While meeting with a residential home building products company, we first described to them a treated roof tile that would warm up and prevent snow and ice from accumulating on roofs during the winter. Our customer responded politely but unenthusiastically, correctly pointing out that this application would require extensive roof surface coverage and therefore would likely be fairly costly. We then shared the concept of a treated house gutter (e.g. it would heat up to prevent ice dams from forming and potentially causing damage to one's home in sub-freezing conditions). They were excited about this second application and quickly offered to supply us with gutter samples so that we could treat them for a simulated use test.
Same technology, two different product applications, dramatically different customer reactions. This illustrated that for any given technology, there will likely be more exciting and business-relevant applications than a single, specific physical embodiment submitted for corporate review might suggest. For instance, our customer might have proposed, "Could we use your technology to create heated floor mats to enable our customers to keep snow and ice from accumulating on their walkways, driveways and doorsteps?" (Yes, they could). Or, for heated bathroom flooring, for built-in patio heating, for a heated outdoor dog house, or for any of a number of additional options.
When corporate personnel assigned to review external technologies don't take the time to consider or imagine alternative use applications they may (prematurely) reject them...mostly because a business appropriate use application wasn't obvious. Unfortunately, once rejected everyone misses out on value that they could potentially have created.
Setting possible intellectual property considerations aside for a moment (which I am confident could be satisfactorily addressed), I feel that companies should assign new business creators together with technical personnel to review solicited and unsolicited external technologies. This, rather than having a technical review alone serve as the key filter for additional consideration. By doing this, I fully expect they would identify many highly relevant and attractive applications and opportunities that would not have emerged otherwise.
(Click on the link below for a brief demonstration of our thermal coating. Please contact me with your interest).
Thermally Radiant Coating
"Connecting You With The Right Solutions" BFS Innovations, Inc.