Speaking at TechConnect World 2013, Ms. Ansems-Bancroft tells TechConnect about Dow's technology and investment areas of interest.
What technology/solution areas do you have a primary interest in?
Dow invests resources in promising businesses and technologies that help address many of the world’s most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. These global needs drive us to align our innovation pipeline to four megatrends: Health & Nutrition; Energy; Transportation & Infrastructure; and Consumer & Lifestyle. Specific examples of current interest among Health & Nutrition and Energy include technologies for improving and protecting food crops, components and systems that reduce the cost and/or improve the availability of pure water, alternative sources for chemical feedstocks at competitive scale and cost, technologies that add value to the Dow POWERHOUSE™ shingle system, materials that improve the performance or lower the cost of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and solutions to improve the extraction of oil and gas enhance the environmental sustainability of production. Among Transportation & Infrastructure and Consumer & Lifestyle, examples of current focus include systems and solutions for composites and lightweighting, advanced materials for the electronics industry and materials that enhance the energy efficiency of residential and commercial buildings.
Could you provide an example of a successful partnership between Dow and a start up company or university? What made the partnership a success?
Dow has many current partnerships all along the innovation pipeline. One example of these is the partnership with Clean Filtration Technologies; after two initial investments and a joint research and development program in 2010, Dow made the decision to acquire in 2012. Clean Filtration Technologies’ TURBOCLONE™ filter is a unique, patented system that combines hydrocyclonic separation and cross-membrane filtration into one device, which when used as a prefilter allows other treatment technologies to operate with peak efficiency and reduced maintenance and operation expenses. The successful joint program allowed Dow to further its position in the sustainable macrofiltration market by combining Clean Filtration Technologies’ filtration capabilities with Dow Water & Process Solutions’ broad portfolio of market leading advanced treatment technologies of ion exchange, reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration membranes.
Another example is Dow’s recent acquisition of Lightscape Materials, Inc., a spin-off of SRI International. The novel phosphor composition technology developed by Lightscape Materials realizes improved quality, reliability and output color of LED light-based systems. This investment enabled Dow to add phosphor technology to the Company’s existing LED technologies portfolio, and opened the technology to Dow’s global marketing reach for Lightscape Materials.
How does Dow encourage innovation?
Dow exercises innovation leadership around the world through multidisciplinary initiatives, sponsorships and partnerships with industry, academia, governments and non-governmental organizations to encourage sustained innovation from different sources. In these efforts, Dow champions innovation all along the innovation pipeline, from early inventions to late improvements after commercialization, and from inventions within our strong internal R&D team to critical synergistic external collaborations on leading opportunities. Various organizations within Dow are responsible for actively scouting and delivering new opportunities and inventions to feed the broad innovation pipeline, including Dow Venture Capital, Dow Technology Licensing and Dow External Technology.
As a Corporate Accelerator Partner at TechConnect, what will you be looking for in Washington, D.C. next year? Who will you be looking to meet with onsite?
We are focused on scouting new opportunities and technologies that relate to the strategic interests mentioned above, along the entire innovation pipeline, from early invention and proof-of-concept to late commercialization. As such, we aim to further extend our network with key innovators and entrepreneurs and identify several opportunities to evaluate and potentially pursue.