Monday 8 December 2008

The Big 3 and green innovation

With the discussion on how to rescue General Motors, Ford and Chrysler still ongoing on Capitol Hill – although some short-term loans apparently are already secured (check out news here and here) - James E. Malackowski,
CEO of Ocean Tomo LLC, warns that top consideration should be given to the significant potential of the “Big Three” technologies for stimulating economic and job growth.

These technologies are not only vital for the automobile industry; they also influence other sectors, such as the advanced battery industry, or fuel cell production vital for military applications.

Malackowski warns that the bankruptcy of any or all of the Big Three would create a historically unique opportunity for foreign competitors to acquire a vast amount of US “crown jewel technology” for a fraction of their true value. A look at key patent portfolios of the Big Three (e.g. patents for hybrid and electric vehicles) makes this clear: Ford and GM together hold approximately a third of all green technology patents; GM alone holds 70% of the patents in the emerging technology category.
Like no other industry sector, the Big Three have the resources (and the incentives) to invest in required R&D. Losing these (green and clean air) technologies would also mean a serious setback in addressing climate change and energy efficiencies.

For Malackowski on the Big Three see here. More on the current rescue plan negotiations here and here; more on high-mileage vehicles here; and more on (Ford) green collar jobs here.

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