The combination of Anthro (human) and Engineering (applying knowledge to create new things) is present not only in the end user's experience with a device but also in how the device is produced. New technology is never a closed system. The social and physical networks of any technology are always a tangible part of any device. To this end IEF R&D focuses on developing not only devices to solve problems sets but also new methods to implement, scale and sustain these solutions for the long term.
The current development landscape is shaped by challenges: higher energy and material costs, a tangled IP system but also opportunities such as readily available small scale manufacturing technology. With these factors, a new type of development methodology is emerging to address this landscape. From closed loop design to rapid-manufacturing practice IEF R&D strives to focus not only on new technology but the new methodologies for development.
A focus on using Open Source not only as a valuable development process but also as a business model allows knowledge to be generated and shared, emphasizing labor and applied knowledge over patents and IP ownership.
Because of this, the solutions designed by IEF R&D allow a community to form around specific technologies to further their development. Repositioning the "end use" as "contributor" to the develop process makes a smarter, stronger user base that allows for true ownership of the technology.
The open designs are released publicly so that the devices and their software can be modified, repaired, replicated and scaled locally at competitive prices, ideally resulting in expandable platforms and knowledge bases instead of single-use end products. This creates a more flexible, sustainable development process and a stronger technology solution for the client.
The use of technology forms nations without boundaries and as Thomas Jefferson noted "An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people".