NSF Industry University Cooperative Research Center for Electrochemical Processes and Technology a Model for Open Innovation

Tuesday, 7 October 2014: 11:20
Expo Center, 1st Floor, Universal 1 (Moon Palace Resort)
G. G. Botte (Ohio University)

In the path from invention to product it becomes important to consider multiple options for generation of ideas that could lead to out of the box solutions to technological problems. In the search for new ideas and solutions the concept of Open Innovation has become a new paradigm for companies [1]. Within this paradigm cooperation among industry, universities, customers, and rivals is needed for success. One model that has been successful in such approach is the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC) program.

Over the past three decades, the I/UCRCs have led the way to a new era of partnership between universities and industry, featuring high-quality, industrially relevant fundamental research, strong industrial support of and collaboration in research and education, and direct transfer of university developed ideas, research results, and technology to U.S. industry to improve its competitive posture in world markets [2].

In this talk, the implementation of the NSF I/UCRC model will be described within the context of electrochemical processes and technology. A new NSF I/UCRC: Center for Electrochemical Processes and Technology (CEProTECH) had been established [3]. CEProTECH is dedicated to the improvement of chemical and biological processes utilizing novel, electrochemically-focused approaches. Ohio University (OHIO, lead Center site) and Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL, Center site) are the founding universities. The Center facilitates fundamental, cross-cutting process analysis and research for a diverse range of industry applications. This includes both the classical electrochemical processes - chlor-alkali and aluminum processes, batteries, etc.- as well as processes that typically would not utilize electrochemical methods -remediation, advanced synthesis, and production of specialty gases, chemicals, and materials, etc.-. 

This talk will discuss the process of engaging companies to partner with the center and learning about their advanced manufacturing needs that electrochemical solutions can address.

This presentation will focus on the path for the creation and operation of an industry focused research center, CEProTECH, the technology roadmap, the education opportunities for the participants,  as well as discussing potential ways of collaboration.  


[1] H. W. Chesbrough, MIT Sloan Management Review 44 (2003) 35-41.

[2] National Science Foundation, I/UCRC model partnerships, http://www.nsf.gov/eng/iip/iucrc/program.jsp (accessed 03/31/2014).

[3] NSF I/UCRC: Center for Electrochemical Processes and Technology, http://ceprotech.com, (accessed 03/31/2014).