Raymond Donahue of Mercury Marine was proactive in responding to a visitor’s request on why they should join the ACRC. We are including his five reasons on why you should join the ACRC if you are not currently a member. Thank you, Ray, for being such an ardent supporter of the ACRC.
1. In-depth presentations and discussions on high-quality research reports on [past and present] work that your company has a voice in selecting. I conservatively estimate your consortium annual fee is leveraged over 20 to 1 with the dollars of the consortium research projects alone and over 40 to 1 when the research dollars from the DOE, DOD, DLA, and NSF are included.
2. Opportunities [at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and during scheduled program breaks] to socialize with fellow members of both the ACRC and CHTE consortia. I’ve mentioned to some members this may be the most important benefit on certain occasions.
3. Exposure to the well-trained students conducting and presenting the research in item 1. Mercury Marine hired Adam Kopper ’00 because we were impressed with his performance in the ACRC research setting at WPI. Today, Adam is one of our top-rated people in manufacturing. I mentioned that the normal hiring practice may be only 50 percent successful in selecting and retaining people, because we cannot “try people out” in the job before hiring them. The opportunity of this item increases the normal “50 percent success rate” in selecting people to “95 percent and above” because we get to know the young researcher in both a research and a social setting over a good time frame.
4. Opportunity to magnify the benefits of Item 3 by utilizing the Industrial Intern Program, in which a young researcher basically conducts research “on the foundry floor” in the sponsoring company’s facility.
5. Provides your company with an “insurance policy” patent strategy. As members of the consortium, you are entitled to use, royalty free, any patents obtained on research work conducted during your membership time, such as the SSM “Slurry-On-Demand” ACRC patent for CRP. Further, publishing ACRC and CHTE research work that the MPI decides not to apply for a patent on prevents “outsiders” from getting patents on a technology member companies might want to use. Recognize that patents by your competition may prevent you from using a technology. Further, recognize that a patent by a company generally slows the spread of that technology. Thus, the “insurance policy” patent strategy makes it more likely that you will not be denied the use of the technology that you and the MPI are interested in because it is a hot subject area, either because “outsiders” can not patent it or because you have a royalty-free use of the MPI patent.