This country's 350,000 manufacturers must add cutting-edge technologies to their processes to stay competitive. Yet most are small- to medium-sized companies leery of investing in new technology without first
confirming its effect on their
products.Some utilities previously had no option but to run local technology-demonstration facilities on their own (see sidebar on p. 36), but helping manufacturing customers use the electrotechnologies they need may require expertise that a utility's customer service, marketing, or R&D staff cannot offer. EPRI's answer: the Industrial Technology Center Partnership (ITCP). The ITCP formula encourages forming teams to conduct competitiveness assessments of customer facilities (em with an eye to making environmental, efficiency, and productivity improvements through process changes and electrotechnology applications.
The following ITCP activities can help a utility prove the worth of new technology to its customers:
s Demonstrations to explore the effectiveness of new
s Before and after case studies to quantify real-world benefits
s Plant assessments by EPRI-sponsored teams to produce cost-cutting recommendations
s Workshops to help customers make the most of ITCP assistance
s Alliances with local, state, and national agencies to develop funding opportunities for electrotechnology transfer and deployment.
If a utility so desires, one of EPRI's national industrial centers will provide a local onsite director. The goal is to create 15 to 25 ITCP centers over the next five years.