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Discussion Starter #1
I don’t know what to make of this. Any suggestions?

http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2008/april2/cui-040208.html

Let me summarize. The man that is responsible for inventing a battery technology that has the potential to globally replace petroleum as an energy source as been given a grant by Saudi Arabia, the biggest producer of petroleum in the world. Things that make you go hummm. Yi Cui, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford who specializes in nanotechnology will get 2 million dollars a year for 5 years and is required to spend from 3 weeks to 3 months a year in Saudi Arabia doing research. Here are a few motivations I see:

1) Saudi Arabia knows that it’s oil reserves are far smaller than they claim and know they must switch to alternative energy technologies as soon as possible. Why not get the most promising researcher on earth? Hey, energy was good for them in the past, why not in the future. If the US let’s this guy go because we did not give him enough funding then it will be one of the dumbest things we have ever done (or not done). Kind of like letting Manning (either of them!) go in a trade.

2) By lavishly funding him it will effectively keep Yi out of the commercial market for at least the next 5 years. Hey, research is a heck of a lot more fun than getting a product out the door and making deadlines. Yi was talking about starting up a company or licensing out his technology but now he doesn’t have to. Hummm.

3) Saudi Arabia knows this guy is going to be an important patent generating machine. Grab this IP and continue to rule the energy world.

4) Obtain exclusive rights to Yi’s IP and slow down or halt the technologies ability to displace petroleum. It would be bad for Saudi Arabia if petroleum was displaced, don’t you think?

5) Yi knows that his technology is worthless and getting 10 million from Saudi Arabia will keep him in the lab and also buy him some new toys to play with for another 5 years. This would be a shame but if true it would make Yi even smarter than I thought! lol.

Anyway, I’ve been holding my breath over this silicon nanowire battery technology and what Yi is going to do with it. My hope was for him to unconditionally license the IP to several large companies so that they can get this to market as fast as possible with the least possibility of the technology being bought out and covered up. Looks like my concerns were valid. Oh well, we always have algae I guess. Algae will be much more difficult to cover up. Oh, EEstor is also a possibility. However, I think they would be bought out even easier. Perhaps by the government planning to keep their technology secret in order to maintain a military advantage. I’m starting to sound like a conspiracy theorist. You know what they say, even though someone is paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not being watched. ;)

Come on Yi, license your technology out and let the big boys bring it to market as fast as possible. A quick-charge battery with 10X the performance of current lithium-ion (heck, 2X would do it) is the game changer all of us are looking for. At lest give us an update once in a while. :)
 

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Yep. Saudis want to keep this tech locked up and/or control the next big energy thing. Good news is, Dr. Cui seems to understand how profound this type of research is on changing the world, and seems to want to see that happen. In the article he says that he wants to share his new equipment with other researchers and that he will be hiring lots of new staff here in the states. Sure, he has to go over to Saudi Arabia for a few months every year and show them what he has learned, but the rest of the year he is helping others here see how it is done, and they in turn can expound upon it. Perhaps going even further. The Saudis may own the patent on the bottle, but not the genie.
 

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Saudi Arabia could not have control of the Si wire tech that Yi already created, so perhaps he is already licensing it, and merely soliciting funding from Saudi Arabia, so that he can keep tinkering on someone else's dime.

For Yi's a jolly good fellow (at Stanford)
For Yi's a jolly good fellow (at Stanford)
For Yi's a jolly good fellow (at Stanford)
That the Saudi's cannot buy ....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Excellent idea to e-mail him. I will write an e-mail on behalf of GM-Volt. Would anyone like to ask him a question? I will compile a list and send it out. We might need to get it published in order for him to read it but... I'll start the list:

1) What do you intend to do to make sure this new technology gets to market as fast as possible (even if it is not perfected yet)?

2) How do you intend to keep this technology from being bought out and kept from the public?

Please add your thoughts, comments and questions.
 

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Excellent idea to e-mail him. I will write an e-mail on behalf of GM-Volt. Would anyone like to ask him a question? I will compile a list and send it out. We might need to get it published in order for him to read it but... I'll start the list:

1) What do you intend to do to make sure this new technology gets to market as fast as possible (even if it is not perfected yet)?

2) How do you intend to keep this technology from being bought out and kept from the public?

Please add your thoughts, comments and questions.
Don't write him on behalf of anyone but yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think you are over reacting. I was in no way going to misrepresent myself. I was simply going to state that I have compiled some questions from some forum members. Would this be a misrepresentation? Would I require anyone's permission? Should I consult a lawyer first? Perhaps you are thinking too highly of yourself? Oh and I didn't know you were aware of my pay grade. Such a foolish comment.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Does anyone else wonder where the university in S.A. got an extra 10 mil? Did I hear someone say oil company?
Good point. Maybe they were given an open-ended grant and the givers said to invest the money anyway the university wanted without worrying if it completely undermined the Saudi Arabian oil economy. Hummm.

Maybe some people, like Jason, are not interested. In fact, Jason is extremely against this entire thread. Hummm. lol. Of course I'm joking. As I was saying, maybe some people are against learning more about this situation but I think it's important enough to maybe ask a few questions. Wondering if the Volt will come out in Orange may be more important to some but I'm still a little curious about the whole situation. Is that OK with you, Jason?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Knock yourselves out, but oil is a legitimate industry, and has every right to diversify into any other industry that it feels would be beneficial to their bottom line.
You may be right that companies have a legal right to do things to protect themselves and thus help their bottom line. So you are telling me that you would be ok if a Saudi Arabian (or other company) bought out A123's patents and never produced another battery again? Or maybe bought out Yi's revolutionary battery patents and quietly held out on producing any products by keeping them in the lab forever? I'm not ok with this. It may be legal but if you look at the big picture it's shameful, especially if people are aware of the situation and do nothing about it. Again, we know you are not interested so why do you keep commenting here?
 

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You may be right that companies have a legal right to do things to protect themselves and thus help their bottom line. So you are telling me that you would be ok if a Saudi Arabian (or other company) bought out A123's patents and never produced another battery again? Or maybe bought out Yi's revolutionary battery patents and quietly held out on producing any products by keeping them in the lab forever? I'm not ok with this. It may be legal but if you look at the big picture it's shameful, especially if people are aware of the situation and do nothing about it. Again, we know you are not interested so why do you keep commenting here?
Doing any of the things that you list is NOT in SA's interest. They understand the concept of peak oil as well as anyone, and know they need to be in a position to keep their cars rolling like everyone else. SA's interest in Yi is to capitalize on his next innovations, not scuttle them.
 

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You claim you know what Saudi Arabia's intentions are? I have heard it all now. You don't think it would be good for them to have this patent and keep it in their labs until they need it? You are delusional.
SA depend on oil wealth to sustain their form of government. SA knows that their reserves will be depleted, and must offer some other form of energy sales to perpetuate their caliphate. If you are able to export batteries or battery tech, as oil fades, then their rule continues. More likely, SA will use their vast deserts to generate electricity from solar power to produce / export hydrogen as a fuel carrier. Either or both of these strategies are in their longterm interest.

Unlike the US, where power changes hands frequently, SA can make longterm plans to shore up their indefinite rule.
 
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