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Register Now! MIT Enterprise Forum of DC & Baltimore Gala 2011 : Celebrating Startups! With Startup America – The White House Initiative & The Public Private Partnership Initiative

In angel Investor, entrepreneur, finance, investment, Science, Technology, technology transfer, Venture Capital on March 17, 2011 at 2:38 pm

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Celebrating Startups
Tom Kalil

Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Co-lead, The White House; Agency Review Team at Presidential Transition Team; Chair, Global Health Working Group at Clinton Global Initiative ; Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress. Previously, he served as the Deputy Assistant to President Clinton for Technology and Economic Policy, as well as the Deputy Director of the White House National Economic Council.

Scott Case

CEO, Startup America Partnership Initiative

Timothy “Scott” Case is a technologist, entrepreneur and inventor and was co-founder of Priceline, the “Name Your Own Price” company that was one of only a handful of startups in US history to reach a billion dollars in annual sales in less than 24 months. As Chief Technology Officer, he was responsible for building the technology that enabled Priceline’s hyper-growth.

Time is running out! Register Now at http://www.mitefdc.org And Join Us: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM Embassy of France 4101 Reservoir Road, NW Washington DC District of Columbia USA 20007
Greetings!

The MIT Enterprise Forum is pleased to announce that its annual Gala will be held the evening of Tuesday, March 29.  Our program will feature both an introduction to President Obama’s Startup America Initiative by Tom Kalil and an introduction to the public/private Startup America Partnership by it’s new CEO Scott Case. Scott case is leading the comprehensive public-private Startup America initiative for innovation and excellence in the entrepreneurial community ,

Register Before March 26, 2011!

The Startup America Partnership is itself a startup, which has received support from the Kauffman Foundation and the Case Foundation.  Our keynote speaker will be Scott Case, the recently named CEO of the Startup America Partnership .


Join us for an evening of dinner, networking, and a program celebrating entrepreneurial innovation!
Get in on the ground floor as this innovative public-private partnership develops resources for emerging companies and raises awareness of the critical role that entrepreneurs play in job creation and economic growth.

Our venue for the event is the stunning French Embassy .The dinner fare will be a delightful buffet of French cuisine favorites, and will be paired with wine before the presentations and dessert after. The cost is $85.00 for non-members and $45.00 for members.

Sincerely,
MIT Enterprise Forum of Washington DC/Baltimore

PRESS CONTACT

MIT Enterprise Forum

410-905-3564

MIT Enterprise Forum of Washington DC & Baltimore’s Annual Gala 2011

Celebrating Startups!

THE PROGRAM

Dinner & French Wine

Main Hall 6:00-7:15 pm

Program

Auditorium 7:30-8:30 pm

Moderated by

Halima Aquino, Chair, MIT Enterprise Forum of DC & Baltimore


Welcome

Ambassador, Embassy of France (Invited)


Introduction to the MIT Enterprise Forum

Halima Aquino

MIT Enterprise Forum Entrepreneurial Success Stories
Moderated by Ira Gershkoff, MITEF Vice Chair

  • Scott Sklar, CEO, The Stella Group
  • Ven Chava, CEO, AirArts


President Barack Obama’s Startup America Initiative

Tom Kalil, Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Co-lead Agency Review Team at Presidential Transition Team, The White House

Startup America Partnership Initiative
Scott Case, CEO

French Commercial Trivia Competition
Fredric Abramson, CEO AlphaGenics

Main Hall

9:00-10:00 pm

Coffee & Dessert


Closing Remarks


StartupAmerica

French Embassy
KREDI NVTC
Shapiro SherNZCIT
Red HewellProVDNteqcornerJohns Hopkins

MIT Enterprise Forum of Washington DC & Baltimore
4301 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, Virginia 22203

CREATIVE BRAINSTORMING THE MIT WAY

In entrepreneur, Environment, finance, investment, Science, Technology, technology transfer, Venture Capital on April 6, 2010 at 11:29 am

Idea Explorer | MIT World.

This WONDERFUL WATERFALL OF WORDS reflects the range of ideas and concepts discussed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  In keeping with the MIT tradition, the word count is infinite, as new words and ideas are added every day. Want to brainstorm? Go to the site and click on an idea and watch a video on the topic.

GOT AN IDEA? Add it to the infinite list and watch a video on the topic...

