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global midwest clean tech conference

Saturday 19 December, 2009

I attended the Global Midwest Clean Tech conference which was sponsored by the Global Midwest Partnership.  There were many sessions given over 2 days, so it’s not possible for me to summarize everything was presented, but here are some snippets of the international aspects covered there:

  • Illinois is ranked #44 in entrepreneurial activity.

Chet Culver, the governor of Iowa, pursued foreign investment aggressively by speaking abroad in Germany & Spain on a number of occasions & learning from foreigners experiences in driving public policy by simply mandating it.

The “Show me the money” session, sponsored by the Canadian consulate:  Ontario passed the Green Energy Act which created the 1st feed-in-tariff in North America with standards for certification, labeling, & packaging.  R&D investment tax credits act as a form of subsidy.  Hydro, & nuclear power can get rid of coal.  On the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) there are stringent requirements to get listed.  There are typically 5-8 analysts for $50M companies.  It’s easier to access brokers at the TSX.  The annual cost for remaining a publicly traded company is about $10-15,000 annually for a 75M company.  To help small-medium sized entrepreneurs expand globally, they need t0:

  • identify strategic partners in foreign countries
  • establish credibility
  • mine partners’ deep pockets to fund local projects
  • leverage partners to access local markets
  • industrial companies use debt while software companies do not
  • use banks to facilitate partnerships

David Weisberg of the Arava Institute stated Israel is #14 in # of patents issued worldwide

Ed Erickson of Erickson consulting advised using local partners to reach customers in foreign markets.  Linda Lin of FuelTech informed that fossil fuels still dominate power in China & coal plants are upping their capacities.  When marketing products in China, you need to be fast to bringing them to market.  Only contracts signed in China are valid in China.

The US Dept of Commerce sponsored the “How in the world can I do this?”  session.  They estimate clean tech will be a $40B industry & create 50,000 new jobs by 2020.  There are as of yet no SIC codes for clean tech, so it’s difficult to track statistics for it, which crosses 13 industrial sectors.  Worldwide governments have provided $150B in stimulus funds for renewable energies.  Global issues for clean tech are:

  • intellectual property
  • local content
  • transparency
  • local procurement
  • regulatory uncertainty
  • bureaucracy

The World Bank, in which the US is a 27% stakeholder, has a $6.3B multilateral target for Climate Investment funds because climate change is a barrier to investment in developing economies with transnational impact.  They are leveraging their relationships with regional banks to create a Clean Tech fund, Strategic Climate fund, etc.  They will allocate these funds at the country level to lower carbon ouputs & greenhouse gas emissions.

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