The Young and the Restless: Scientists & Engineers Connecting across Disciplines

By Ben Bahavar Ph.D., Nerac Analyst,
Originally Published: September 15th, 2014.
A recent webinar announcement by the American Chemical Society (ACS) brought attention to a grassroots endeavor by the Network of Early-Career Sustainable Scientist and Engineers (NESSE) and how they are working to build a community of confident and able early-career sustainable scientists. These professionals are said to be connecting across disciplines, sharing knowledge and resources, forging collaborations, and finding solutions towards making research and its outcomes greener and more sustainable. The webinar was presented on September 4, 2014 – the slide deck can be downloaded via this link: Planting the Seeds for Sustainable Chemistry.

An Entirely New Class of Polymers

By Skye McClain, Ph.D., Nerac Analyst,
Originally Published: September 12th, 2014
One news feed I review regularly is at the Kurzweil Accelerating Intellegence website. Ray Kurzweil is the director of engineering at Google, and his website tracks “key breakthroughs in science and technology”. This news source is often one of the first places I find mention of cutting edge research.

Updating Technical Files – Is Your Company Ready for a Notified Body Audit?

by Ron Sills, M.S., Nerac Analyst
Originally published September 10, 2014

Join Nerac analyst Ron Sills in this free, interactive webinar providing an overview of how to create and maintain a Technical File that is compliant and ready for a Notified Body audit; from best practices in document choice and preparation to understanding the critical pieces of your Technical File update.

Ebola: Do we need to worry?

By Rebecca Ryznar, Ph.D., Nerac Associate Analyst
Originally published Sept. 2, 2014

Zaire Ebola virus (EBOV), the particular Ebola viral strain currently spreading across West Africa, causes the most virulent hemorrhagic fever known to man, and kills up to 90% of those infected. Ebola sets the immune system in overdrive and perturbs clotting mechanisms, causing a victim to bleed to death within an average of a week after contracting the virus.

This article examines the threat and takes a look at some of the drugs in development for this deadly virus.

Developing an Innovation Process that Works

By Emma Palmacci Ph.D., VP, Research Services, Nerac Analyst and Louis Donne, Director – Research, Group 4.
Originally published Aug. 26, 2014

Innovation can “just happen,” serendipity can birth an innovative idea. However, great innovators have developed processes to make innovation routine rather than accidental. Companies have shown the value of establishing an innovation management practice which combines internal and external ideas, as well as internal and external paths to market.

A wide-range of different innovation sources are available to companies that want to increase the competitive advantage of their products, each source with its own compromise of strengths and weakness. Group 4 and Nerac have collaborated on an approach that integrates several sources in such a way that the strengths of each are additive while the weaknesses are cancelled out.

In this article, Nerac and Group 4 explore best practices on how to improve a company’s chances of success in innovating new, novel products for the market through technology scouting.

The Ice Bucket Challenge and Funding of ALS Biomedical Research: A Drop in the Bucket

By John Leavitt, Ph.D., Nerac Analyst and Stephen Buxser, Ph.D., Nerac Analyst
Originally published August 21, 2014

For the past week we have seen a lot of giddy newscasters drench themselves with ice water eliciting cries of delight and laughter among their colleagues. Raising $31.5 million for ALS research is nothing to shake a stick at and this effort should be encouraged. But curing a complex, not well understood neurological disease like ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) will take decades of advanced research and new technological developments that haven’t happened yet.

This post goes behind the scenes of the “Ice Bucket Challenge” and explores the true challenges of bio-medical research funding.

Interesting Article by Harvard Business Review: “Why the Greek Yogurt Craze Should Be a Wake-Up Call…”

Comments from Nerac Analyst, Sarah Williams
Originally posted August 15, 2014

This article from the Harvard Business Journal on the Greek yogurt craze showcases why out-of-the box thinking may be the ticket to success in the food industry, based on what consumers value and what is trending in terms of health-related demand.

Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods

By Sarah Williams, Nerac Analyst
Originally published August 5, 2014

Gluten-free is huge. During the past year in the U.S. alone, there have been over 1,300 news articles with gluten-free in the headline, and more than 3,200 new food products have been launched with gluten-free terminology in the product description. There are also several recent patents for gluten-free grain based cereal compositions, and the research is rapidly expanding, with approximately 900 studies related to this topic published in 2013-2014.

What is this all about? This article looks at the dynamics in place behind the explosion in demand for “Gluten-Free” and the importance of accurate labeling.