PHLburg Technologies, Inc.

Success Stories

Search for Technology
Search for Scientific Team

Search for Technology

The Problem

We were retained by a large US based manufacturer company to search for a coating that they would apply to their product made from a steel alloy. The coating was sought to increase the product’s quality and extend its life. Our Customer wanted the coating to already be in existence and hopefully in use. The Customer wanted the coating’s use for their product to be a new application for an already demonstrable technology. The Customer wanted to purchase the exclusive world wide economic rights to the technology.

Our Customer provided detailed specifications: performance, manufacturing requirements, and cost. Once possible technologies were identified our Customer would provide metal samples to be coated and test the coated metal’s performance.

Our Initial Steps

After fully understanding and clarifying the Customer’s Problem Statement our Management Team in Russia with the concurrence of our VP-Science based in the US selected a Project Manager (PM) for the search. The PM with the concurrence of our Management Team:

  • Prepared a search plan
  • Cleared the topic area with a licensed export control agency
  • Retained an expert and consultants to advise in the search
  • Initiated the search
  • Hosted the Customer’s technology owner during his visit to several Institutes in Russia providing coating technology

The Bulk of the Work

Over the next several months, the PM with the assistance of the retained expert and consultants, his own network, our Company’s scientific data base, the Internet, feedback from our 22 City Network, contact with the Ministry of Science and Academy of Sciences, patent search in Russia, literature research, advertising, and attending technical conferences, exhibitions, and trade shows  identified more than 100 coating technologies that had the potential to satisfy the Customer’s request.

The PM evaluated each technology identified using a multi-step process. Initially, the PM reviewed the data sent to us by the Author teams, the Internet, and telephone to further understand the technologies. For those technologies that passed this first PM evaluation the PM assisted the Authors in preparing a detailed technology description – Fact Sheet.  Once the Fact Sheets were completed, the PM presented them to PHLburg’s Scientific Council. (The Council serves as internal quality control panel and further qualifies the technology.) The PM with the Council’s help reduced the field of potential technologies to 3. The PM visited each of the 3 Authors and further reviewed and revised these Fact Sheets. At the conclusion of the process, the Project Manager’s work was further reviewed by PHLburg’s Management in Russia and the US. Fact Sheets detailing each of the potential technologies was submitted to the Customer.

Final Selection

The Customer selected all 3 of the technologies (Fact Sheets) for further consideration. A Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) was obtained from each of the Authors. The Authors were then informed of the Customer’s name, samples were sent to the Authors, test protocols were agreed to, and initial telephone interviews were conducted. The samples were coated by the Authors and delivered to the Customer for evaluation. After the evaluation, two Customer scientists came to Russia, visited the Authors, and selected the technology they were interest in.

Negotiations and Contract

During the evaluation and visitation process the 3 Authors provided the coated samples and information including all available application data. The Customer made an offer to one of the Authors and provided a contract. The Customer’s standard purchase contract was used with certain terms modified to be relevant to Russia. The price stated in the Customer’s contract was accepted. The contracts were worked on via email and final signatures delivered by express carrier. The contracts were prepared in Russian and English with PHLburg providing the translation. The elapsed time from Problem Statement to contract signing was 11 months.

Application

The Company after purchasing the initial Intellectual Property worked with the Author and obtained additional patents. In addition, the Author spent approximately 50% of the next year in the U.S. working with the Customer to scale up the technology for the Customer’s manufacturing processes.

Search for Scientific Team

The Problem

We were retained by a large US based consumer products company to search for science teams to conduct research on Exploiting Phase Behavior of Commercial Surfactants for Formulation Optimization. Our Customer wanted the prospective scientific teams to study fractional phase diagrams of multi-component micro emulsions or micellar solutions containing commercial and “purer” compositions of ionic and non-ionic surfactants. The end goal was to find detergent compositions containing commercial surfactants with required operating characteristics, specifically phase stability during sale and transportation.

The subject of the study was systems containing anionic surfactants (sodium alkyl sulphonates), non-ionic surfactants (siloxanes, ethoxylized alcohols), oils and water. Our Customer provided detailed specifications. Once the science team was selected our Customer provided information on the composition of all the surfactants in question.

Our Initial Steps

After fully understanding and clarifying the Customer’s Problem Statement our Management Team in Russia with the concurrence of our VP-Science based in the US selected a Project Manager (PM) for the search. It happened that one of our PMs was eminently qualified for this search as his Ph.D. dissertation was in a closely related field. The PM with the concurrence of our Management Team:
•    Prepared a search plan
•    Cleared the topic area with a licensed export control agency
•    Retained an expert to advise in the search
•    Initiated the search

The Bulk of the Work

Over the next several months, the PM with the assistance of the retained expert, his own network, our Company’s scientific data base, the Internet, feedback from our 22 City Network, contact with the Ministry of Science and Academy of Sciences, patent search in Russia, literature research, and attending technical conferences, exhibitions, and trade shows we identified more than 30 research groups that had the potential to satisfy the Customer’s request.

We prepared a Questionnaire to gather information for each of the science teams.  For each of the science teams that had the potential to satisfy the Customer’s needs the PM compiled a data book of information. By reviewing data sent to us by the science teams, the Internet, and telephone we obtained the information we were able to initially evaluate the science teams. Once the Questionnaire was complete the field of potential science teams was shorted listed to 10. At that stage the PM visited each of the 10 science teams: reviewed and revised as necessary the original Questionnaire and completed a Supplemental Questionnaire. At the conclusion of the process, with the PM’s work being reviewed by PHLburg’s Management in Russia and the US the potential science teams groups were further short listed to 4. A report detailing each of the potentials science teams’ qualifications was submitted to the Customer.
 
Final Selection

The Customer selected 3 of the science teams for further consideration. A Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) was obtained from each of the science teams. The science teams were then informed of the Customer’s name and initial telephone interviews were scheduled. Two Customer scientists, two science team people, and three PHLburg people plus a PHLburg translator participated in the interviews. Over a series of several interviews and after evaluating the requested information a selection was made.

Negotiations and Contract

During the interview process the 3 science teams were asked for a proposal and references. The proposal from the selected science team, modified for certain performance provisions, became an attachment to the contract. The Customer’s standard external research contract was used with certain terms modified to be relevant to Russia. The price stated in the science team’s proposal was accepted. The contracts were worked on via email and final signatures delivered by express carrier. The contracts were prepared in Russian and English with PHLburg providing the translation. The elapsed time from Problem Statement to contract signing was 7 months.

The Research Work

The first study had 4 phases. The study was overseen by one of PHLburg’s Project Engineers (not the search Project Manager). The study was completed on time, on budget, with more than satisfactory results. The science team has been awarded subsequent research projects.