PROGRAM MANAGER: Nick Kacsandi, M.S.
OPPORTUNITY: Top respondents with the requisite expertise and/or technologies may be eligible for a variety of opportunities, including: consulting arrangements, contract research and development, joint development, proof of concept work leading to industrial implementation, product licensing, product acquisition or supplier agreements.
The client wishes to conduct preliminary discussions under NDA with top-rated partners no later than Q1 2016
Phase 1 – Proof of technical concept in within 6 months
Phase 2 – Development and optimization for commercial application within 12 months
Funding opportunities are available for top-rated solution providers to establish proof of technical concept. Joint development funds also exist for optimization of viable solutions with the potential for exclusive license agreement in the end application. Other business arrangements are negotiable at the discretion of the sponsoring client.
SOLUTION PROVIDER HELP DESK:
NineSigma’s client uses vectorized images (plotter, HPGL, .PLT file type) to drive production of customized designs across numerous remote operating sites. The original production files are created at a single location and held in a centralized electronic data “warehouse” until needed. When requested, the individual file has to be transmitted directly to the production site via hard copy (e.g. CD, etc.) on a case-by-case basis. Due to issues related to security and cost, the production equipment itself cannot be networked directly to the design inventory. Furthermore, the equipment does not have the capacity to store file data long-term. Therefore, innovative new methods are needed to overcome this disconnect.
One potential solution identified by the client, is to employ innovative barcoding techniques to convert the plotter file data into an easily transferrable and consistently readable format. The barcodes or other optically scannable output could then be emailed directly to the production site, printed out and then read by a barcode scanner to initiate production. It is imperative that the final vectorized data readout be identical to the original .PLT source data, otherwise the necessary plotter configurations can be lost in transit.
To date, no viable solutions have been identified by the client internally. The goal of this technology search is to engage potential partners with the requisite expertise and capabilities to conceptualize and propose a novel solution. Partners from across the full landscape of industry, research, consulting and academia are strongly encouraged to respond with their interest and capabilities.
The successful technology solution will address the following:
• Be compatible with or adaptable to .PLT data sources, including:
○ File size: 1 – 30KB
○ Finished engraved image size / scale: from 0.5 - 8 inch
○ Complexity of the vectorized image file ranges from simple to highly detailed
○ Images do not have a defined color component
• Be readable by an external, un-networked optical scanner
• Be easily decoded and auto-discriminated at the point of use
Additionally, successful technology proposals should include a brief discussion of the following topics:
• Relevant prior experience in barcoding, data conversion, optical machine-readable data manipulation
• Familiarity with vectorized image file types, specifically .PLT
• If available, examples of prior success in related applications
• Discussion of primary technical hurdles to be overcome and feasibility for resolution
Possible partners or approaches might include, but are not limited to:
• Individuals with the requisite expertise in one or more of the following areas:
○ Vectorized image files
○ Data conversion and manipulation related to the topic area of interest
○ Advanced barcoding or optical machine-readable data related to the topic area of interest
• Technology solutions that associate a barcode to individual design data within the optical scanner
• Advanced barcoding technologies
○ Convert .PLT to barcode and back to .PLT
• Other advanced data conversion technologies
○ Conversion from .PLT to alternative file types (.PDF, .BMP, etc.) as an intermediary step of this process may be an option, however the final output must replicate the initial .PLT configuration.
• Solutions that require specialized optical scanners to achieve the desired outcome
• Customized encoding or application development
• Combined software / hardware packages
The following approaches are not of interest:
• Solutions that require a networked connection between the data source and the optical reader / production equipment
• Solutions that do not offer a 1:1 replication of the source data
To respond, please make sure you are registered in NineSights, as it will prompt you to log in. Then, use the Response options at the top or bottom of the page. You may submit supplemental files in addition to your completed response form.
Appropriate responses will use the response form and address the following:
• Non-confidential description of proposed technology
• Technical maturity of the approach (concept, prototype, ready to commercialize, commercialized)
• Compatibility of the proposed solution with the requirements outlined in the “Key Success Criteria” section above.
• Discussion of how to resolve unmet Success Criteria
• Sample or prototype availability
• Performance data, if available and applicable
• Budget / Cost information, if available
• Team / Organization description
• Relevant expertise, experience or background related to the RFP topic area
• Organizational policy for addressing IP concerns, handling, licensing, etc.
• Desired relationship with the RFP sponsor