Monday, March 4, 2013

Can we have free communications and security too?

Lately there have been numerous hackers that have succeeded in getting passwords and other information from supposedly secure sites. Now we even have reports that the Chinese and a number of other national actors have set up groups to execute sophisticated hacking operations against our commercial companies to steal engineering secrets that are  critical to our national security.

The question starts to become, "is access to information worth the risk of losing it to sophisticated hackers?" Should we be posting intelligence in the battlefield on the "cloud" with other locations frequently looking like a sieve instead of a lock box?  We can't rely solely on software solutions. We must have something more secure. Hybrid solutions are becoming available that add new levels of security for our information whether it be on line or in communication networks over the air. When we think crypto we immediately think of classified information, but engineering secrets and medical records also must be protected but for other reasons than security.

I'll be looking at some of these other solutions in the next few blogs.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

First, I'd like to welcome two new partners to the Advanced Technology Transition and Innovation Center (ATTIC), StemRad and Ann Arbor Aircraft. We have continued to add companies and have several more in the works now. The ATTIC works like a consortium with benefits flowing both ways in the relationship. Due to my background in Competitive Technology Intelligence, I research a number of opportunity sources frequently. By being a targeted member of the ATTIC, you are on the priority search list as I go through these searches. You receive updates and notification of emerging requirements and I try to recommend partnerships with other members and my other contacts that have need for your technology or services. By being a member of the ATTIC with a contract I may also be able to assist you with contracts that you can not pull down by yourself with my recent designation as a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business by the VA.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Aggressive Technology Engagement

I've had several discussions lately with clients and potential customers where the question has come up, "How do we find the   best strategy for transitioning our product the market?" This is not a simple question and does not have a pat answer that works in all situations. If I could give one point of advice, it would be "You have to actively look." Advanced technology is not the same as just putting out a product and they will come buy it. In most cases I've found that you are not just selling the product but also the idea of what the new capabilities can do. Who would sell a computer that couldn't print, had no keyboard and didn't even have a USB port to plug in a flash drive?  APPLE the iPad 1. As I work through technology development I continually look at it as a capability not just as a technical component. You may need another critical component to fill out the customer's expectations. Actively look for that component.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lightening the load

I've been working with a company out of Atlanta named Verco Materials and you can follow them on my website through the link there. They have an amazing technology capability to form boron carbide into complex shapes. Now what does that mean and why does it matter? B4C is the third hardest material known to man. After you form the B4C into a shape you're done. It is very difficult to machine it to a different configuration. The B4C is 60% the weight of Titanium and four (4X) times as hard. It is a ceramic material so using it as lightweight body armor immediately comes to mind. Their process makes it extremely hard and dense and in complex shapes. It is also very abrasion resistant. I'm amazed by the many potential applications that I've been investigating to use this new material to make better longer lasting products. If you have applications, please contact me.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Where do you get the technology?

I've had people ask me for years "How did you come up with this new technology?". The most frequent answer is that I looked for it. I'm always amazed as people who complain about the success of others but don't see the need to put in the effort to learn how to do those searches themselves. There is a great art in asking the right question. Many times I don't really want to do what a customer asks, but provide them with alternatives. When you don't know the way, climb a tree. In the advance technology development world frequently that is simply take a look around and open your mind to how others have solved similar problems in other disciplines. Moving imagery for a UAV looks allot like moving MRIs in the medical field. Solving a power problem in the military looks allot like solving a power problem in the civilian world. Who would have thought that a millimeter wave radar would end up with TSA at the airport?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

How do you find the right technology?

Over many years I've come to the conclusion that if you want to find emerging technology to fit your requirements and give your products the right capability, perform a prioritized active search. Coming from my submarine operational experience, don't look for a specific technology instead look for the options. Some technologies will be more mature than others but a less mature emerging technology may be 10X better in the long run. Look for your options and weight the benefits. The best solution may be a mature technology in a different discipline or an unrelated field.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Business Development in a down economy

"Aggressive Technology Engagement" was the title of a paper that I wrote last year. In the current fiscal environment there are many challenges, but sitting and waiting for last years funds won't work in this economy. Aggressive business development is the primary function that I've completed over the last twenty years. We need new ideas to move forward while we address innovation in products, in your proposals and in adapting technology from other disciplines to new applications.