Northeast Ohio’s first-of-its kind Advanced Energy B2B Conference & Expo was packed with companies, technologies and researchers driving progress in advanced energy in the region. The two-day event drew nearly 500 participants during the course of the event, which took place Sept.14-15 at the John S. Knight Center in Akron. The conference and expo showcased the region’s assets in advanced energy and provided a venue to explore commercial opportunities to stimulate regional growth. The exhibition hall was sold out with more than 50 companies featured.
The event was co-produced by NorTech, a regional nonprofit technology-based economic development organization, and the Summit County Mayors Association.
“The future of advanced energy is business to business, and this conference made that happen,” says Norma Powell Byron, president, Ashlawn Energy LLC. “We were able to talk over coffee with potential suppliers, forge customer relationships, and we even got an understanding of the federal government’s perspective. This type of comprehensive opportunity is where NorTech excels.”
The event was geared to companies and researchers engaged in the advanced energy industry, supply chain manufacturers interested in new opportunities, and regional, national and international collaborators seeking to do business in Northeast Ohio. The conference and expo highlighted competitive advantages in major sectors of the advanced energy industry, including biomass/waste to energy, energy storage, fuel cells, nuclear, shale gas, smart grid, solar photovoltaic, transportation electrification and wind energy.
“As a supplier of controls and solutions that cut across renewable and
traditional generation systems and sustainable manufacturing, this
conference afforded Rockwell Automation an excellent venue to highlight our
capabilities, while creating a climate that epitomizes the spirit of a clustering effort and business to business conference,” says Dave Mayewski of Rockwell
Automation. “The partner environment in this venue spanned the entrepreneur striving to commercialize an offering to the established manufacturer scaling to meet new demands and challenges.”
Presentations by industry experts
The conference offered a full slate of regional, national and international speakers and advanced energy experts. Arun Majumdar, director of the Advanced Energy Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) and senior adviser to the U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu, presented strategies for seizing advanced energy opportunities focusing on innovation, manufacturing and the marketing of technologies created in the U.S. and sold internationally.
Dennis McGinn, retired vice admiral and president of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) spoke on the close link between energy, climate and the national security. Stephen Crolius, senior director of the Clinton Climate Initiative provided a global perspective on how clean renewable energy technologies are impacting regional economies worldwide.
“The quality of the speakers was excellent. The director from ARPA-E gave an excellent overview of what the federal government is doing in some breakthrough advanced energy technologies,” says Julian Norley of GrafTech International.
Statewide partnership established
During the conference and expo, a new statewide network was announced between NorTech and seven of Ohio’s energy focused business organizations. This new organization, Advanced Energy Economy Ohio (AEE Ohio), will seek to drive the development of advanced energy to boost the state’s economy and competitiveness. Composed of CincyTech, Dayton Development Coalition, EWI, NorTech, Ohio Business Council for a Clean Economy, Rocket Ventures, TechColumbus, and TechGROWTH, the group represents one of the first regional energy organizations in an emerging, national coalition of advanced energy regional business organizations.
About the co-producers
NorTech is a regional nonprofit technology-based economic development organization serving 21 counties in Northeast Ohio. As a catalyst for growing Northeast Ohio’s emerging technology industries, NorTech is leading efforts to develop regional innovation clusters that create jobs, attract capital and have a long-term, positive impact on the region.
The Summit County Mayors Association is a nonpartisan organization composed of the leaders of the 22 cities and villages in Summit County. The organization focuses on economic development, regional planning, emergency management, infrastructure improvements and community development block grants.