Compatibility, viability critical to Calgon Carbon
Ralph Franco has a discriminating eye when analyzing ideas for inventions that cross his desk at Calgon Carbon Corp.
Franco, director of business development for the Robinson-based environmental treatment company, is the gatekeeper who inventors, university small business incubators and others must persuade when pitching technology.
“One thing we're looking for are technologies that are near commercial-scale,” Franco said. “We don't have a process to take them from science on a lab bench somewhere” to commercially viable.
Calgon invites idea submissions on its website and receives as many as 10 proposals a month. Universities call directly on behalf of faculty or graduate students who are working on relevant research, Franco said.
None of the ideas pitched so far has been adopted.
“You'll say ‘no' 100 times for every time you might say ‘maybe,'” he said.
Ideas must be compatible with technology Calgon uses and should become profitable within about three years, Franco said.
Calgon won a Tech 50 award in advanced manufacturing from the Pittsburgh Technology Council last year for its work in ultraviolet light disinfection.
In business for 70 years, Calgon might not appear fast-moving but “here's a company ... looking to the future with other areas of technology that aren't part of their traditional carbon-based (products), going into ultraviolet,” said Jonathan Kersting, the council's director of visibility initiatives.
“The company is exploring totally new markets that weren't around five or 10 years ago with the potential to create a lot of new jobs and opportunity here in the region,” Kersting said.
Calgon acquired Hyde Marine, an industrial fluid management company, and its ballast water treatment system in 2010. The system uses with ultraviolet light to filter and disinfect water taken on by ships to balance cargo loads. Left untreated, the water could drop invasive species into ecosystems upon discharge, Franco said.
Calgon made improvements and now manufactures the systems, said Gail Gerono, Calgon's vice president of investor relations and communications.
The partnership is an example of technology Calgon is looking for, Franco said: The technology fit Calgon's existing ultraviolet disinfection work and was commercially viable.
Companies that reinvest in themselves and explore and develop products and services are crucial to advancing the region, Kersting said.
Kari Andren is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2856 or email@example.com.
Add Kari Andren to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Harmar developer sells 15 hotels in Western Pa., West Virginia
- Natural gas groups says increase in Pennsylvania taxes would bring dire results for economy
- 84 Lumber vice president McCrobie says company, housing market rebounding
- Insurers give customers extra time to pay first month’s premium for 2015 under Obamacare
- FedEx to buy product-return firm Genco in e-commerce push
- FedEx misses Street 2Q forecasts, but profit jumps 23 pct
- EDMC accused in GI Bill scheme
- Repsol to buy Canada’s 5th largest oil producer, Talisman Energy
- Thread of East Liberty morphs bottles into ‘authentic’ products
- Early oil-fueled rally fizzles on Wall Street
- Ocwen review flawed by unreliable data, mortgage settlement monitor says