Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)

Overview

Palo Alto Research Center Incorporated (PARC), a Xerox company, provides custom R&D services, technology, expertise, best practices, and intellectual property to Fortune 500 and Global 1000 companies, start-ups, and government agencies and partners. They create new business options, accelerate time to market, augment internal capabilities, and reduce risk for their clients.  Since its inception, PARC has pioneered many technology platforms – from the Ethernet and laser printing to the GUI and ubiquitous computing – and has enabled the creation of many industries. Incorporated as an independent, wholly owned subsidiary of Xerox in 2002, PARC continues the physical, computer, and social sciences research that enables breakthroughs for their clients' businesses (1a).

PARC offers business services, such as opportunity discovery and concept development, and work practice transformation; and electronic materials, devices, and systems solutions, including electronics design and prototyping, flexible and large-area electronics, MEMS and nanotech, microfluidics, optical systems, optoelectronic emitters and detectors, organic and printed electronics, printing for non-paper applications, and thin-film technologies. The company also provides information and communication technologies comprising automation and optimization, context-aware computing and mobile interaction, enterprise collaboration and knowledge systems, human-machine interfaces, image recognition, information visualization and sense making, natural language processing, networking, and security and privacy; and biomedical systems, such as continuous glucose monitoring, diagnostics and drug discovery tools, flow cytometry, mass spectrometry data analysis, and microscale separation (3).

Facilities and Research Initiatives

PARC offers clean tech services, including water filtration, energy efficiency, renewable liquid fuels, industrial liquid filtration, solar electricity generation, and solid-state lighting. It serves entrepreneurs, investors, venture-backed startups, government agencies, and program partners (3). Also, PARC's printed electronic devices team uses inkjet printing techniques to fabricate organic, active-matrix display backplanes for flexible displays and sensors.  PARC was involved in the technology-mediated social participation workshops funded by the National Science Foundation (2).

Another project with Thin Film Electronics ASA and the University of California Berkeley will concentrate on measuring temperature and blood oxygen content. It will pave the way toward printed sensing platforms to monitor humidity, light, pressure, sound, and gas. Applications of these sensors will include radiation tags, disposable medical sensors, pharmaceuticals tags to read and track temperature during shipping, and food tags, which help determine spoilage and contamination, among other uses (3).

Strategic Partnerships

In September 2012, PARC and LG Chem Power (LGCPI), a subsidiary of LG Chem, signed a $4 million contract with the US Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) under the program for Advanced Management and Protection of Energy Storage Devices (AMPED). They will develop a fiber optic monitoring system capable of providing detailed information about the internal condition of batteries to allow them to perform better in applications, such as electric vehicles (EVs) (1c). The system will use PARC's compact wavelength-shift detection technology and machine learning/sensor network expertise -- part of PARC's optics and optoelectronics and intelligent automation work -- to enable effective real-time performance management and optimized battery design (1b).

PARC is partnered with many other major companies on projects and developments.  Bulk AlN substrates supplier HexaTech, Inc., is working with PARC to gain their know-how and expertise in UVLEDs to move upstream towards more valuable devices.  P&G, through its Connect+Develop program, and PARC have worked on prototype development, technology evaluation, and product roadmapping. PARC has also partnered with Dentsu, GLO-USA, Inc., Sony, Thin Film Electronics, BASF, Power Assure, Inc., Motorola, Meshin, Dowa, NEC, Sun Microsystems, Inc., Samsung and Fujitsu Limited (1b).

Sources

  1. Palo Alto Research Center Incorporated (2012). Retrieved on November 11, 2012
    1. “About Us” from www.parc.com/about
    2. “Clients & Industry Contributions” from www.parc.com/services/industry-contributions.html
    3. "PARC Awarded $4M by ARPA-E to Develop Technologies to Improve Battery Performance Innovative Sensors Enable Batteries to Achieve Full Potential for Electric Vehicles and Grid Storage" (2012, September 19) from www.parc.com/news-release/70/parc-awarded-4m-by-arpa-e-to-develop-techno...
  2. AZoNano (2010, December 23). “PARC Scientist Recognized for Contribution in Thin Film Electronics Research.” Retrieved on November 11, 2012 from www.azonano.com/news.aspx?newsID=21056
  3. Bloomberg Businessweek (2012). “Company Overview of Palo Alto Research Center Incorporated.” Retrieved on November 12, 2012 from http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=1011100