Title: Enabling cleanup technology transfer

Authors: John D. Ditmars

Addresses: Environmental Assessment Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL 60439, USA

Abstract: Technology transfer in the environmental restoration or cleanup area has been challenging. Whilst there is little doubt that innovative technologies are needed to reduce the times, risks, and costs associated with the cleanup of federal sites, particularly those of the Departments of Energy (DOE) and Defence (DoD), the use of such technologies in actual cleanups has been relatively limited. There are, of course, many reasons why technologies do not reach the implementation phase or do not get transferred from developing entities to the user community. For example, many past cleanup contracts provided few incentives for performance that would compel a contractor to seek improvement via technology applications. Whilst performance-based contracts are becoming more common, they alone will not drive increased technology applications. This paper focuses on some applications of cleanup methodologies and technologies that have been successful and are illustrative of a more general principle. The principle is at once obvious and not widely practiced. It is that, with few exceptions, innovative cleanup technologies are rarely implemented successfully alone but rather are implemented in the context of enabling processes and methodologies. And, since cleanup is conducted in a regulatory environment, the stage is better set for technology transfer when the context includes substantive interactions with the relevant stakeholders. Examples of this principle are drawn from the experiences of Argonne National Laboratory in adaptive sampling and analysis programs (ASAPs), precise excavation, and the DOE technology connection (TechCon) programme. The lessons learned may be applicable to the continuing challenges posed by the cleanup and emerging challenges of the long-term stewardship of residual contaminants and unexploded ordnance (UXO) at federal sites.

Keywords: cleanup technology; adaptive sampling and analysis; precision excavation; Triad; technology connection.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTTC.2003.003175

International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation, 2003 Vol.2 No.4, pp.339-350

Published online: 13 Jul 2003 *

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