ITRI (Industrial Technology Research Institute), Taiwan's largest and one of the world's leading high-tech research and development institutions announced that two of its breakthrough technologies have won the 2011 Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award. ITRI's Spray-IT, the first eco-friendly, thermal spray coating for use on glass and building material to lower energy costs, and i2R e-Paper, the first electronic paper technology to provide a rewritable, reusable and environmentally friendly print medium, received first-place prizes in the Environment and Materials and Basic Science and Technology categories over more than 600 competitors worldwide.
Spray-IT, securing first place in the 2011 Wall Street Journal TIA Environment category, is a heat-reflecting technology for windows and other building surfaces that lets in light without straining air conditioning. Spray-IT is the first clear liquid insulation spray coating that can be applied to glass windows and building tiles at one-tenth the cost of existing techniques, prompting greater adoption and reducing energy consumption. ITRI's Spray-IT uses a tin-dioxide material that can be easily sprayed onto building surfaces and is less costly than typical silver-based films, which are expensive to produce and cannot be applied without specialized equipment in a highly controlled environment. Spray-IT can be easily applied anywhere, to existing or new structures, without harmful effects to the environment.
"Managing energy consumption is critical for individuals and businesses, especially in warm and cool climates where a lack of proper thermal insulation causes increased energy consumption," said Dr. Tzer-Shen Lin, division director of ITRI's Electronic Materials & Devices Research Group. "ITRI's Spray-IT thermal insulation coating is inexpensive to produce, easy to apply and environmentally friendly."
ITRI's i2R e-Paper is the first electronic paper technology to provide a rewritable, reusable and environmentally friendly recyclable print medium—an "electronic paper"—to reduce traditional paper consumption. ITRI recently announced i2R e-Paper in the United States and received a 2011 R&D 100 Award from R&D Magazine for this technology. i2R e-Paper has won first place in the Wall Street Journal TIA Materials and Basic Science and Technology category.
i2R e-Paper, whether note card or banner roll size, does not consume electricity to maintain an image. To print and change content, users simply need a thermal printer fitted with a thermal head. Heat generated from the thermal head uses minimal power consumption and interacts with the environmentally friendly composition of the e-Paper to capture an image. Re-using the i2R e-Paper is as easy as putting it back into any thermal printer device. The old image is removed and replaced with a new one—no ink, no toner and no paper are consumed. i2R e-Paper delivers a 300 dpi high-resolution image that remains crisp until users decide to reuse the e-paper. It is both eco-friendly and re-writable more than 260 times.
"To be recognized for the third year in a row by an organization as prestigious and well-respected as The Wall Street Journal is a great honor," said Dr. John Chen, general director of ITRI's Display Technology Center. "I am very proud of our team's ability to deliver breakthrough technologies consistently and receive continued recognition for ITRI's innovations, year after year."
ITRI has applied more than 14 patents for the Spray-IT, and has applied for 17 patents for i2R e-Paper, eight of which have been granted. ITRI is in the process of licensing both technologies in Taiwan.