Yahya Gharagozlou, Group President - ITW Test and Measurement. "As we made the transition from a largely family-owned business, ITW's philosophy guided us to maintain the high standards envisioned by the original owners, and at the same time taught us to run a more responsive organization to best serve our customers. I see our management's role as custodians of our innovative culture." Throughout its 70 years in business, Instron has opened offices across the Americas, Europe, and Asia Pacific. With an expansive network of nearly 1700 employees globally, Instron employees collectively speak more than 40 languages, enabling communication with customers in their local languages around the world. Instron remains committed to delivering leading-edge technologies and services designed to push the boundaries of research, quality control, and service-life testing.