PARC Cleantech Innovation Program

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PARC Cleantech Innovation Program

This portfolio of short- and long-term technology projects is aimed at solving pressing energy needs and environmental problems. Individual projects range from clean water and battery electrodes to solar electricity (new-generation solar panels are pictured), data center optimization and liquid carbon dioxide fuels. Power Assure, SolFocus, SolarWorld, Dowa, U.S. Army, Office of Naval Research, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the Department of Energy are just a few of the organizations that have teamed up with PARC to provide solutions in their industries.

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PARC Startup, SolFocus

The first startup incubated at PARC was SolFocus, manufacturer of low-cost solar energy systems, which recently raised $50 million in venture capital. Founded in 2005, SolFocus is currently deploying high-efficiency Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) systems for large-scale solar installations. The PARC-SolFocus design uses a smaller and more highly integrated solar panel to convert significantly more sunlight into electricity. The panel is durable, safe to operate and potentially could be more cost-effective to manufacture in high volumes. The system is also lighter, smaller and easier to ship.

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Innovations in Battery Power

PARC has developed a new battery electrode architecture based on functional materials created using PARC's expertise in co-extrusion printing for depositing thick films. This is a promising method for making advanced battery and fuel cell electrodes that can potentially increase energy density without trading off power density or increase power density without trading-off energy density and ultimately lower the costs of energy storage.

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Clean Water Systems

Carefully balancing a combination of fluidic forces in a channel, PARC's hydrodynamic separation (HDS) technology separates particles from water without any physical barriers. HDS has been architected to be modular and scalable and could lower costs or enhance performance in many water-treatment-related applications.

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Innovations in Geothermal Energy

PARC is working on an advanced simulation tool that will enable better understanding of hot rock-fluid interactions under extreme conditions. This will reduce risk, lower costs and shorten project completion times for the extraction of this enormous and renewable base-load energy resource.

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The Next Internet: Content-Centric Networking

The Internet is slowing down and becoming sluggish, congested and possibly out of date. It was originally designed as an end-to-end communications network but instead has become a distribution network for multimedia sharing. These architectural differences lead to many problems as organizations augment infrastructure to handle the exponential flood of digital media. PARC is hard at work (through an NSF-funded grant, Samsung and other commercial clients) to evolve the existing network architecture. Content-centric networking (CCN) enables people to ask for content by name, rather than arbitrary address, find it from the nearest location (rather than source server only) and ensure greater security (by securing the content, not the pipes carrying it).

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PARCs Jacobson Inducted Into Internet Hall of Fame

The Internet Society honored Van Jacobson, PARC's lead content-centric networking (CCN) researcher, as one of the innovators who made outstanding technological, commercial or policy advances and helped expand the Internet's reach. Jacobson joined PARC in 2006 as a Research Fellow to lead its CCN research program. His algorithms for the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) helped solve the problem of congestion and are used in virtually all Internet hosts today. Widely credited with enabling the Internet to expand in size and support increasing speed demands, Jacobson helped the early ARPAnet survive a major traffic surge in 1988 and 1989 without collapsing.

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Beyond Components and Into Printed and Flexible Electronics Systems

Printed electronics is an important enabling technology for myriad future products, such as food packaging that senses and records temperatures, shock-sensing helmets, smart toys and games, supply-chain logistics, medical devices, photovoltaics, lighting, structural health monitoring and many more. PARC's strategic focus for printed electronics is not to just connect, but build the ecosystem for commercializing printed electronics, which includes materials, enabling devices, manufacturing and production.

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All-Star Customer List

Commercial customers since 2002 include Microsoft, DNP, Sun/Oracle, Samsung, Dowa, NEC, Fujitsu, P&G, Boeing, Motorola Solutions, Xerox/ACS, Dentsu, Huawei, SolarWorld, Nomura Research Institute, Panasonic, Thinfilm and others.

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U.S. DOD Picks PARC to Detect Fraud and Insider Threats

There is a longstanding problem of threats coming from inside government and/or large organizations, where respected employees give away confidential information (such as with WikiLeaks), harming co-workers. While threats happen seemingly without advance notice and cause severe consequences, there is often a pattern or trail before the fact—a trail that could be traced and uncovered. PARC is working with the U.S. Department of Defense to proactively identify internal threats before damaging acts are carried out.

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