Over the past 25 years, Jeff Cernohous has been a force of innovation in the material science space. He has been a self-made entrepreneur and worked for industry leaders such as Stratasys and 3M. Now with full access to the global resources of the NAGASE Group through his company, Interfacial Consultants, and joint venture with Nagase America, Infinite Material Solutions, he has launched numerous disruptive materials and services to better serve market and customer needs.
To better understand what he sees on the road ahead, we asked Dr. Cernohous a few questions about innovation.
Q: As a leader at Interfacial, what does innovation mean to you and the way you operate?
JC: At Interfacial, we are not just focused on innovation, but specifically on disruptive innovation. Disruptive innovation reinvents industries and is often the result of cross-fertilizing existing concepts from industries that are seemingly unrelated. The key is people, specifically identifying and retaining people that are T-shaped, meaning that they have strong depth in at least one industry, as well as wide breadth of knowledge across many industries. These people, in the right environment can create disruptive innovations that can create incredible value and change the world.
Q: What are some trends you’re seeing right now that are influencing which projects you prioritize?
JC: Sustainable materials and manufacturing processes are becoming increasingly important as companies are working toward carbon neutrality. For this reason, we have several projects in this area and I expect it to only increase in the foreseeable future.
Q: How do you consider the impact of supply-chain on innovation?
JC: Supply chain disruption during the pandemic resulted in many companies prioritizing strategies to control their own destiny and avoid future disruption. If you overlay this with other global trends like distribution in additive manufacturing, sustainability/carbon neutrality, last mile delivery, etc. this has resulted in unprecedented challenges for managing supply chains. It is also an unprecedented opportunity to disruptively innovate in this area.
Q: How does Interfacial partner with its suppliers and customers to bring innovative solutions to market?
JC: Our core values include the phrases “Engaged Customers Shape our Business” and “Collaboration: Open Sharing of Knowledge, Successes and Failures”. This defines the level of partnership we are engaged in with our suppliers and customers. We strive for transparency as we work with our partners to bring innovative products and services to market. Commercializing disruptive innovations is a non-linear process and slows down dramatically if we are not actively engaged with our partners.
To learn more about Interfacial's innovative solutions and products, or to connect with a NAGASE specialist, contact us today.