Take note as industry and government professionals provide insight into the process of developing partnerships between small businesses and large organizations. Discuss the process of transitioning small-scale prototypes to market-worthy products, and learn about what major companies are looking for in potential new ideas, inventions and innovators. 


Adam Khan
AKHAN Semiconductor, Inc. 

Adam Khan is Founder and CEO of AKHAN Semiconductor, Inc. He has authored several patents and technical publications, and is also a frequent speaker on Diamond Semiconductor and Clean Technology. As a result of his award-winning research, which he began as an electrical engineering student at age 19, Khan is co-inventor of the Miraj Diamond™ Platform. He has also served as a speaker and expert witness to a variety of federal bodies, including the U.S. House Space, Science, & Technology Committee and the U.S. Department of Energy. Most recently, Khan’s work was recognized and individually honored by the U.S. Congress in the 114th Congressional Records and Proceedings.

Khan earned his BS degree in electrical engineering and physics from the University of Illinois at Chicago, before pursuing graduate research at Stanford University. He has been everything from a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree to a CleanTech Open Midwest Innovation Summit winner.

Robert Ashcraft
Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology

Robert Ashcraft is a member of the Open Innovation Group at the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT), the frontier R&D laboratory for Samsung Electronics. He works out of SAIT-America’s office in the Greater Boston area, and his research interests include novel materials and device components that can be leveraged to improve future products. In recent years, he has focused on next-generation energy storage technologies, display materials and functional films, primarily for consumer electronics applications. The Open Innovation team scouts for new technologies at all levels of the R&D ecosystem with a variety of tools at their disposal, for example, sponsored research, IP licensing, venture investments and joint development. Ashcraft is trained as a chemical engineer, with a PhD degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BS degree from North Carolina State University. Prior to joining Samsung in 2012, he performed postdoctoral research at Ghent University and worked as a technical consultant in Exponent’s Thermal Sciences practice.

Martin E. Poitzsch
Aramco Research Center

Martin Poitzsch is Team Leader for Reservoir Engineering Technology and Acting Upstream Research Center Leader at the Aramco Research Center—Boston. 

In this role, Poitzsch leads a team of nanomaterials scientists and chemists developing a new class of injectable and mobile reservoir “nanoprobes” that will be game-changers in monitoring and increasing the recovery factor from oil reservoirs. 

Prior to joining Aramco, he held a range of research and development management positions working with one of the leading oilfield services firms, Schlumberger. His work has included low-frequency electromagnetic imaging, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) well logging, and a range of other physics-based sensing technologies. Poitzsch has led product development teams in engineering and manufacturing as well as overseen well logging technology projects taking place in Schlumberger’s R&D centers in the United States, Europe and Asia. 

Poitzsch’s work has led him to create collaborations between Schlumberger engineering centers and external partners in universities, government labs and other energy-related companies. He served as the Completions Sensing Architect for the oil industry’s most advanced integrated SmartWell completions project, which was implemented by Schlumberger in collaboration with Saudi Aramco. 

Poitzsch earned a bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a doctorate in physics from Harvard University. He attended the Technische Universität Berlin as a Rotary International Scholar and also participated in an extended internship with Siemens AG. Upon completion of his PhD degree from Harvard, he served as a National Research Council (NRC) Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). In this role working with 2012 Physics Nobel Laureate David Wineland, Poitzsch constructed the first-ever liquid helium temperature RF ion trap atomic frequency standard prototype. 

Shashi Jasty
MilliporeSigma (Sigma-Aldrich Materials Science)

Shashi Jasty is currently Director of Global Technology Development and Licensing for the Lab and Specialty Chemicals Business Franchise of the Merck Life Science Sector. She also serves on the advisory boards of four academic Nanoscience and Materials Research Centers.

In her 20-year tenure at the company, she has held several positions of business, technical and operations responsibility in areas of materials science, chemistry and biology with a focus on markets that span the academic, government, pharmaceutical and high-tech sectors.

Jasty founded and directed the Global Materials Science initiative at Sigma-Aldrich. It included building an extensive research materials offer encompassing biomaterials, materials for energy, electronics and advanced materials synthesis.  She crafted an enterprise strategic plan and acquired significant company investment for the establishment of centers of R&D excellence in advanced specialty polymers, organic electronics and in hard materials, for providing customized solutions to alternative energy, biomedical and electronics industry clients. She led the successful integration of a company acquisition and shaped a materials science, theme-based, journal-quality publication – Material MattersTM.  She staffed and implemented a succession plan to enable continued accelerated growth of the materials science business when in late 2012, she was asked by the executive management of the company to lead a strategic initiative to address the singular needs of government researchers and contractors. Jasty's current leadership responsibilities encompass technology development and external partnerships to define and execute a global Growth Strategy through Innovation for Lab & Specialty Chemicals and Bioactives franchises.

Jasty has authored over 50 articles, peer-reviewed publications, patents and invited presentations. She received a PhD degree in condensed matter physics from Southern Illinois University followed by a postdoctoral research fellowship at The Ohio State University. She has co-organized and chaired conference symposia in conducting polymers and electronic materials while a member of the American Physical Society, the American Chemical Society, and she has been an active volunteer of the Materials Research Society (MRS). 

Jasty is a strong proponent of women in science and STEM education. She is passionate about advancing diversity, and mentors early and mid-career professionals under the MRS pilot and at the company through formal and informal talent development programs.

Edward Greer
The Dow Chemical Company

Edward is member of the Scouting & Exploration Network in Dow’s Ventures and Business Development group.

In this role, Edward is responsible for finding and evaluating technologies and opportunities that
complement Dow's robust Research & Development pipeline and have the potential to contribute
to the Company’s long-term success. Dow seeks innovations that extract value from the
intersection of chemical, physical, and biological sciences to help address many of the world’s
most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, clean energy generation and
conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity.

Edward joined Rohm & Haas in 1982 as a senior scientist in Analytical Research where he was
promoted to manager prior to moving into Computer Applications research. He then transitioned
to Corporate Exploratory research followed by Corporate Development. Edward has extensive
experience in research management, market development, and business development for the
Electronic Materials and Advanced Materials markets. He has contributed to advancements in
ceramics, displays, organic electronics, optical disks, photovoltaics, and microwave devices.

Edward earned a B.S. in Chemistry with Honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill and his Ph. D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He holds a
Certificate of Professional Development from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton
Executive Education program. Edward is a judge for numerous business plan competitions and
serves on the advisory boards of the Cornell Center for Materials Research and the New York
State Energy Research and Development Authority’s Proof of Concept Centers.

Timothy Bunning
Air Force Research Laboratory




  • The Dow Chemical Company


  • Duke University–University Program in Materials Science & Engineering


  • American Elements
  • Nature Electronics
  • Solvay Ventures

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  • Air Force Research Laboratory