(204b) Green Technology: Innovation and Regulatory Trends | AIChE

(204b) Green Technology: Innovation and Regulatory Trends

This presentation will discuss current innovation trends and regulatory developments in green technology, which could influence innovation and growth in these industries in the coming years. Green technology is growing and is everywhere around us. It includes electric vehicles, solar cells, programmable thermostats, recycling technology, and many more. According to one source, “[e]vidence of green technology shifting from an alternative investment to a mainstay of the economy is all around us. Around 40% of UK homes and businesses had a smart meter installed by the end of September 2020; on Boxing Day 2020, wind turbines provided the majority (50.7 per cent) of the nation’s electricity.” California now requires the installation of solar panels on new homes up to three stories high. However, despite the growing prevalence of green technology in the US and abroad, trends show that US patent application filings in this technology have been decreasing for several years. That trend may reverse if governmental investment increases the capital available for innovation.

Recent developments indicate the US government will be investing significantly in the research and development of green technology over the next several years. Indeed, two of the Biden administration's goals are to usher legislation that “makes a historic investment in clean energy and climate research and innovation” and “incentivizes the rapid deployment of clean energy innovations across the economy, especially in communities most impacted by climate change.” Innovators in this space stand to gain access to billions of dollars that can fund research and development. This could also mean that many of these innovators’ patent rights could be funded by the US government. Accordingly, this presentation will discuss the benefits and drawbacks federal government funding may have on a US patent holder’s rights.

The presentation will also include real-life examples illustrating the issues mentioned above. That discussion will focus on examples showing how green innovators and entrepreneurs have taken an idea from concept to patent, achieved funding via their intellectual property, and developed a prototype or pilot plant before heading to market. The presentation will discuss how these strategies can be implemented by researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs in the coming years in light of the industry trends and potential regulatory changes.