Companies wanting to participate in the Commerce Department's controversial Advanced Technology Program (ATP) face a new set of qualification rules. The changes have two major objectives. One is to encourage more consortia composed of a broad range of participants in ATP research ventures. The other is to ensure that big companies pay a majority of costs on their projects. From now on, corporations with large annual revenues must provide at least 60% of total project costs when applying as individual firms, not as part of joint ventures. Previously, all firms had been treated alike regardless of size. Companies applying as individual firms were not required to provide any specific amount as their part of the cost sharing. The aim of the ATP is to provide funding to industry to carry out R&D on high-risk, high-payoff technologies.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.