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PARC Cuts Energy Waste in Waste Water
Can a low-energy water treatment system prod water utilities to consider new technology?
19 October 2012 | MIT Technology Review
by Martin LaMonica
"PARC has parlayed its expertise in printing to develop a less energy-intensive method for treating wastewater. Municipal water utilities rarely adopt new technology, but a PARC-led project suggests that energy-saving innovations could fuel interest in water technologies...
The grant is funded by the California Energy Commission, a clear reminder of how closely related water and energy are. It’s estimated that three percent of California’s energy is consumed in wastewater treatment."
PARC Labs: 10 Key Accomplishments During First Decade After Spinning Out of Xerox [slideshow]
IT & Network Infrastructure
14 August 2012 | eWEEK
by Chris Preimesberger
"Now, in 2012, PARC is celebrating another milestone: the 10-year anniversary of becoming incorporated as a wholly owned yet independent subsidiary of Xerox. Currently, PARC has a long list of customers, but it still does most of its business with its parent company and government agencies...There also has been a lot of recent innovation at PARC of which you might not be aware. Here is a selection of 10 highly successful projects—culled from several dozen candidates—that were created, funded and empowered at PARC in the last 10 years."
Filtering Dirty Water, By Losing the Filter [video]
14 May 2012 | Bloomberg
"Planet Forward’s Frank Sesno discusses the growing challenge of keeping water clean. He reports on Bloomberg Television’s 'Bloomberg West.'"
Stephen Hoover on Innovation: The business of breakthroughs [video]
Babbage: Science and Technology
27 October 2011 | The Economist
"In this Tea With the Economist video, PARC CEO Stephen Hoover talks about the business of invention, employing laser-printer know-how to purify water, and creating an internet of content."
Reinventing Innovation at PARC
28 July 2011 | Harvard Business Review HBR Blog Network
by Teresa Amabile and Steve Kramer
"A few weeks back, we saw firsthand a hotbed of innovation in a place that many observers had long ago given up on. Its resurrection convinces us that other organizations can do the same by creating a culture of consideration, coordination, and communication, and marrying that culture to a responsive business model. That resurgent hotbed is PARC (formerly Xerox PARC)…
Over the past several years, PARC — spun off as an independent, wholly-owned subsidiary of Xerox in 2002 — has reinvented itself as a font of innovation for Xerox and a variety of other organizations worldwide. It has delivered a stunning array of software and hardware innovations to global corporations, startups, and the U.S. government, and it does a brisk business in IP licensing.
How is it that this place, widely ridiculed 20 years ago, has revived? When we visited, we not only saw pieces of PARC's storied past, but we saw what happens there today, how it happens, and how innovation continues to thrive."
PARC: How to build a cleantech portfolio 101
[invited/ guest contributed]
6 April 2011 | SmartPlanet
by Scott Elrod
This is a guest post from PARC, which became an independent Xerox subsidiary in 2002. One of the first areas PARC examined was cleantech. What follows are some steps and thoughts on balancing the environment, impact and commercial realities...
PARC Battery Electrode Breakthrough
1 April 2011 | Printed Electronics World
"While the solar cell application has a near-term sales opportunity, commercial application of the technology to battery electrodes is probably 2-3 years out, Elrod noted. There is further opportunity for the method in air cathodes. The current density in an air-breathing electrode is proportional to the amount of electro-catalytic surface area that is exposed to air. The PARC technology provides a directed-assembly printing method for producing a greater proportion of this 'three-phase boundary' than conventional electrode manufacturing methods—up to 10x the air-breathing surface area of conventional electrodes."
The PARC Vision Of Clean Technology
29 March 2011 | EarthTechling
by Nino Marchetti
"The many office parks of the Silicon Valley hold a myriad of technology firms large and small trying to make a name for themselves in the annals of history. There are obvious giants like Apple and HP, but another player, Xerox, is one which can be credited with a chunk of the modern technology we take for granted. The company many are most familiar with in regards to copiers is also the founder of PARC, a research and development subsidiary that is independent and wholly owned. It has been known for inventions and game changers such as laser printing, the graphical user interface and Ethernet connectivity.
