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  Innovative Products Research & Services, Inc.
                        a 501(c)(3) non profit organization based in Massachusetts
                                Putting Creativity to Good Use IPRS Inventor Highlight1

 

Environmental Solutions

An Overview

At IPRS we are engaged in research and development of innovative products and services. Our name speaks to who we are and what we do.  We celebrate innovation and innovators and advocate for systems that support the inventive process.  We conduct research into developing knowledge that will lead to new products to solve substantial problems. 

Our focus has been on channeling creativity into understanding factors that contribute to better human health addressing particular diseases and/or nutrition issues.  But, enjoying good health is also about living in an environment free of harmful substances.  Air and water pollution can have many adverse effects on health, in general, and many chemicals or materials of biological origin may have deleterious effects depending upon our sensitivities and their toxicities. By extension, we are concerned about climate change and how human activity contributes to global warming, and how that, in turn, impacts our environment, health and our food chain.

IPRS Chief Scientist, Dr. Donald Job, has a long term interest in the environment. He developed and taught a number of courses on Environmental Biology at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) a number of years ago. A common theme was the interaction of different components of our society and different disciplines, ranging from the technical disciplines to sociological, government and business. This led to an interest in studying systems and computer simulations of complex systems; systems that often behave counter-intuitively.  This interest has carried over into the assessment of environmental solutions; namely, considering many technical disciplines as well as interaction with marketing, economic and political realities.

One of the realities is that there is often a large gap between available technology and application of that technology to meet people’s needs.  It is in working with hundreds of inventors and inventions that we have come to appreciate the hurdles that must be overcome in gaining acceptance and application of anything that is novel or unfamiliar, whether that be a new product, a new procedure or a new way of looking at things.  There is an inherent inertia on the part of organizations, as well as individuals, to maintain the status quo even when there are obvious deficiencies in “the way things have always been done.”  At the corporate or government agency level there are also often strong forces at work to preserve the current system.  This may involve financial incentives, political pressures from special interest groups, stakeholder positions of power and influence, or just plain indifference to the harm that might come to others.

As an example of such hurdles, we share the story of one very clever inventor/engineer, Dr. Dae Sik Kim, who has been motivated by the desire to create solutions to problems that impact all of our lives. The transportation industry is a major contributor to environmental pollution and climate change. As the number of vehicles on the road has grown greatly over the last fifty years, so too has air pollution.  See how Dr. Kim has addressed this issue Inventor's Highlight. His inventions have been directed to removal of lead from gasoline, and to reduction in harmful combustion products from internal combustion engines; namely, carbon monoxide, volatile organics (such as methane), nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides and particulates.  A solution was developed, a prototype car produced and the invention patented in the early 1970's. His solution also applies to emissions from other fossil fuel burning transportation means including trucks, ships and trains.

To this day the key concepts developed by the inventor remain ignored by automakers and alternate solutions are being pursued such as hybrid and all electric vehicles. This is despite the fact that with Dr. Kim's designs one can achieve vehicles that have a long range (over 450 miles between fuelings), minimal polluting (well below current emissions standards), high efficiency (over 90 mpg), are safe, high performing and cost effective (under $15,000 retail).  Spin-off technologies (using similar novel combustion processes) are also available that could reduce emissions and particulate matter from sources outside the transportation sector.

In short, what is needed to implement new technologies is a coming together of technical and manufacturing persons, along with business/investor interests, and the encouragement of advocacy groups and the buying public.  Lessons from other stories of technology adoption also indicate that without the additional support of state and federal  government entities/agencies, successful implementation is unlikely.  Government support may include such things as tax incentives as well as setting emission standards, and enforcement policies. These are tactics already used to promote other technologies. See more details on the pages below under "Role of Government" and "Policy Development."  Of particular concern are the investments being made to support an infrastructure for electric vehicles when the benefits of such may be limited to certain areas and certain groups of people.  This is explored in our pages on Economic Analysis.

For information on Advocacy Groups please follow this link: Role of Advocates

For information on the Role of Government see the following link: Role of Government

For additional details on the Transportation Sector see the following Transportation Sector

See a review of various approaches to encouraging pollution mitigation and carbon reduction under  Policy Development.

We invite readers of this website to offer suggestions for support to hasten the adoption of innovative technologies developed by Dr. Kim.  This might be as public advocates, making introductions to government leaders, corporations or investors, or offering technical or financial support.  We welcome your participation.  Our contact email is:  myhealth@iprsinc.org
 

  

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