MIT Enterprise Forum Gala 2010 at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC

In angel Investor, cleantech, Energy, entrepreneur, finance, investment, Science, Technology, technology transfer, Venture Capital on February 22, 2010 at 7:08 pm

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The MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) of DC & Baltimore’s  2010 Gala on February 18, 2010 was an event to remember for 150+ small and medium entrepreneurs and the larger companies, VCs, Angel Investors and service providers who support and mentor them.

In a town where skepticism is rampant and who you know sometimes seems more important than what you know, the MIT Enterprise Forum of DC and Baltimore refreshingly brought together inspired professionals with knowledge, leadership and hope for the future to talk about international cooperation in launching and growing science based technology businesses. The Gala was held at the beautiful Canadian Embassy on Pennsylvania Avenue and it marked MITEF’s first DC based event. The glass windows of the Embassy looked out onto the Capital which provided a terrific backdrop for the distinguished gathering. One hundred and fifty entrepreneurs, scientists, venture capitalists and service-providers spent three hours mingling and eating, listening and asking questions of two fascinating keynote speakers with first hand knowledge about policy and the investment realities for Canadian and American businesses.

MITEF Gala program


This year’s theme was “Growing Opportunity for Technology Entrepreneurship in Domestic and Emerging Markets: The Role of Innovation in Economic Development” and was chaired by Patrick Mellody, a Director on the MITEF Board.  Jean-Luc Park, the MITEF Chairman and an Associate at the Calvert Fund moderated.

Jean-Luc Park Chairman Chapter of the MITEF of DC & Baltimore

The two keynote speakers were Jean-René Halde of the Business Development Bank of Canada & Phil Auerswald, founder and co-editor of the MIT Innovations Journal (along with Iqbal Quadir, Founder of Grameen Phone) and Associate Professor at George Mason University. The question and answer period went on for 30 minutes which indicated that people were truly engaged with both Jean-René Halde and Phil Auerswald.

Jean-René Halde’s visit with the MITEF was part of a larger business trip to the United States. Mr. Halde told the crowd that he was enjoying his trip and had enjoyed productive meetings with the heads of several private and public American institutions in Washington, DC. As CEO of the Business Development Bank of Canada, Jean-René’s primary goal is to invest in and promote entrepreneurial activity in Canada. He does this with tremendous support from the Canadian government. He is enthusiastic about the many successful entrepreneurial partnerships between American and Canadian companies. Mr. Halde also shared what he believes are new opportunities in a difficult economic environment. Mr. Halde ended the evening by  showing his Canadian pride as this year’s sponsor of the Olympics. He generously awarded several pairs of red mittens adorned with the Olympic symbol to several lucky attendees.

Phil Auerswald came to the Gala hours after meeting with leaders at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. Mr. Auerswald brought a fresh new perspective to the MIT Enterprise Forum. He asked entrepreneurs to think globally as they create new entrepreneurial partnerships and establish new markets for their products. He asked them to engage foreign nationals to learn more about partnership opportunities in international markets. He also asked entrepreneurs to become more politically involved to protect their interests and grow their range of opportunities both at-home and abroad.

All in all- the evening was a tribute to the spirit of innovation and broad international entrepreneurial partnerships. Event Sponsors included The Canadian Embassy, Honeywell, Connolly Bove Lodge & Hutz, LLP and ProVDN

_______________________________
About The MIT Enterprise Forum
Open to all since 1981, the Enterprise Forum® has promoted the growth, education, and success of the entrepreneur and business community of the greater Washington & Baltimore area.
The MITEF is a non-profit, volunteer organization, it provides exceptional quality events that are open to the public.  Its many programs are targeted to local start-ups, high technology businesses, venture capitalists, angels, and the professionals who support them.

The DC  chapter is one of a network of 24 worldwide chapters of the Enterprise Forum , which was created as an outreach educational program of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.).  Participation and membership by the general public, regardless of their affiliation, is encouraged.

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The Author, Halima Aquino, is a Director on the Board of the MIT Enterprise Forum. She was also last year’s Gala Chair and this year’s Vice Chair. Halima is the Founder of Bolton Hill Consulting and Clean Tech Market Maker.

Photography and videos supplied by Allan Tone at ProVDN

2010 Goldman Sachs Making Up To $1B Investment in Renewable Energy

In agriculture, biofuel, Biotechnology, cleantech, construction, Energy, entrepreneur, Environment, finance, greentech, investment, Solar, Sustainable, Venture Capital on February 11, 2010 at 3:36 am

Goldman Sachs Environmental Policy Framework

In mid- January (see Bloomberg) Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said that shortages will reappear in the crude oil market as supply fails to keep pace with a recovery in demand. Global oil consumption will return to levels seen before the financial crisis by the third quarter of this year, Goldman analyst Jeffrey Currie said in a presentation in London.  At the same time, projects to bring new oil to consumers are still lagging as a result of the credit crunch, he said. By 2011, the market is back to capacity constraints…The financial crisis created a collapse in company returns which has significantly interrupted the investment phase.”

