Applied Intellectual Capital
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Applied Intellectual Capital creates sustainable, market-driven solutions for meeting today’s emerging challenges. As a product development company, AIC funds, develops, patents, and commercializes breakthrough technologies in electrochemistry.

Think clean energy, electricity storage, water treatment, and metals recovery – the world’s dynamic markets.

Strategy

From copper, zinc, lead, and silver recovery in Namibia to converting cellulose to ethanol in the US, AIC is committed to developing and defining electrochemical technologies and engineering practices that support a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable future. With its own research and rapid-prototyping facilities, AIC nurtures applied science technologies, from ideas and lab notes to commercial-ready products and services. Our time to market can be as little as two years – that’s a significant improvement over the seven-plus years commonly associated with the applied-science sector.

AIC streamlines research and development by investing in complementary sets of applied sciences that the company then spins out into dedicated technology companies addressing a range of important markets. Simply put, what AIC learns in one market application it applies to another. With its established laboratories, engineering facilities, and experienced staff, AIC avoids the need to build additional resources for each new business stream.

Protected by a robust IP position, AIC's portfolio of businesses will eventually exit AIC by way of a buy-out, trade sale, or initial public offering with subsequent share sale. Projects are developed initially within AIC’s facilities, using AIC’s labs, engineering skills, and stable of pre-engineered products and equipment. This early “co-location” encourages an ongoing pooling of ideas.


AIC provides basic administrative support for each technology, including accounting and IT resources, patent planning, and strategy and business development. Once each project reaches the stage where it would benefit from a dedicated management team, AIC recruits and appoints qualified team members. The company oversees the development and commercialization efforts to protect the IP position of each technology or project and maintains a solid track record in patenting.

 
product philosophy

The solution to most problems, says AIC Chief Executive Officer Stephen Clarke, already exists – you just need to know how and where to find it. Of course, creating company processes and practices for consistently accessing and building on such knowledge isn’t that simple. That’s why AIC pulls from a variety of disciplines to create a “stage/gate” process that is unique to electrochemistry technology development.

AIC’s product philosophy is based on a stage/gate process typically used by companies in the aerospace and automotive industries – businesses undaunted by the complexity and size of a project. Called Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP), this structured method of defining and establishing the steps necessary to assure that products satisfy customers has been around for years; yet, it’s rarely used in the applied sciences. “Commonly, electrochemistry is designed only by electrochemists,” says Clarke. “At AIC, we also rely on mechanical engineers, industrial designers, computational fluid dynamists, and others.”

This holistic approach to running a globally distributed workflow can lead to commercially viable products that address real-world challenges. It also creates a system of checks and balances that allows for creative, breakthrough thinking at any stage – and this is where AIC’s approach to project management and even facilities is so important.

The company has recently moved into a new laboratory and rapid-prototyping space with executive offices in California. For truly far-flung projects, such as recovering valuable metals in Namibia, AIC regularly builds portable field labs. Despite the varied locations and staff, AIC maintains a high level of consistency and quality throughout its stage/gate process, which involves ongoing employee training in project-management best practices. Along with AIC’s stage/gate process, human and technology factors are closely related – and that’s a sizable advantage.


 

 

 
 
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