Define problem; define solution limitations (why do current solutions come up lacking?), brainstorm new ideas to solve problem; then narrow down field, is it safe? (Has to be EPA or NDA approved)
Is it cost-effective for bulk manufacture?
How effective will it be in solving problem? Will it need to be assisted? If so, how to control the process. Which professionals do I need to identify potential problems down the way? Industrial engineer? Chem Engineer, Microbiologist? etc
What is budget for process and cost of chemicals, etc.?
In another team on which Tony Contento was the team facilitator, we suggested formula modifiers for the packaging film that would extend the shelf-life of packaged food goods; we won this challenge but the Seeker was not willing to fund us to Stage II because of lack of a central lab even though we had out-sourced labs in MA and KS and were willing to over-see the projects personally.
In another challenge, each team member presented one (1) solution to the seeker to help them reduce the amount of small oligomers in polypropylene production, or, in other words, improve the cure of the material. This particular seeker had licensed a patented process only to have it process product of sufficient quality. Unfortunately, they did not have the technical skills to trouble-shoot the process. We were able to trouble-shoot and offer 4 viable solutions. In this case, the team facilitator had an opinion himself as to how to solve the problem.
With another team that included silver solver Dr. Charles Baskhar and top solver Jim Threadgill, we developed a cost-effective detection of arsenic in groundwater at ppb levels (Chemists Without Borders, Bangladesh, India), using newly available products. Dr. Baskhar was later able to modify the solution to identify additional harmful heavy metals in the drinking water to protect the local villagers. I assisted by explaining the solution to the seeker and by writing up one team mates solution report for her.
Development of RBC assay using oligonucleotides (not to be disclosed until patented); developed as a consultant for TechInnovate
Medical device development of totally implantable HAD (heart assisting device) (not to be disclosed until patented in 2017). I developed this med device with the help of a bioengineer out of GA Tech and an industrial engineer.
Development of a Continuous Method for Detection of Hemoglobin in Saline. This is an solution that presented a developed technology including schematics for building the unit. It was deemed do-able by Seeker.
I was part of a team that used nanoparticles as a sizing replacement for paraffin in paper coatings to prevent leaching of organics into oily food products; our solution did not win, but another solution that also utilized nanoparticles did. The scientist who suggested the resizing materials is a top solver.
Projects completed as an Independent Consultant for Biolab for NDA (1994-1999) included writing GLP protocols for analytical testing of new products to be evaluated by the EPA for NDA. Over 10 projects were completed within timelines. One project had to be repeated because of deviation not on my part, but by Lab Ops personnel. So I am very well acquainted with GLP Regulations and penalties resulting from deviations. One project was pulled because it became obvious that the product was explosive and was a potential safety hazard early in testing during an explosion during a manufacturing run. It did contain strong oxidizers such as Chlorine and Bromine. In addition, brominators containing the product were exploding.
I assisted in the development of an occluded lens for the Emory Eye Clinic for patient's whose cornea's had been permanently damaged. These prosthetic lenses had to be custom-painted for each patient since the doctors do not allow another compensating lens to be placed on the other eye. I did this work while I was at Ciba Vision in 1984. These lenses ended up being Ciba's line of designer contacts that are dot-matrix printed. Some prints are cat's eyes and swirls for instance because Ciba manufacturing claimed the lenses were too difficult for manufacturing and missed the market launch when J & J launched their brown to blue lenses in September of that year. First quarter gains were $3 million alone for sales of those lenses, and Ciba lost its patent!
Crack Repair of Difficult to Weld Materials. For this challenge solution, a new technique for recasting plastics was presented for the repair of cracked plastics. This new technique allows for in situ repair of cracks using sound induced free radical polymerization. (under review by unknown Seeker--InnoCentive.com)
Enhanced Targeted Gene Therapy using Adeno Assisted Viruses (AAVs ) (under review by Boehringer Ingelheim; an Innocentive.com challenge)
For a challenge to reduce the loss of aqueous soluble food safety system components in whole meat systems, our team offered solutions that were safe for the human body to ingest as well as cost-effective and could be worked into the Seeker's process.
My latest project with IdeaConnection was one in which Mike Eisen served as team facilitator. It was a project for Symgentia who wanted at least 5 new active ingredients to be proposed to become a novel rodenticide that satisfies regulatory agencies and is non-toxic to humans while having high efficacy. This one was quite tricky and Mike had his hands full as well. However, we ended up being a winning team when I stepped in an offered a compromise that satisfied everkyone.