Subject: UFTO Note – “Breakthrough Technologies” Newsletter
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999
Special Offer to UFTO Member companies!
The note below, along with the free copy of the the newsletter, was mailed recently to the primary point of contact at each UFTO company. Contact Mills-McCarthy directly if you would like your own copy to review. Also attached, a story from the newsletter about UFTO.
For a number of years, Mills-McCarthy published the “ElectroTechnology Report” newsletter. This is being changed to “Breakthrough Technologies”. Some earlier material can be sampled at their old website http://www.electrotechnologies.com/
A new site is in preparation and will be available soon at http://www.breakthroughtechs.com
A publication of:
Mills-McCarthy & Associates Inc.
8319 Kerry Road
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
301.718.9600 fax 301.718.7806
ATTENTION UFTO MEMBERS
Attached is a complimentary copy of the February issue of the newsletter Breakthrough Technologies. Ed Beardsworth asked that we send you a copy both to bring to your attention the article about UFTO, and to invite you to subscribe.
This national newsletter focuses on the new and emerging technologies that may be of interest to electric utility customers. We have for years focused on the emerging, or “just over the horizon” technologies because of what they provide in helping us all to understand the direction of technology change. Often, subscribers find new opportunities, ideas for customer programs, and sometimes useful technologies for adding a little PR ‘shine’ to existing customer programs.
As an UFTO member, should you be interested in subscribing, we will provide you with a couple of complimentary benefits. We’ll send you the two most recent back issues (they will not be counted as part of the one-year subscription period) and a copy of our year-end 1998 Breakthrough Technologies book. The book, which normally retails for $199, contains over 100 articles from nearly three years of the newsletter.
If you’re interested, you can simply fax back the form below and we’ll invoice you.
FAX THIS FORM TO 301 718-7806 & we will invoice you.
o Please enter my subscription for $199 & ship my complimentary book & two immediate back issues.
FROM FEBRUARY 1999
A NEWSLETTER OF MILLS-MCCARTHY & ASSOCIATES INC.
301.718.9600 fax 301.718.7806 e-mail Mark_P_Mills@hotmail.com
Consortium Keeps Utilities Tech-Savvy Tracking Innovations from the National Labs
These days, it’s important for utilities to maintain their competitive edge by staying in step with every source of new ideas. One venerable and enormous source of technology ideas is the national laboratory system. The national labs continually generate new and innovative technologies: cheaper magnetic levitation for trains (BTR 4/98), electric solutions for difficult soil contamination (2/98), and plasma generated in the open air instead of a vacuum (10/97) for cleaning are just a few examples of the thousands of projects under way at the labs. Many of these projects have the potential to revolutionize industry and thus serve as important marketing and customer relation tools for utilities.
How is a utility to stay abreast of what’s going on at the labs, and sort the ‘wheat from the chaff’ to find those truly innovative technologies that are of particular interest to their customers? An ideal solution would be to assign someone to go out and visit the labs and generate a report customized for a particular geographical location, customer make up, etc. This is the approach that Ed Beardsworth has taken in his group which promises to be a utility’s “eyes and ears” at the national labs on a cost-shared basis. His group, Utility Federal Technology Opportunities (UFTO) is a multi-client program aimed at “investigating technologies of interest and benefit to energy utility companies in US government laboratories and agencies and elsewhere.”
“It’s nothing that the utilities couldn’t do themselves, it’s just impractical for them,” he told BTR. “I do it for them — a full-time extension of their staff — on a cost-shared basis.” Beardsworth explains that utilities need to know about new technologies for traditional reasons — cost reduction, enhanced efficiencies, etc., and for a new reason– competitive advantage. “I do the networking to uncover the opportunities that could be of competitive significance,” Beardsworth notes.
UFTO’s premise is that utilities need technology (both for traditional operational purposes, and for new business opportunities), and that the R&D programs of the U.S. government represent a huge repository of technology, much of which is directly or indirectly relevant to utilities.
Mission — possible
Beardsworth says the program maintains a mission to seek out those technologies obviously relevant for member utilities, and also to cover more subtle issues relating to the uses of new technologies. Other goals include acting as something of an “investigative reporter,” as well as producing a customized clipping service, staking out positions, lining up deals, and providing resources on call, including working with investors. Generic program research results are provided to all members, and also individualized for the needs of each member.
UFTO also provides conference coverage and updates. There is a membership limit of 15, so that a high level of service can be maintained. Membership currently includes 11 utilities — Cinergy, Northern States Power, Texas Utilities, Wisconsin Elec. Power, Commonwealth Edison, Electricite de France, Arizona Public Service, Central & South West, Southern Calif. Gas, KeySpan Energy, National Power (UK). UFTO makes extensive visits to facilities, and prepares detailed reports, summarizing programs, capabilities, culture, and technologies available to industry (often before they are publicized). “In the past several years, we’ve learned a great deal about the programs at nearly all the major DOE laboratories,” says Beardsworth. “We’ve developed personal relationships with the people in the labs, and they know to contact us when they have something to discuss with utilities.” Beardsworth says the laboratories benefit from the exposure. “We’re a marketing asset to them,” he says. They’re happy to have any help in publicizing and receiving support to bring projects to the commercial level. “When I go to a lab, I represent the consumer coming shopping. It’s free marketing support for the lab.”
Member Bill Muston, Texas Utilities, offers this: “UFTO gives us a sense of what is happening in the national labs on a very cost-effective, customized basis, without having to visit the labs.”
(For more information, contact Ed Beardsworth at 650-328-5670, fax 650-328-5675, e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit ufto’s website at http://www.ufto.com.)