Goldman Sachs is aggressively seeking market making opportunities in environmental markets. The policy framework that they have laid out explains both their investment strategy and an underlying commitment to protect the environment and indigenous populations. Their specific interests in wind, water, solar, alternative biofuels and sustainable forestry related products are detailed below along with references to existing partnerships and hints of future commitments.

Goldman Sachs “seeks to make a significant positive contribution to climate change, sustainable forestry and ecosystem services through market-based solutions.”

In their own words-  Goldman Sachs’ core competencies include

Goldman Sachs will aggressively seek market making and investment opportunities in the environmental markets described below.

These are Goldman Sachs’ stated objectives:

  1. They intend to be  a leading U.S. wind energy developer and generator through their recently acquired subsidiary, Horizon Wind Energy (f.k.a. Zilkha Renewable Energy).
  2. They will make available up to $1 billion to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
  3. They will evaluate opportunities and, where appropriate, encourage the development of and participate in markets for water, biodiversity, forest management, forest-based ecosystems, and other ecosystem features and services.
  4. They will continue to devise investment structures for renewable energy and invest alongside our energy clients, such as our wind energy partnership with Shell Wind Energy and our solar energy fund with BP Solar.
  5. They will explore investment opportunities in renewable and/or cleaner burning alternative fuels such as renewable diesel (such as our investment in Changing World Technologies), ethanol and biomass.
  6. They will seek to make investments in, and create financing structures to assist in the development and commercialization of, other environmentally friendly technologies.

Equator Principles

The Equator Principles serve as a framework for determining, assessing, and managing environmental and social risk in project financing, based on the policies of the World Bank and its private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation. Goldman Sachs will seek to apply the general guidelines to debt and equity underwriting transactions, to the initiation of loans and to investment banking advisory assignments where the use of proceeds is specified to be used for potentially

Goldman Sachs says that they will not knowingly finance

  • Any project or initiate loans where the specified use of proceeds would significantly convert or degrade a critical natural habitat.
  • Extractive projects or commercial logging in World Heritage sites.ii
  • Companies or projects that collude with or are knowingly engaged in illegal logging
  • Projects that contravene any relevant international environmental agreement which has been enacted into the law of, or otherwise has the force of law in, the country in which the project is located.

Goldman Sachs prefers to

  • Only finance preservation and light, nonextractive use of forest resources for projects in forests whose high conservation values are endangered.iii
  • Develop due diligence procedures around key environmental issues for use in evaluating potential financings.
  • Protect the highest conservation values in forests with respect to its execution of financings in the logging and forest products industries.
  • Use a Forest Stewardship Council or a comparable certification when they finance forestry projects that impact high conservation value forests.
  • Examine whether clients process, purchase, or trade wood products from high risk countries and will encourage such clients to have certifiable systems in place to ensure that the wood they process, purchase or trade comes from legal sources.
  • Provide training, as appropriate, to our employees on environmental issues and practices.
  • Develop training sessions and provide the tools necessary to make informed decisions.
  • Finance projects in indigenous areas where free, prior informed consultation results in support of the project by the affected indigenous peoples.

China’s Power Sources & Clean Energy Technologies Are Expanding: Some Companies to Know About

In agriculture, biofuel, Biotechnology, china, cleantech, Energy, Environment, finance, greentech, investment, maintech, Power Grid, Science, Sustainable, Technology, Venture Capital on February 11, 2010 at 2:23 am

China, the world’s largest polluting nation, is working with international organizations and private industry to develop cleaner energy models to combat climate change and meet demand for power in an economy that expanded 10.7 percent in the fourth quarter 2009.

By 2020, China aims to use 10 million tons of bioethanol and 2 million tons of biodiesel, replacing 10 million tons a year of petroleum-based fuel, Chen Deming, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, told a news conference.

The companies described here are not meant to be a complete list of Chinese companies engaged in clean energy nor is Bolton Hill Consulting, Ltd. making any specific recommendations with respect to these companies. The descriptions are provided here for information purposes only to help companies unfamiliar with China’s clean energy interests to better understand the rapidly changing landscape and some of the pivotal players in China.

