Countries around the world are investing heavily in the development of clean energy technologies in an effort to become global leaders in this emerging, growing industry. National policies around clean energy and energy innovation are critical for achieving significant carbon emission reductions in the country while also building a globally competitive industry.
However, while national policy is an essential component in reaching these objectives, so too is the innovation and policy development that is taking place at the regional level. Regions like New England and Silicon Valley are leading the world in the creation of new technologies and companies that serve regional, national and global markets.
In an effort to focus on the important role regions can play in developing the clean energy industry, in October, 2010, MIT convened approximately 50 industry leaders drawn from New England to discuss how to grow this emerging industry in the region. The meeting was convened under the auspices of President Susan Hockfield’s Advisory Council on Regional Engagement. The specific topic for the day was the challenge of financing the post-demonstration/first commercial scale deployment of new energy technologies. But the discussion was wide ranging and covered a number of important issues related to creating a clean energy innovation system in the region, including innovation in small and large companies, early adoption and building new markets, manufacturing, and public policy.