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Achieving Our Energy Innovation Goals

Mark Marich

At a meeting of national energy industry innovators in Omaha last week, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation released a report summarizing the discussion and recommendations made at the Energy Innovation Conference held at the White House last month.
The report outlines a number of specific recommendations to help grow energy innovation regionally, and inform a national energy innovation network, within the following categories:  
  • Advance energy innovation
  • Increase human capital to support energy innovation
  • Do outcomes-focused research
  • Overcome marketplace challenges
  • Encourage investment
  • Collaborate across government
To help facilitate connections among energy innovators, the Kauffman Foundation has created the Energy Innovation Network to help entrepreneurs connect with researchers to develop new technologies, assist start-ups in finding customers and connect public and private entities, share policy and other information.
“We find a number of policy barriers make deployment of a new technology difficult,” said Lesa Mitchell, Kauffman Foundation vice president of Advancing Innovation. “Often, the technology will have been developed and can get stuck getting to market. One of the key challenges is to smooth the path to bring that technology to market. It will have a significant impact on the energy industry.”
Following the regional meeting in Omaha, the Kauffman Foundation is co-hosting subsequent meetings in Portland, Ore., and Phoenix, Ariz.
“Clean energy has untapped potential to drive the economy and create jobs in America,” said Kauffman Foundation President and CEO Carl Schramm. “It is a lagging industry because of intense regulations, which often hampers innovation. These meetings will help us build a national network of energy innovators who can connect the disparate players in the industry and catalyze high-growth energy business formation and growth.”  

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