Archive for June, 2010

les Nouvelles: Journal of the Licensing Executives Society International

June 28, 2010 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Media Coverage

Cheryl Perkins, Jeffrey Lindsay and Mukund Karanjikar were featured in the June 2010 issue of les Nouvelles for their book, “Conquering Innovation Fatigue.”

Click the image below to view the article.

Friday Fun: What Motivates You?

June 25, 2010 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool videos, Interesting links

If you haven’t seen this yet, take a look. This is a great example of how to inspire your people to be more innovative by helping them work in their “sweet spot.”


Amyris: A Partner in Open Innovation for Sustainable Consumer Products and Biofuels

In our ongoing work on analyzing the intellectual property landscape in biofuels, one interesting company we’ve encountered is Amyris, an integrated renewable products company. Amyris was founded in 2003 by Kinkead Reiling, Neil Renninger, and Jack D. Newman who met at Berkeley. The company is now located in Emeryville, California. With a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, they first developed their technology under a non-profit initiative to provide a reliable and affordable source of artemisinin, an anti-malarial therapeutic. It was viewed as a long-shot, but they found success that led to growth into other areas. They are now developing new microbial strains that can produce other molecules from renewable feedstocks. This industrial synthetic biology platform is providing alternatives to a broad range of petroleum-sourced products. he extremely useful molecule farnesene is an important part of their business. It provides a compound that can be used to produce flavors, perfumes, detergents, cosmetics, biodiesel, and other products.

This week Amyris announced a record number of deals and partnerships for a single week (a record among bioenergy companies, according to Biofuels Digest). These partnerships include P&G, Total, Soliance, Cosan, M&G Finanziaria, and Shell:

Amyris has taken it up a notch with a series of stunners surrounding its synthetic farsenene, which it has named Biofene – the first product that Amyris is seeking to produce at commercial scale.

Beyond its success this week with Biofene announcements, which are the basis for the P&G, M&G and Soliance partnerships — there are the broader arrangements with Cosan to develop a platform in renewable chemicals, and the equity agreement with Total that will provide needed capital as well as a broader platform for Amyris’s expansion into hydrocarbon fuels.

The mysterious agreement with Shell, regarding diesel, is one to watch. The decidedly vague disclosure was buried in Amyris’ amended S-1A registration statement, but not otherwise mentioned in a flurry of press releases from the company as it promotes its expansion in this pre-IPO environment. Shell Western Trading & Supply is one of 17 Shell trading companies that buy and sell to customers within and outside of Shell.

This news shows an interesting example of companies forming partnerships with an innovative start-up with great technology and apparently highly valuable IP. According to my Patbase search, Amyris has 21 patent families, quite a large number for such a young company. They clearly have been active and aggressive in pursuing patent protection, and those patents are critical for the meaningful partnerships they are now forming. It’s a great unfolding story of open innovation and technology transfer.

The story extends beyond the US. They have operations in Brazil, for example, which is one of the world’s hotbeds for bioenergy, bioproducts, and collaborative innovation.

The innovative laser – a look forward and back

As I wrote this past weekend in my column, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the laser, a scientific innovation that has become commonplace in our everyday lives.

Combining scientific theory and brilliant engineering, it is one of the most innovative, fascinating, and commercially successful devices ever built. Lasers provide precise, selective and controlled high-power light beams for a variety of commercial and scientific uses.

In 1917 Albert Einstein (of course) first theorized the process that might make lasers possible. He called it “stimulated emission” (hence the “s” and the “e” in the laser acronym to go with “light amplification” and “radiation”), and his idea was harnessed in the first laser-like device (called a maser) built in 1959 by two Bell Laboratory scientists Charles Townes and Arthur Schawlow. Their device was actually a microwave device, not a visible one, but their theory and publications led to the construction of the first light laser in 1960.


Help Dad go green with these seven innovative gift ideas

With Father’s Day coming up this Sunday, I thought it would be nice to blog about all the unique “Green” gift ideas for Dad. Most of these gift ideas I found online:

1. How about a Grow Your Own Beer Garden Kit (pictured on the left), which includes the barley, hops and wheat seeds, plus a place for them to sprout, the plant stakes, gravel and decals. It costs about $25 over at ThinkGeek.

2. If your dad likes to cook, consider an oven that uses the sun for energy. You can find the Sun Oven for about $300, or you can find online directions on how to make your own sun oven with cardboard for under $40.

3. Lots of dads want to know if their household appliances are costing them more than necessary in energy costs. He can use a nifty device called the Kill A Watt (pictured on the right). He just plugs the appliance into the outlet and a meter tells him how much energy is being used.

4. What dad doesn’t like to control the remote? You might want to check into energy-saving remotes like this one over at

5. Usually a game of golf involves green in nature only. But now dads who enjoy sustainability can tee off with 100-percent recyclable golf balls by Dixon Earth.  Along with being recycled, the manufacturing process of these balls use no lead, cobalt, tungsten or heavy metals. You can order a package of six dozens for $40.

6. Dads who like to hike but need a charge might enjoy this solar panel backpack over at Amazon. At $220, it’s great for powering up cell phone batteries on the trail.

7. If you or your dad is a Father’s Day traditionalist (as in neckties and wallets), How about this innovative gift idea: a wallet made out of recycled neckties and suits! Designer Laura Skelton created the outside of the wallet from discarded silk ties, and lined the inside with a solid gray material from men’s suits. They sell for $28 over at UncommonGoods.

Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there!

ALMA Future Fare

June 8, 2010 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Event Info

Cheryl Perkins is featured as a special guest for the 2010 Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency Future Fare event on June 17, 2010.

The event is being held from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Fantasyland Hotel Ballroom at the West Edmonton Mall.

For more information on the event, go to the ALMA Future Fare website.

Click here to listen to a brief audio clip from Cheryl regarding the event.

Why trend-watchers may want to take note of Foursquare

I’ve been looking into the Foursquare application lately, noting that some of my staff seem to love checking in to venues they visit.

At first you might think it is easy to dismiss the mobile social-gaming phenom that awards the most frequent patron the title of mayor.  (Then you hear that some dirty politics may be developing around Foursquare mayorship, as the Wall Street Journal recently reported.)

BusinessWeek recognizes Foursquare’s co-founder Naveen Selvadurai as one of the best young technology entrepreneurs.

Check out this video on his take about why so many people are checking in everywhere they go:

Is Foursquare a fad or a phenomenon? That’s what the folks over at asked a few weeks ago. Mindshare says that if 2009 was the year of Twitter, then 2010 most certainly must be all about Foursquare.  And with more than one million users, they might be right!

Those who want to understand how technology and social trends impact the face of their business might want to pay attention to Foursquare.

The Future of Innovation

Perkins contributed an excerpt titled, “Future of Innovation… Personal Passion and Strategic Collaboration” in The Future of Innovation, edited by Bettina von Stamm and Anna Trifilova.

Read her contribution here.

The Future of Innovation