Corporate Spotlight Interview: GAF

March 29, 2016 11:57 AM EST By: Jennifer Rocha

TechConnect speaks to Dan Boss, Vice President, R&D, about his company's technology areas of interest.

  GAF Dan Boss

What are technology/solution areas that you have a primary interest in?
• 100% solid adhesives that can provide reliable bonding in moist environments/surfaces, and at temperatures below 0C.
• UV stabilizers for polymeric films and coatings – greater than 20 year outdoor service life
• Thermo-oxidative stabilizers for polymeric films and coatings –  >500 days at 300F, hot humid air
• Surfacing materials for shingles and asphaltic sheets that provide >40% solar reflectivity and are stable for long periods in outdoor environments – all colors
• Thermal insulation with greater than R-10/inch performance suitable for the built environment
• Coatings/polymers/technologies that can significantly reduce the cost of installing a waterproofing surface
• Additives to improve the fire performance of asphaltic and polymeric roofing materials (spread of flame and burning brand)
• Advanced roofing materials and technologies
• Bonding of dissimilar materials
• Thickness without weight – either through low density or other approach

What level of commercial maturity do you typically look for in technology partnerships? 
• Minimum demonstrated feasibility with an identified commercialization path at >80% probability/confidence
• Prefer at least at scale-up decision with validated process and equipment
• Ideally, commercialized in and available in large quantities (Truckload to Railcars)
• At scale, would fit within the requirements of the industry for volumes and quality

Please describe your company’s Innovation model and how this model helps to find new innovations.
• For product innovation
o We use simple product/technology roadmaps for each of our product areas
o We identify gaps for either scouting/partnership or internal development
o Focus on applied development – trying to solve an identified need, not basic research.
• For breakthrough technology
o Identify operational or product attributes that would change the rules for a product/market and then explore
o Seek out experts and perform feasibility tests to assess options
o Ideate, feasibility, assess, and then repeat, kill, or expand

Why work with TechConnect and the National Innovation Summit as a technology prospector?  Who are you looking to meet with?
Like many companies, we are lean and get internally focused on our own activities, schedules, and suppliers. We don’t as often look outside to see what’s available in other industries. We want to get our needs out to as many smart people as we can, and see what turns up.

We protect the things that people care about most; their family, homes, and possessions. While our market offers the potential for very large volumes, our products are highly engineered for performance, durability, and cost. We want to educate other researchers on our needs and hopefully find solutions that fit our market. We would be willing to partner in a number of ways depending upon the specific situation.


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