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Re: Increasing the Use of New Technology Coatings by Small Firms

Well Mike,  this has to be the question of the decade.

The NPPR Tech. Transfer Committee has been collecting models and best
practices, and perhaps a brief summary is this.  I look forward to other's
comments on this.

1. Use a multi-pronged, system approach.
2. Understand the social and economic climate of the businesses and create
a simple, clear "message". 
3. Identify opinion leaders and recruit them to help spread the word and
mentor.  These are not just early innovators who can be regarded as flighty
by their peers.
4. Use a "self-aware" strategy such as facility planning, process
diagraming, internal audit.
5. Don't just sell p2 cost advantage but also competitve advantage,
compatibility with existing tech and business.
6. Support networks and connection between companies.
7. Use Technical Assistance (intelligent, ongoing, longterm, well-funded)
This can be brokered with private sector providers if necessary, and should
cleverly leverage other business assistance services.
8. Provide demonstration sites and events (pay a facility to open its
doors, show them how to train)
9. Provide research and pilot scale support
10.Work with customers and stakeholders and support communication with
11. Create and promote informational tools (databases of technology,
libraries, guidance material, casestudies and fact sheets)  

What else?

For targeting you efforts, a study for the Small Business Agency by Mt
Auburn Associates about 5 years ago suggests the following approach:

Where are technical investments being made? 
Is the sector positioning for new markets?
What processes need assistance?
What are engines of the local economy?
What buyer/supplier relationships exist?
Better luck with change interventions in
  firms greater than 20 employees 
  firms that are an OEM supplier
  firms with sector opinion leaders
  firms known to be early adopters
  firms that are linked to key networks

Hope this is helpful.  Join our Committee!  Come to Portland in April!

Janet Clark
Toxics Use Reduction Institute

At 12:25 PM 1/7/2002 -0800, you wrote:
>     There have been continuing improvements in radiation-cured and powder 
>     coating technologies and they are gaining increasing use in different 
>     applications.  They are an ideal P2 approach and, from an air
>     perspective, may be able to provide greater reductions in VOC emissions 
>     than would occur with the more standard coating approaches.
>     I've spoken with some people in coating industry organizations, to
>     how widespread is the use of these newer technologies, and was told
>     are gaining increasing support from larger firms.  They have the 
>     knowledge, skill, environmental interest and financial ability to 
>     understand the benefits and buy the equipment needed for new or 
>     replacement coating lines.  However, a barrier exists regarding use of 
>     those technologies by smaller firms: they may lack the large-firm 
>     attributes, especially the financial one, and tend not to make the 
>     technology change. 
>     With small-business issues as an impediment, ways need to be developed 
>     that can help promote these more environmentally-benign technologies in 
>     that industrial sector.  
>     What incentive ideas do you have that could help overcome this barrier 
>     (e.g., presentations of life cycle analysis data showing cost-payback 
>     financial benefits for specific small-firm applications, subsidies to 
>     replace old equipment, etc.)?  Do you know of any government agencies
>     any level, or other organizations, that have successfully used specific 
>     strategies with small firms, helping them overcome the barriers and  
>     promoting more widespread use of the new technologies?
>     Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
>     Mike Rothenberg
>     Bay Area Air Quality Management District
>     San Francisco, CA
>     (415) 749-4668

Janet Clark <clarkjan@turi.org>
Associate Director for Information
MA Toxics Use Reduction Institute
University of Massachusetts
One University Ave.
Lowell, MA  01854-2866
Tel 978-934-3346, Fax 978-934-3050