The companies described below are powerful in China or have shown rapid growth. They may be working with American and European companies or they are likely to do so in the near future. These companies are acquiring foreign companies, setting up subsidiaries, developing new technologies and making innovative use of existing technologies.

A Large Scale Demonstration Project: China Renewable Energy Scale-up Program (CRESP)

The CRESP program was developed by the Government of China (GOC) in cooperation with the World Bank (WB) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Together, these entities have been implementing the Renewable Energy Scale-up program for China which aims to create a legal, regulatory, and institutional environment conducive to large-scale, renewable-based electricity generation in two Chinese provinces. The Institutional Development and Capacity Building component includes: Mandated Market Policy MMP research and implementation support; technology improvement for wind and biomass; and long-term capacity building.

  • In Fujian, a 100 MW wind farm at Changjiang’ao, Pingtan Island. The Pingtan wind farm will consist of wind turbines, associated civil and electrical works, an extension to an existing control room, a switchyard, and a 15 km, 110 kV transmission line from the wind farm to the Beicuo substation, which will be upgraded to meet the evacuation needs of the wind farm. In Jiangsu, a 25 MW straw-fired biomass power plant at Mabei Village, Rudong County.
  • The Rudong power plant will consist of one 110 ton per hour, high-temperature, high-pressure strawfired boiler, one 25 MW steam turbine, and associated mechanical, electrical, and civil works.

Get to Know These Companies:


1. China Huaneng Group Corp, China’s Largest Power Producer

  • The company may be planning to take its wind power unit public in a Hong Kong share sale this year worth at least $1 billion, said people familiar with the plan.

2. China Power Engineering Consulting Group Corporation or “The Group”

  • “The Group” is active in developing new clean technologies and leads the country not only in design of conventional thermal power plants, transmission and substations.
  • The Group Corporation has also carried out widespread international exchange and cooperation with many foreign enterprises groups and engineering companies.
  • The Group Corporation plays leading role in scientific research, standardization and technical information for power survey and design, undertakes new technological research and development, introduces, assimilates and innovates new technologies.

3. China Southern Power Grid Corporation Ltd.: Managing China’s Grid

China Southern Power Gird Corporation is administered by the central government,with independent budgetary status.The total assets of the new power gird operator surpass 203.8 billion yuan(US$24.10billion) and its registered capital is 60 billion yuan (US$7.23billion).Its main responsibilities are:to operate and manage power gird according to the law,ensure reliable power supply,plan the development of regional power gird,foster regional power market,manage power dispatching and trading center,and carry out power dispatching according to power gird operation laws and the market regulations.

4. China SDIC Power: Received Largest Capital Injection of Power Assets ever

China SDIC Power’ takeover of power assets from its controlling shareholder, State Development and Investment Company, for a consideration of RMB 7.69 Bn. After the transaction, SDIC power assets achieved a whole listing. This deal was the largest capital injection to a listed company by its controlling shareholder in 2009, and the largest capital injection of power assets ever. Along with the commission of a number of key power projects, such as cascade hydropower stations in the Yalong River Valley and Tianjin million-kilowatt extra supercritical thermal power station-a pilot project of circular economy, the total installed capacity of SDIC will reach 50000 MW by 2012, with total assets of SDIC’s power business exceeding RMB 140 billion.

Wind Power in China

  • Chinese wind power capacity doubled for the fifth time by end of 2009, to 25.1 gW by the end of 2009, a third of the global additions in the previous 12 months, according to the Global Wind Energy Council.

5. China Longyuan Power Group Corp, China’s Biggest Wind-Power Producer in December raised HK$20.1 billion in the world’s second-largest alternative energy initial public offering (IPO) since at least 1999, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

6. Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co 002202.SZ,: Growing Chinese Wind Generator Manufacturer- The Group’s principal activities are manufacturing, marketing and selling large-sized wind generator sets. Other activities include introducing and applying wind generating technology; manufacturing and selling parts of wind generating sets; providing consulting services in building and operating wind generating plants; building and operating middle-sized wind generating plants. This company is already listed in Shenzhen, aims to raise $1.5 billion from a Hong Kong IPO in the first half of this year, sources told Reuters earlier.


Biofuel in China:


By 2020, China aims to use 10 million tons of bioethanol and 2 million tons of biodiesel, replacing 10 million tons a year of petroleum-based fuel, Chen Deming, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, told a news conference. “In the future, all the biofuel production will use non-grain crops,” Chen said.

