It happens here: Consumer-centric Innovation in Charlotte and beyond

Demystifying energy: Innovation for everyone via EPRI by Nheeda Enriquez
flickr photo credit: rbatina

flickr photo credit: rbatina

Energy is one of the “it” girls in innovation nowadays, given the full court coverage from the media and the Obama administration.  Amidst all the maelstrom sits the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI,) which is where marketing communications leader Don Kintner spends his days helping this independent, non-profit get its message out to customers from the Charlotte facility in the University area.

EPRI’s primary “customers” for its energy research are utilities and more recently, auto companies, but they don’t stop there.  They even provide answers for the utility technician, arming them with handy pocket field reference guides, such as “Visual Inspection of Polymer Insulators” and tools to help them evaluate the quality of transmission lines.

Kintner and the teams at EPRI host workshops with utilities to figure out which research projects ultimately inform the future of energy development, ensuring that the work they do is relevant and useful.  They also want to keep tabs on how the end consumer will react to changes in technology.  With all the attention and funding heading towards this sector, investment upfront to understand these issues sounds like money well spent.


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