PARC has recently turned its attention to the developing cleantech space, focusing on areas like an experimental system for modeling and evaluation of geothermal reservoirs. To get a better handle on what PARC has in mind around a cleantech tomorrow, we turned to Dr. Scott Elrod, who directs the organization’s efforts in this area."
On the importance of government-supported R&D [video]
2 March 2011 | Popular Mechanics/ self
by Michael Belfiore
"I caught up with Scott Elrod...while we were both at the 2nd annual ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit near Washington.
In this era of government cutbacks, I think it’s important to underline the importance of continued public funding for long-term technology research and development that may not lead to profitable products for some time.
In this video, I asked Elrod to describe the importance of government funding to some of his company’s work."
Why the U.S. Must Promote Engineering
America will suffer in global competition without reengineering its attitudes toward engineering...
2 March 2011 | Bloomberg BusinessWeek
"The PARC Hydrodynamic Separation technology is a low-cost, energy efficient technology whose potential applications include municipal water treatment and pretreating seawater for desalination. Given how critical the shortage of drinkable water is all over the world, this is an exciting breakthrough."
PARC scientist built a machine that purifies water through movement [video]
23 November 2010 | SmartPlanet
by Boonsri Dickinson
"I went with the SmartPlanet video crew to PARC to visit Lean’s cluttered laboratory to see the water inventor in his element and to see exactly how the device worked...
...There’s a real market for a machine like this."
PARC CEO: Past, present, and future [video]
5 November 2010 | SmartPlanet
by Larry Dignan
"SmartPlanet's Larry Dignan talks with Palo Alto Research Center CEO Mark Bernstein about the research lab's rich history, its current business model as a subsidiary of Xerox, and new areas of focus, including clean tech, concentric networking, and contextual information delivery."
VCs and Solar Startups
Is there still room for new technology and VC investment in the solar industry?
3 November 2010 | Greentech Media
by Eric Wesoff
"The solar market continues its meteoric growth. No other renewable energy market has grown this fast for this long. A number of solar vendors have entered the 'one gigawatt capacity club' and the sheer heat in the market has convinced a bunch of Fortune 500 firms to enter the field. Along with this growth, however, has come falling ASPs, excess capacity and intensified competition. Solar panels produce electrons and electrons are arguably a commodity product. That makes solar panels look like commodities, as well. Is there still for room for next-generation technology and new companies in the solar field? Are there still opportunities for solar startups and their VC investors? The Fountainblue organization put on an event at Palo Alto's PARC with solar investors and entrepreneurs and tried to answer those questions.
The panelists: Scott Elrod, VP, Director of Hardware Systems Laboratory, PARC. Elrod believes that the current crop of U.S. concentrated solar power (CSP) projects are going to run into "regulatory roadblocks" and has concerns over their water usage..."
PARC applies IT innovation to cleantech problems
21 October 2010 | ZDNet
by Heather Clancy
"Much has been made about the 40th anniversary of PARC, which started life as the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. What you might not have heard is that approximately 10 percent of the research facility’s research and development activities are now focused on cleantech innovation. I recently spoke with Scott Elrod, a PARC vice president and who is manager of what PARC calls its Cleantech Innovation Program (CIP).
Elrod says there are four primary areas where PARC has a role to play in cleantech: Energy efficiency, water purification, solar energy and carbon emissions capture. 'We created this with no background in those markets but in strong competency areas that we thought could be applied to cleantech,' he says.
Not surprisingly, the facility’s roots in LCD and printer research — PARC has more than 1,800 patents — have been called upon for at least one of these research areas, water purification..."
Silicon Nanowires for Solar, Desalination Via Gravity on Tap at PARC’s 40th
The legendary lab turns 40. Here is what’s next. Video too.
