From Nanotechnologies to Element 2

For anyone wondering about the recent silence, I’ve been busy with a new venture in hydrogen refuelling called Element 2. During the past thirty years of pushing atoms and electrons around in scientific instruments I’ve crossed paths with the hydrogen economy multiple times, and in every case the bright ideas such as storing hydrogen in carbon nanotubes have spluttered to …

Nanotech and Water: It Took Ten Years Just To Get To The Starting Line

It is just over four years since I drove through an ice storm in Georgia and South Carolina for the meeting that led to the founding of G2O Water Technologies.  In case anyone thinks that this was the toughest bit of entrepreneurship, let me give you the background story. My involvement with water began in September 2004 when along with …

Where 3D Printing Meets Graphene Meets Smart Textiles

I’ve spent 2015 working on three of the companies I co-founded, G2O Water, G-Heat and De-Heat and filling in the time waiting for investors to complete due diligence or product design cycles to be cranked through working with a range of other disruptive and innovative businesses. But the one where I have had the most exciting time is where 3D printing …

Better Growth, Better Climate, Better Innovate!

The New Climate Energy Report “Better Growth, Better Climate” from The Global Commission On The Economy And Climate was released today, with the encouraging conclusion that through technological innovation and global coordination we can support nine billion people without triggering catastrophic climate change – maybe. It was of immediate interest as I’m in the middle of a series of calculation on …

The Circular Economy

The circular economy has become a bit of a buzz word recently but I like this illustration which accompanied a blog post from the World Economic Forum which quite succinctly illustrates what we mean. The reason for the interest in the circular economy among policy makers is the simple fact that people are getting richer, demanding more ‘stuff’ – whether it …

Graphene Based Heating – From Shovelling Coal to Smart Thermostats

I have written before about how industries like construction are almost unchanged by the waves of innovation in data and materials that have changed almost every other industry from pharmaceuticals to automobiles. I have also co founded a number of companies such as the Kirkstyles Innovation Group and G-Heat that use advanced materials such as graphene and other nanomaterials such as …

Innovation Starvation or Risk Avoidance?

While working on our report on Using Emerging Technologies to Address Global Risks, one of my favourite SciFi authors, Neal Stephenson, popped up with an essay on Innovation Starvation. It echoes Tyler Cowen‘s arguments that all the easy big stuff has been done,  and that all we have left to look forward to are incremental improvements rather than world changing …

What Is Technology For?

(Foreword to Using Emerging Technologies to Address Global Risks , October 2011) This is a question that often comes up in our dealings with global policy makers who spend huge sums on scientific research while simultaneously being fearful of its consequences. Many believe that it is somehow important for the economy in an undefined and non-quantifiable manner, or that it is some …

Nanotechnology in Electronics, a Primer on Life Cycle Risk Assessment

The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, which is not a biker gang but “a diverse organization engaged in research, advocacy and grassroots organizing to promote human health and environmental justice in response to the rapid growth of the high-tech industry”  has released a report looking at “Nanotechnology in Electronics: The Risk to Human Health and the Environment” It doesn’t really add much to …