- 0.26MGD FO-SWRO Hybrid for seawater desalination achieves 25% energy reduction compared to MF/SWRO - December 14, 2019
- NF-type FO membranes can potentially improve the commercial relevance of FO-based water treatment - July 14, 2019
- An overview of leading commercial and academic FO players - May 26, 2019
How can experts and commercial players within the FO field collaborate to promote the commercialization of forward osmosis?
The days are over, where companies can rely exclusively on internal R&D to bring new products to the market. Increasingly, innovations (i.e the processes of translating ideas or inventions into goods or services that creates value or for which customers will pay) take place in open innovation environments where both external and internal ideas and paths to markets are utilized to advance technologies commercially.
More precisely, open innovation (as originally coined by Henry Chesbrough) is:
A paradigm that assumes that firms can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas, and internal and external paths to market, as the firms look to advance their technology. Open Innovation combines internal and external ideas into architectures and systems whose requirements are defined by a business model.
So what does Open Innovation have to do with FO commercialization?
Compared to other membrane technologies with established billion $ markets, it is safe to say that FO technologies are still in the introductory stage of commercialization. This stage is characterized by a small market with low sales and high costs of cost of things like R&D, field testing, and marketing.
However, by applying the principles of open innovation through collaborations, partnerships, co-development, and licensing, companies within the FO field can shorten the duration of the introductory stage while at the same time reducing costs.
Facilitating the open innovation process
Already, efforts are made to promote collaboration across industrial players and research organizations within the FO field. The International Forward Osmosis Association, headed by key industry players, is a great example of disseminating information through physical meetings and summits.
Lately, ForwardOsmosisTech has also been gaining momentum to a point where the portal is now ready to take things to the next level and contribute even further to collaborative FO commercialization as an independent and transparent online knowledge portal.
When it comes to transparency there’s the small matter of Ed Woode……
Until now, ForwardOsmosisTech has been a hobby project where it was natural to write under the alias Ed Woode to keep roles separated. Now that the portal is moving to the next level, where transparency is key, it is in everyone’s best interest that the real site facilitator is revealed and steps forward.
In other words: “Ed Woode must die” in the very near future.
However, before we get so far, the future strategy of ForwardOsmosisTech must be clearly defined, which will be the topic of our next article.