23 September 2010 | Greentech Media
by Michael Kanellos
"...many of the presentations focused on how the lab managed to come up with and popularize some of its storied inventions, while also looking toward the future."
Inside the labs of PARC
23 September 2010 | SmartPlanet
by Deborah Gage
"Not all of PARC’s projects were hits, though, and over time, making a profit from the lab became more important to Xerox. So in 2002 it spun PARC out as a subsidiary. PARC’s researchers now work with government agencies and private companies in addition to Xerox, whose managers want PARC’s inventions commercialized where possible."
Innovation PARCs here
Palo Alto Research Center that paved way for PCs in the '70s is far from fading, but now looking to solar and other new technologies
22 September 2010 | San Jose Mercury News
by Troy Wolverton
"While acclaimed for inventing the laser printer, the desktop interface for PCs and the idea of 'ubiquitous computing' that paved the way for the PalmPilot and iPad, PARC isn't mired in the past. If anything, PARC, which was spun off from Xerox in 2002, has a broader mission today...
'PARC has not just survived but it's absolutely thriving,' said Paul Saffo, a longtime valley watcher and the managing director of foresight at San Francisco-based Discern Analytics. 'It's a vibrant organization that is still helping reinvent the future. ...An astounding number of the foundational ideas for Silicon Valley came out of PARC,' Saffo said."
Tech helps fuel green businesses
16 April 2010 | CNET News Green Tech
by Martin LaMonica
"It can be tempting to dismiss talk of sustainability in business as greenwash...But for someone who follows green-technology business developments every day, it reminded me of how deep the potential is for tech and business innovation. And in many cases, the Web and IT play a significant role, particularly for us consumers. Here are some of the ideas that were floating around...
"'We're looking at things in different ways. We're looking through the lens of sustainability and developing new technologies to address really big problems,' said Scott Elrod, vice president and director of hardware systems Laboratory at PARC, which is developing technologies for cheaper water treatment or techniques to convert carbon dioxide from power plants into a liquid fuel."
Scaling, collaboration are keys to maintaining U.S. cleantech edge
[invited/ guest contributed]
1 April 2010 | EE Times
by Scott Elrod
"...Why is this trend telling? The consequence of such slow materials development is that a new or complex materials like nanostructured photovoltaics do not have a real shot at mitigating global warming...Given the math, it is clear that global warming needs to be addressed by rapidly scaling the technologies that are already proven at gigawatt scales (wind, PV, nuclear), and by implementing energy savings technologies that are not based on radically new materials. So, while it might be possible for a technology or company to be a "winner" in terms of VC investment, this is not the same as winning against global warming. With those realities in mind, I highlight several promising technologies from the ARPA-Energy event:.."
Can this egg beater double the power output of wind farms?
If you make mini-tornadoes, you can get more power, says Wind Harvest
24 March 2010 | Greentech Media
by Michael Kanellos
"Vortexes might sound a bit New-Agey: Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids are alleged to be massive energy vortexes. But companies such as Watreco in Sweden and PARC are similarly trying to harness the physical forces generated of water vortexes to reduce the cost of desalination, water purification, and/or producing algae fuels. Vortexes also explain why fish can stay stable in onrushing currents and bicyclists or animals can travel in packs with less effort."
Algae Company #60 Takes Design Cues From Servers, Telecom
13 November 2009 | greentechmedia
by Michael Kanellos
"Bioreactor design remains one of the principal areas of research for companies hoping to grow algae in large quantities...Separating the water from algae – perhaps the biggest technological hurdle today – can also be impacted by the bioreactor design. (PARC has come up with a way to use a vortex to separate algae.)"
