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CLS 2014 Concurrent Tracks

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014  

Innovation – Track Leader: Christine Heckle, Corning Incorporated
    9:45 a.m. – 2:55 p.m.


9:45 – 10:40 a.m.

Innovation Strategies to Leverage Your Business, Martin J. Curran, executive vice president, innovation officer, Corning Incorporated

Innovation converts inventions into dollars. Successful innovation takes great inventions, rigorous processes, talented scientists, commercial leaders and the “right” customers. Many technology companies employ a gated approach to commercialize inventions while optimizing resource deployment. Corning Incorporated has been innovating for more than 160 years and is well known for inventions such as Thomas Edison’s light bulb, ceramic substrates for diesel engines, optical fiber for telecommunications and Corning® Gorilla® Glass for consumer electronics. While Corning uses a five stage innovation process for most of its programs, it also uses an “agile innovation process” for selected projects. Mr. Marty Curran, executive vice president and innovation officer of Corning, will talk about “agile innovation” and how Corning uses it strategically to advance new innovations with key customers.


10:45 – 11:40 a.m.

Patent Law in 2014: Act fast or get left behind, Steven M. Ritchey, partner, Thompson Coburn LLP

The 2011 America Invents Act was arguably the most significant change to U.S. patent law in more than 200 years. Join Thompson Coburn intellectual property partner Steve Ritchey for a look at the changes wrought by the AIA and other recent patent law developments. He’ll explain how innovators are responding and detail the strategies you can employ to take advantage of the new patent landscape. How much do you have to disclose about your innovation? Why it more problematic than ever to discuss your invention publically before filing for a patent? This session will answer these questions, cover patent fundamentals and coach you on the roadblocks and shortcuts you may encounter on the post-AIA “race” to the patent office.


1 – 1:55 p.m.

Ecosystem Approach to Disruptive Innovation, Anthony Nickens, vice president, energy and new business, Ceramatec, Inc.

Disruptive innovation is an overused word in today’s corporate America. Generating disruptive ideas and following through to ultimate commercialization of those is a daunting task to say the least. Since the challenge is so large and risks are high, many companies practice incremental innovation typically orchestrated in the stage gate or similar processes. But are these companies missing the opportunity to revolutionize their industries and significantly grow their businesses? Often times, core capabilities become core rigidities thereby preventing any out-of-the-box successes. Innovation challenges have become complex and disruptive solutions may exist only in the white space, generally considered outside of the sphere of influence of any given corporation. The talk will focus upon key ingredients and enablers to commercialize disruptive technologies. These enablers include the six “P”s: People, Passion, Persistence, Patience, Partners and Pesos. Nickens will “peal back the onion” on each of these “Ps” and highlight how Ceramatec generates innovative ideas and works with strategic partners to commercialize these ideas. The talk will include specific examples of past successes and lessons learned.


2 – 2:55 p.m.

Material Sourcing Challenges and Strategies, Michael N. Silver, CEO, American Elements

Today it is a constant refrain that the only way to rebuild middle class jobs in America is through new cutting edge innovation. It is said America simply needs to get back in the business of making things. While much of this is true, innovation is only the starting point. To manufacture the products flowing from great ideas, a nation must also have access to the critical materials on which the discoveries are based. The innovations of the 21st century will require massive amounts of advanced metals that are very different from those that mattered in the 20th century; metals often controlled by a single nation. Mr. Silver will explain how the growing power of these sovereign monopolies will impact high technology manufacturing in both developed and emerging nations in the 21st Century.



Manufacturing and Workforce Sustainability – Track Leader: Lora Cooper Rothen, Du-Co Ceramics
    9:45 a.m. – 11:40 a.m.


9:45 – 10:40 a.m.

Global Manufacturing Panel Discussion

  • Maximizing the Benefit of Manufacturing outside the United States While Protecting Intellectual Property, Daniel E. Tipsord, director of engineering, Trans-Tech, Inc; a subsidiary of Skyworks Solutions, Inc
    Today’s ceramic manufacturing environment finds many companies employing manufacturing outside the United States to remain cost competitive and better serve their customers. However, the risk of losing valuable intellectual property is rarely acceptable and must be addressed by technology companies wishing to explore the possibilities afforded outside the United States. This talk posits that manufacturing outside the United States is not an all or nothing proposition. Operations do not necessarily need to be moved outside the United States in their entirety to still benefit the company and its customers. A well constructed manufacturing plan can allow for high intellectual property processes and materials to remain protected while transferring low risk operations to others.
  • The Pluses and Minuses of Expanding Outside of the US. Where? Why? And When?, Bud Cass, managing member, Bud Cass Consulting LLC; former president and chairman, Advanced Cerametrics (ACI)
    Locating an off-shore operation is attractive for many reasons such as lax laws, cheap labor or proximity to customers. Once the logistics of locating in a foreign locale are completely vetted and the plusses outweigh the minuses, the underlying issues need to be looked at thoroughly before making the decision. It’s important to understand that you will not be in the US. You will not be covered by US laws. You will not be able to locate employees with similar labor skills or ethics and the political/cultural environment generally has a significant influence on your profitability. I will relate first- hand experience and make suggestions of what to expect, where to look and who should take the risk.


10:45 – 11:40 a.m.

The Resurgence of Manufacturing Including Four Trends You Should Not Ignore, Petra Mitchell, president, CEO, Catalyst Connection

Mitchell will provide an overview of the macro-economic metrics associated with manufacturing in the US and in southwestern Pennsylvania, and an introduction to a national resource for manufacturing called the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). She will then cover four trends that anyone working in or supporting manufacturing should consider, including Shale Gas, Innovation Management, Additive Manufacturing and Social Media. While appearing to be random trends, they are actually highly inter-related, which Petra will discuss.



Manufacturing and Workforce Sustainability – Track Leader: Richard Weber, Materials Development, Inc.
    1 – 2:55 p.m.


1 – 1:55 p.m.

Public – Private Partnerships To Build a Competitive Workforce, Richard Norment, executive director, National Council for Public-Private Partnerships

Manufacturers face challenges in recruiting competent people for a wide range of positions, but particularly for skilled individuals for the production level of operations. Today’s manufacturing technologies require people with the necessary math and language skills, often difficult to find in the current local labor pool. This presentation will discuss the use of partnerships with public and private educational institutions, beyond philanthropic contributions, to help develop those critical resources and relevant skills. Providing both ‘in-kind’ and ‘shared resource’ assistance will be outlined, with examples of how this has already worked for a number of companies.


2 – 2:55 p.m.

A New Role for The American Ceramic Society: Educating Engineers Before and After that First Job, Richard K. Brow, Curators’ Professor of Ceramic Engineering, Missouri University of Science & Technology

The traditional ceramic engineering curriculum differs from a typical Materials Science and Engineering curriculum in many ways, including the number of courses devoted to ceramic materials and the applications of traditional ceramic engineering tools like phase diagrams. Ceramic-related industries that hire new engineers may prefer skills or experiences that are no longer offered in typical MSE programs. The American Ceramic Society has recently created the Ceramic and Glass Industry Foundation (CGIF) to work with universities to develop those skills in undergraduate programs and to help train engineers already in the workforce. The CGIF model will be described and discussions of the key roles played by industry, academia and ACerS will be encouraged.


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