Policy and Program Management
The United States has the largest solar resource of any industrialized country, and is positioned to capture significant benefits from wide scale use of clean energy and leadership in the global market for solar photovoltaics. However, to achieve these benefits, solar energy must achieve “grid parity,” cost competitiveness with other forms of energy. Reducing the cost of producing solar cells, PV components, and balance of systems hardware could drive solar PV to grid parity, unleashing this source of clean energy and establishing globally competitive PV manufacturing in the United States.
TechVision21 helped a consortium of industry and university partners shape the vision for a PV manufacturing program that would achieve the needed manufacturing cost reductions. Of high interest to the U.S. Department of Energy, our client’s proposed PV manufacturing initiative won a multi-million dollar grant to implement the program, with TechVision21 assistance in developing the winning grant proposal.
Workforce Development/Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) Education and Workforce
TechVision21 worked with a Federal client to enhance and manage the department’s STEM education, recruitment, retention and workforce development initiatives. This included delivering a wide range of strategic planning, policy development, program management and analytical services. TechVision21 coordinated this work with other Federal agencies and hundreds of stakeholders including corporations, universities, non-profit organizations, museums and science centers.
TechVision21 helped create and execute a plan for outreach to a wide variety of external stakeholders at the national, state and local level, including private companies, universities and non-profit organizations. TechVision21 represented the client’s interests in interagency meetings throughout the Federal government including the National Science Foundation, the Intelligence Community and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, culminating in a forum for senior leadership and an anniversary report in 2012.
This project also included preparation of funding opportunity announcements for a STEM grant program, and a preliminary review and ranking of white papers, while facilitating, documenting and providing support for internal planning meetings, including a bi-weekly staff meeting with the Deputy Director.
TechVision21 evaluated the client’s needs for science and engineering professionals, and the department’s efforts to educate, train, attract and retain these workers. This included a comprehensive assessment of the client’s current STEM workforce and future needs, labor market trends and degree production that could affect the supply of STEM professionals and technological trends that could affect the STEM skill base.
TechVision21 recommended areas in which improvement was needed, such as matching STEM programming more closely to the department’s greatest STEM needs, creating pipelines of STEM skill development programming and recruitment, job candidate identification, sharing of information throughout the enterprise, marketing job openings and training opportunities, and creating a “one-stop-shop” web site to provide information to external and internal audiences.
Ocean Energy Program
The world’s oceans represent a vast untapped source of clean energy. For example, the solar energy absorbed by the oceans annually is equivalent to 4,000 times the energy consumed by humans. If less than one-tenth of one percent of this energy were converted into electric power, it would supply more than 20 times the electricity used in the United States per day. Technologies under development now could harness the energy from wave, tidal, and ocean thermal resources. To tap this energy, the U.S. Department of Energy is investing millions of dollars in research, development, demonstration and environmental studies.
TechVision21 helped a Fortune 500 client gain a range of government support for advancing its ocean energy technology. TechVision21 and its client:
- Shaped a new Department of Energy ocean energy program to ensure support for the client technology
- Secured legislative provisions that make the client technology eligible for Federal renewable energy production tax credits
- Secured a Department of Commerce commitment to reestablish the regulatory and licensing regime for demonstration and deployment of the client technology
- Won several multi-million dollar grants from the Departments of Energy and Defense to advance the technology
- Ignited Department of Defense activities to evaluate and deploy the client technology to power several key U.S. military bases around the world
Public Safety Communications
TechVision21 worked with a mid-sized telecommunications firm specializing in emergency communications solutions to promote a high-speed, high-volume WMD alerting system; bioterrorism alerting applications; and alerting and communications solutions for weather related emergencies.
These solutions were designed to address communications challenges arising out of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. The client had developed a secure, state-of-the-art high-speed, high-volume communications system with capabilities that could meet these challenges.
TechVision21 provided analysis, advice, strategic planning and project management support for the company efforts to introduce this system for law enforcement, homeland security, and the state and Federal first responder community.
TechVision21 drafted the strategic plan shaping the initiative and identified key stakeholders to advise the client on partnership opportunities. TechVision21 drafted and executed an outreach and education strategy, and conducted a series of briefings with Federal homeland security, law enforcement and first responders.
Research and Analysis
National Laboratory/Technology Transfer
Building on our years of experience developing and executing policy, TechVision21 provides guidance to federal entities. A national laboratory engaged TechVision21 to review and assess its efforts to revitalize its technology transfer program. The lab had been experimenting with a different approach and wanted to formalize its efforts in a policy paper. TechVision21 conducted a detailed assessment of the legislative context for technology transfer programs and the legal authorities under which the lab operates. We then assessed the viability of the lab’s experiment for broader application. We produced a white paper and slide presentation that the lab could use to showcase its innovative efforts. We held roundtables with other policy experts and engaged senior decision makers in the White House and Executive branch agencies to market the lab’s pilot program. These informal meetings served to expose the lab’s innovative concepts at the highest levels of the Administration and inform key policy decisions.