PARC overflowing with new ideas
9 October 2009 | BBC News
by Ian Hardy
"Bo Begole, manager of the ubiquitous computing area in PARC, is working on a project that allows computers to recognize our presence immediately and react accordingly - one application of the technology could be in a changing room in a clothing shop...In another part of the building, PARC researchers are working on a centrifugal water filtration system that separates molecules without using membrane barriers and - at the same time - saves energy, vast amounts of equipment and space. Meng Lean, principal scientist at PARC, says: 'One possible use for the equipment in the future is seawater purification, which many see as vital as the world gets warmer.'"
PARC’s Solution for Algae Fuel: Going Down the Drain
A technology for water purification and toner cartridges could cut the onerous cost of getting algae out of water.
25 September 2009 | Greentech Media
by Michael Kanellos
"PARC has built a prototype that can cycle 1,000 liters of fluid a minute and is now seeking a grant in conjunction with a major oil company from the Department of Energy to experiment with it on a larger scale...If it works on a large scale, scientifically calibrated swirling could become one of the more notable advances in algae in the past few years. Separating the algae from water sounds easy, but it's time-consuming and energy intensive...PARC's research seems destined to draw other companies into this space as well."
Photos: Inside the Palo Alto Research Center
10 February 2009 | CNET News [slideshow]
by James Martin
"In 1970, Xerox Corporation founded the PARC with the charter to create information architecture...recently showed CNET News around the now-independent facility where laser printing and Ethernet networking -- among many other innovations -- got their start. Come along on our tour."
CIO Sessions: PARC VP, hardware systems laboratory: Scott Elrod [video]
Staying on the edge of innovation
2 December 2008 | ZDNet.com
by Dan Farber
Scott Elrod, VP of PARC's Hardware Systems Laboratory talks about PARC's Cleantech Innovation Program and what it takes to stay on the edge of innovation.
The Paper Chasers
Isn't it ironic: Xerox is hoping it can profit by teaching companies how to reduce their printing.
21 November 2008 | Newsweek
by Daniel Lyons
"PARC scientists have discovered something surprising: their expertise in printing transfers surprisingly well to technologies like solar panels. PARC's expertise in particle manipulation, developed while researching toners, has led to a water-filtration system that uses much less energy than conventional methods; it could find use in municipal water-treatment plants and desalinization plants."
PARC, Still Making a Difference
23 September 2008 | Conde Nast Portfolio
by Kevin Maney
"...Microsoft bought a search technology company called Powerset for an alleged $100 million. Powerset was built on technology licensed from PARC. [PARC] has also won some attention in the past week for unveiling a way to print documents so the ink disappears in a day, allowing the paper to be reused."
Water scarcity woes point to big opportunities in desalination
12 June 2008 | VentureBeat
by Lee Bruno
"According to Meng Lean, manager of microfluidic systems at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), the energy cost of desalination runs at about eight times that of conventional water... PARC researchers have been working on membrane-less filtration systems that have a very low energy cost [that] ...could eventually be used in pre-treatment for desalination systems."
Breakthrough in efficient water recycling
Invention from Palo Alto scientist helps efficient water recycling
11 June 2008 | abc7news
PARC scientist "Meng Lean is...recycling a lot of dirty water. The key to cleaning the water is found in lightweight disks or spiral filtration system... 'If you are looking at gray water, which is for agriculture or...where you don't need to drink it, then this is sufficient. You can just use this and it will be ready to go,' said Lean."
Low-Energy Water Filtration
A new membrane-free water-purification system uses small amounts of energy.
12 May 2008 | Technology Review
by Lee Bruno
"...researchers at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) have been...incorporating scientific insights from the physics of toner particle movements into a low-energy water-filtration device that doesn't use membranes... Lessons learned about particle toner were used for PARC's biological agent detection system and for the water purifier."
Government funding could lift Bay Area water investment sector
5 May 2008 | VentureBeat
by Jeremy Jacquot
"Because water is still relatively cheap, there is an opportunity for an ambitious startup or two to capitalize on the coming shortages by developing cheaper, more effective water recycling technologies. The Palo Alto Research Center...is working on particle manipulation technologies that could be scaled up for applications like desalination and membrane-free filtration."
