A materials and chemicals client sought to take advantage of major natural resource and energy shortages that they could preferentially exploit commercially over the next five years and beyond. The client specifically sought to either identify and develop or indeed discover a new platform technology focused on minimizing or eliminating energy use in product manufacturing that could serve the needs of those at greatest risk of these shortages. A key was the knowledge that they could not be the only player for such a platform or adoption would become limited; however, in their chosen markets, they would like to dominate as the leading player.
While the client engaged consulting firms over a long period of time, those firms capabilities did not extend to actual product development, scaling, and commercialization coupled with partnership, supply chain and customer development. Although markets of interest and their emerging drivers were identified, the client had not created any actual products or services that had tangible specifications, prototypes or any customer feedback.
Our engagement spanned identifying major market trends and their intersection with emerging technologies. We then specified several product concepts and benefits from an operational, use and financial model. Next was translating those concepts into functional technology components to search for existing inventions across a wide range of industries and applications.
Over a three-month period, two-day exercises every three weeks were held at the client’s facilities. Our three-member team engaged with outside experts, client senior managers, and supporting multi-disciplinary personnel throughout the project. Multiple collaborative ideation sessions were held, concepts developed, ranked and grouped. Leading product concepts were presented to various customers and their supply network via additional review sessions. These collective activities allowed several larger concepts to be combined and then for true technology platforms to emerge.
Deliverables and Impact
Our three month engagement emerged with three major concepts. These concepts were combined into a single platform chemistry that spanned five major customers, and three new applications across several industries. The technology delivered polymerization at ambient temperatures at high speed with nearly infinite property variance saving billions in energy usage. Up to 50% of an automotive plants build and operating costs alone are eliminated by ambient car coating cures. The final impact was a venture funded firm with the potential for hundreds of billion in long-term revenue and profit impact to the client and their customers.