IPST Members Meet to Discuss Technologies of Tomorrow
IPST held its 2012 Meeting of Members, “Leveraging Emerging Technologies To Advance Forest Biomaterials Business,” April 10-11 in the Paper Tricentennial Building. Twenty-two member company representatives and 4 affiliate organizations attended the meeting.
Gary May, College of Engineering
College of Engineering Dean Gary May led off with an overview of the capabilities of Georgia Tech. Executive Vice President-Research Steve Cross described the university’s strategic plan—“innovation on steroids”— to continue its drive to provide relevant solutions to industry challenges by teaching students to explore “disruptive innovation”; he noted that IPST is a model of industry-centric research, and that it was the first to sponsor the Georgia Tech Innovation and Research Conference. Ron Rousseau, chair of the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, de-scribed IPST as “doing what we’re trying to do at Tech—solve problems the solutions to which would have real impact.” Ken Stewart, a senior advisor on industry strategy, spoke of there being “a thousand doors to open at Georgia Tech,” and mentioned that navigation assistance and guidance are available to those who opened the door to the IPST portal. Ben Wang, Georgia Tech’s chief manufacturing officer, commented that 90% of patents in the United States come from manufacturing, and emphasized the importance of vitality in this economic sector.
Chris Smoak, Georgia Tech Cyber Technology and Information Security Lab
Each of IPST’s three strategic thrusts—operational excellence, new materials from forest biomass, and biorefining—was the subject of a two hour segment made up of faculty experts, students, and a panel discussion led by a member company representative. Special sessions on novel coatings and on combined heat & power impacts were also offered. Chris Smoak of Tech’s Cyber Technology and Information Security Lab addressed guests at dinner about current Cyber Threats and Defenses. Other expert resources rounded out the meeting by providing guidance about how intellectual property is handled and how to create effective partnerships with Georgia Tech.
The session was rich with presentations from nine students and eighteen faculty members from IPST and the wider Georgia Tech community. Students also presented 24 posters at the reception. All of this information can be found on IPST’s website.
Norman Marsolan, Director IPST
“Our objectives were to introduce the students and their work; to provide valuable information and tools to participants; and to encourage members to expand the advantages of their memberships,” commented IPST director Norman Marsolan. “I feel certain that we accomplished the first two, and follow-up conversations suggest that we achieved the third as well.”
Planning has begun for next year’s meeting, which will combine a membership meeting, executive conference, technical conference, and commemorative event to mark the twentieth anniversary of the Paper Tricentennial Building housing IPST.
The Renewable Bioproducts Institute (RBI) at Georgia Tech builds on nearly a century of lignocellulosics research at Georgia Tech—one of the nation's leading public research universities and engineering schools. RBI is transforming products and processes with forest- and agriculture-based biochemicals and bioproducts to solve the challenges and create competitive advantages and opportunities for industry as it evolves in the bioeconomy.