CREATE Monthly PI Seminar Series (July 2016)
Event Date: 01 Jul 2016 03:00 AM - 01 Jul 2016 05:00 AM
Event Venue: CREATE Seminar Room, Level 2, CREATE Tower
A gentle reminder for the monthly Seminar Series by CREATE PIs on 1 Jul 2016, 11am, CREATE Seminar Room. The speakers are Prof George Barbastathis and Prof Tonio Buonassisi from SMART. We hope to see you there. Thank you.
Abstract for Prof Tonio Buonassisi’s talk: Creating sustaining economic value through strategic R&D in new high-value energy technologies
In the post-WWII era, United States federal R&D expenditures (as % of federal budget) peaked in the 1960’s and have been slowly declining since the mid-1970’s. In the modern era of increased global competition, slower economic growth, and increased constraints on natural resources, the need for technological innovation has never been greater, yet the resources to finance the necessary R&D have never been scarcer. This has contributed to a decreasing focus on foundational R&D, with resulting opportunity cost in innovation, wealth creation, and quality of life. Responding to this need, we describe an emergent R&D model focused on maximizing R&D return on investment. We highlight an R&D area of great importance to humanity, but fundamentally challenging economics: solar photovoltaics, the conversion of sunlight into electricity. Research in my laboratory begins with bottom-up technoeconomic analyses to identify key technology drivers affecting cost and scale. We then develop medium- and near-term technical priority research areas and experimental plans, in consultation with industry. The outputs of our R&D have resulted in innovations that were successfully translated to start-up and established industrial partners, contributing to fundamental changes in industry and billions in additional investment. I cultivate a longer-term R&D program within my laboratory, grounded in research directions identified by the applied R&D. In discussion, I’ll share my vision for one possible future of RD&D, including extension of the current model to system-level analysis, engaging new financial entities. I’ll share my perspective on the natural advantages and future opportunities for Singapore in this modern RD&D landscape, in an era when “return on investment” is highly valued.