Toner Tech Cleans Water
2 May 2008 | Greentech Media
by Jennifer Kho
"Toner might not sound like something that could help clean water, but the Palo Alto Research Center...is using an electrostatic technology used to move toner powder along a surface -- and that took a detour to help the Army move particles of biological weapons, such as anthrax spores, together in one place so they would be easier to detect..."
Xerox's PARC to Spin Out Solar Startup
2 May 2008 | Greentech Media
by Jennifer Kho
"The Palo Alto Research Center plans to launch a venture-capital-backed company that can improve solar cells' efficiency with thinner electricity-conducting grid lines. The center also hopes to commercialize a low-energy water-filtration technology, reusable printing paper and energy-management software for data centers, all in the next year."
Xerox plans the future of today
1 May 2008 | BBC News
by Maggie Shiels
"A rare glimpse of the future has been given by Xerox at its famed Palo Alto Research Centre...On show were a handful of innovations including re-usable paper, environmentally friendly plastic, solar power, water filtering and a cell detection method that could help save lives."
PARC: As Silicon Valley as it Gets
1 May 2008 | Yahoo! Finance Tech ticker
by Sarah Lacy
"...There's one place in Silicon Valley where Apple, Google, Yahoo, and any other modern computing or Internet company can trace its roots back to, and that's Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center. It was started in the 1970s to create 'the architecture of information...' Xerox's chief technology officer, Sophie Vandebroek, takes us on a tour of PARC..."
A Peek Inside PARC
Silicon Valley's fabled invention machine shows its latest tech
29 April 2008 | Popular Science
by Sean Captain
"If technology were a religion, the...Palo Alto Research Center would be one of the holiest shrines on any pilgrimage. So much of our modern computer world was invented at this freewheeling innovation lab... PARC today is a more-focused operation that has to turn quick profits... But it's still a well-staffed corporate research lab..."
Xerox: More than just a paper company
28 April 2008 | abc7news.com
by Tomas Roman
"Scientists at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) are showing off some diverse innovations. 'We are looking at how is it that we can have an impact on things that really matter to people,' says PARC President Mark Bernstein. "
How PARC sees printers boosting clean tech
Dust, heat, bright light, chaos. The inside of copiers share a lot of characteristics with the outside world.
2 April 2008 | CNET News.com
by Michael Kanellos
PARC "...is examining ways of taking technology and ideas originally devised for copiers and printers into the clean-tech market. A lot of the components and ideas at work inside printers exist to control physical forces and objects in a constantly changing environment. Thus, they should be useful in channeling sunlight or other phenomena on a larger scale."
Special Report: Sustainable Tech -- Cleantech Innovations
18 March 2008 | BusinessWeek
by Rachael King
"The term 'cleantech' refers to renewable, sustainable, and environmentally safe technologies. Researchers at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), a unit of Xerox, are exploring ways to develop cost-effective clean technologies that meet industry needs. Joining me today is Scott Elrod, Director of PARC's Cleantech Innovation Program."
Xerox and PARC on Comeback Trail with Cleantech and Other Technologies
6 March 2008 | SiliconValleyWatcher
by Tom Foremski
"'PARC was spun out so that we could harness the entrepreneurial spirit of our staff. When you hire exceptional people you don't want to narrow their focus on technologies that are just useful for Xerox,' says [Xerox CTO Sophie] Vandebroek. 'You want to be able to allow them to find commercial opportunities in adjacent sectors.'
An inside tour of PARC's cleantech projects
Famous for computing breakthroughs like the GUI and ethernet, PARC is now a cleantech hotbed.
15 February 2008 | cleantech.com
by Dallas Kachan
"PARC is using its new status as an independent business to leverage its almost 40-year history in IT, mass production, microfluidics and other scientific expertise for a variety of mostly corporate clients...unlike the government focus of other research institutes. And now, there are a number of interesting cleantech-specific initiatives underway.."