(661e) Shaping Technology Innovation: A Multistage, Multiscale Sustainability Assessment and Decision Support Framework

Authors: 
Gerami, R., Wayne State University
Huang, Y., Wayne State University
Industries are experiencing a new wave of technology innovation largely due to the national endeavor for advanced manufacturing in the thrust areas of national importance. The accelerated innovations entail rapid transfer of emerging technologies into design and manufacturing of high performance products. Although the technologies become an engine of change and progress, the net profit brought to the environment and society could be questionable, if sustainability principles are not fully incorporated into technology development and application phases. Unfortunately, there have been nearly no systematic methodologies and effective tools to ensure the sustainability of technology innovations. This renders an urgent research need to develop methodologies and tools for inventors and organizations to evaluate potential sustainability risks of emerging technologies.

In this paper, we will introduce a framework for conducting comprehensive sustainability assessment and impact prediction of emerging technologies. The framework will be composed of a coherent set of concepts, propositions, principles, methodologies, and a tool that could assist organizations, researchers, and policy makers in shaping technology innovation for industrial sustainability. The framework has been tested through investigating new technologies for nanopaint design and nanopaint-based automotive coating manufacturing in highly sustainable process systems. Comprehensive sustainability performance comparison against current painting material and application will be presented.

________________________________________________________________________

* All correspondence should be addressed to Prof. Yinlun Huang (Phone: (313) 577-3771; E-mail: yhuang@wayne.edu).