APPENDIX

B

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Programs

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in addition to its regulatory function, plays many roles: 1

  • Technology Transfer Agent—Transfer of technical and cost information has not been particularly efficient between developers, potential customers, and others in the environmental field. EPA is moving to bridge this gap through a coordinated network of clearinghouses, publications, workshops, and conference.

  • Collaborating on Technology Development—An effective way to spur development is to undertake cooperative activities, pooling the resources of government and industry. EPA found that it can successfully work with industry through the provisions of the Federal Technology Transfer Act.

  • Development Financing—EPA has been funding development of innovative technology through grants and cooperative agreements for several years. Because of budget limitations, EPA programs generally focus on the less costly initial stages of development. Generally, venture capital is available in the later stages of development when cost effectiveness and regulatory compliance are ensured.

  • Business Assistance—Although inventors are often brilliant engineers, they frequently lack business acumen. The EPA has partnered with the National Environmental Technology Applications Corporation (NETAC), a nonprofit subsidiary of the University of Pittsburgh, which assists developers with business plans, market analysis, patenting, and licensing. EPA is also considering a new program, U.S. TIES (U.S. Technology for International Environmental Solutions) to bridge the gap small developers now face in gauging and gaining access to foreign markets where U.S. technologies may be particularly appropriate.

  • Enhancing Performance Credibility—Developers and vendors lack credibility when discussing performance of their products with potential customers. EPA has developed two innovative technology evaluation programs that are designed to establish credibility for promising products. The Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE) program and a more recent municipal waste program (MITE) independently test innovative technologies in cooperation with developers under real-world conditions and widely disseminate the results. These programs substantiate the cost-effectiveness of these technologies and give potential users reliable data with which to make selection choices.

  • Convener and Promoter—EPA can have an impact by assuming the role of convener, catalyzer, and coordinator. Because of EPA's role in defining and shaping the market and because of the breadth and credibility of its technical programs, EPA has had notable success in bringing experts, stakeholders, and other interested parties together to characterize problems, explore technological solutions, and define R&D. These activities not only promote efficiency and prevent overlap but also validate the technology R&D that can spur outside interest and help to secure resources.

1  

Compiled by Alfred W. Lindsey, director, Office of Environmental Engineering and Technology Demonstration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, January 1993.



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Industrial Ecology: U.S.-Japan Perspectives APPENDIX B U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Programs The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in addition to its regulatory function, plays many roles: 1 Technology Transfer Agent—Transfer of technical and cost information has not been particularly efficient between developers, potential customers, and others in the environmental field. EPA is moving to bridge this gap through a coordinated network of clearinghouses, publications, workshops, and conference. Collaborating on Technology Development—An effective way to spur development is to undertake cooperative activities, pooling the resources of government and industry. EPA found that it can successfully work with industry through the provisions of the Federal Technology Transfer Act. Development Financing—EPA has been funding development of innovative technology through grants and cooperative agreements for several years. Because of budget limitations, EPA programs generally focus on the less costly initial stages of development. Generally, venture capital is available in the later stages of development when cost effectiveness and regulatory compliance are ensured. Business Assistance—Although inventors are often brilliant engineers, they frequently lack business acumen. The EPA has partnered with the National Environmental Technology Applications Corporation (NETAC), a nonprofit subsidiary of the University of Pittsburgh, which assists developers with business plans, market analysis, patenting, and licensing. EPA is also considering a new program, U.S. TIES (U.S. Technology for International Environmental Solutions) to bridge the gap small developers now face in gauging and gaining access to foreign markets where U.S. technologies may be particularly appropriate. Enhancing Performance Credibility—Developers and vendors lack credibility when discussing performance of their products with potential customers. EPA has developed two innovative technology evaluation programs that are designed to establish credibility for promising products. The Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE) program and a more recent municipal waste program (MITE) independently test innovative technologies in cooperation with developers under real-world conditions and widely disseminate the results. These programs substantiate the cost-effectiveness of these technologies and give potential users reliable data with which to make selection choices. Convener and Promoter—EPA can have an impact by assuming the role of convener, catalyzer, and coordinator. Because of EPA's role in defining and shaping the market and because of the breadth and credibility of its technical programs, EPA has had notable success in bringing experts, stakeholders, and other interested parties together to characterize problems, explore technological solutions, and define R&D. These activities not only promote efficiency and prevent overlap but also validate the technology R&D that can spur outside interest and help to secure resources. 1   Compiled by Alfred W. Lindsey, director, Office of Environmental Engineering and Technology Demonstration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, January 1993.