The Shale Gas Innovation and Commercialization Center (SGICC)
Ben Franklin Technology Partners CNP is uniquely qualified to foster communications between industry and research institutions. We have successfully engaged in this activity for many years and have recently launched a translational research program specifically for energy related technologies. The Translational Research in Energy Support Program (TRESP) is designed to fund important research in energy, clean technology, and related fields that have commercial potential. The basic idea of that program is to provide additional funding to accelerate specific research toward commercialization by answering the necessary questions to attract industry and commercial interest, i.e. first level validation. Partnership between the researchers, research institutions, and industrial or commercial entities is strongly encouraged in order boost the probability of success. In the past eighteen months, TRESP has made more than two dozen grants to projects in research from bio-fuels to other alternative energy to demand reduction to green building products.
SGICC will implement a similar program designed to provide the seed capital that will help move promising research and early stage small companies or private sector emerging concepts and technologies toward commercialization. SGICC will also act to link researchers and technology with industry partners, investors, end-users, and government agencies to address real market issues and solve problems. A panel of industry experts, technologists, and business investors will review each opportunity to allocate resources, both financial and support. SGICC will also make its other resources-contacts, experts, research, market data, etc.-available to supported projects in order to ensure that each is properly tailored and directed to its own market opportunity. Creating this support network and infrastructure will help the Institute meet its goals of introducing technology to aid in the exploitation and development of Shale Gas resources.
The key is to foster, fund, combine, and organize these bits and pieces of research and technology into actual commercial ventures. The mission and goal of our organization should be to assist in the process by creating the best possible environment available. Essentially, this will mean being matchmaker between the technologists, industry, investors, regulators, and business professionals, and entrepreneurs. It will also mean creating the infrastructure necessary to realize these goals and provide the level of support envisioned.