7. China Clean Energy (OTCBB:CCGY) : develops and manufactures biodiesel and environmentally-friendly specialty chemical products made from renewable resources through its subsidiaries, Fujian Zhongde Technology and Fujian Zhongde Energy. It’s new plant (Oct. 2009)  has been designed to produce up to 100,000 tons of biodiesel annually or a combination of as much as 40,000 tons of biodiesel and 30,000 tons of specialty chemicals.

8. Novozymes in China: laboratory and research facilities have now doubled in size Novozymes has a total of around 200 employees in Beijing, including 100 or so working in research and development. Lykke Friis, the Danish Minister for Climate and Energy:“The idea behind the extension is to strengthen our research into biomass for advanced biofuels, made from waste materials such as straw. Here in China we’ve entered into partnerships with two important players in the field, namely COFCO and Sinopec.” Novozymes to Announce Details on Cellulosic Ethanol Technology February 16, 2010 at NEC Conference

9. China Biodiesel Holding Corporation: leading product is Biodiesel, while the sideline-products are oleic acid methyl ester,C16C18 fatty acid methyl ester, coconut oil methyl ester. The main market is located in mainland China, but abroad channels are maturing, including Europe, East Asia, and North America.  They report that their current total capacity is now 100,000 tons per annum (Feb 2010)

SDIC’s Hydropower Projects


Along with the commission of a number of key power projects, such as cascade hydropower stations in the Yalong River Valley and Tianjin million-kilowatt extra supercritical thermal power station-a pilot project of circular economy, the total installed capacity of SDIC will reach 50000 MW by 2012, with total assets of SDIC’s power business exceeding RMB 140 billion.
Investment Projects
10. SDIC HUAJING POWER HOLDINGS CO.,LTD.
11. ERTAN HYDROPOWER DEVELOPMENT COMPANY,LTD.
12. SDIC YUNNAN DACHAOSHAN HYDROPOWER CO,LTD.
13. SDIC QINZHOU ELECTRIC POWER CO.,LTD.
14. JINGYUAN SECOND POWER CO.,LTD.
15. GANSU XIAOSANXIA HYDROPOWER DEVELOPMENT CO.LTD.

US DOE International Solar Decathlon 2009 Winners & 2011 Rules

In building, cleantech, construction, Energy, entrepreneur, Environment, greentech, investment, maintech, Science, Solar, Sustainable, Technology, technology transfer, Venture Capital on February 10, 2010 at 5:56 pm

MIT Press Reframing the Conversation on Energy and Climate

In cleantech, Energy, Environment, greentech, investment, Power Grid, Science, Sustainable, Technology on December 5, 2009 at 2:49 pm

MIT Press Reframing the Conversation on Energy and Climate.

If you have any trouble playing the video here- then press HERE

Bolton Hill Consulting assisted MIT Innovations editors to organize this educational event at the National Academy of Sciences. (Live Streaming & Video production provided by Alan Tone at Fimmaker etc).

Time For Change
Reframing the Conversation on Energy and Climate

A discussion on the occasion of the release of the Innovations journal special issue on energy & climate.

November 24, 2009
The National Academy of Sciences
Washington, D.C.

The solutions to our climate challenge aren’t just “out there,” they are right here-before your eyes, in your hands.
—John P. Holdren,
Science Adviser to the President of the United States, Introduction to Innovations 4:4 Energy for Change: Creating Climate Solutions

EVENT DESCRIPTION

The goal of this meeting was to contribute to reframing the conversation on energy and climate by illuminating opportunities inherent in the transition away from carbon intensity. The meeting focused on how technologies already in use can be combined with common-sense policies and 21st century modes of organization to create jobs, advance innovation, and enhance international cooperation. Led by the Science Adviser to the President of the United States, John Holdren, and informed by a year-long project on energy & climate at the National Academy of Sciences, the meeting was be organized into a set of forward-looking conversations respectively emphasizing opportunities for business, for the United States, and for the global community of nations.

Selected video highlights from Time for Change: Reframing the Conversation on Energy and Climate.

AGENDA

Panel #1: Building Change: The built environment and electric power service delivery video

Moderator:Ellen Vaughan, Environmental and Energy Study Institute .pdf

Panelist:Ralph Cavanagh, Natural Resources Defense Council .pdf

Panelist: James Turner, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities .pdf

Panelist: Henry Green, National Institute of Building Sciences .pdf


Panel #2: Driving Change: Transport and reduced oil consumption
video

Moderator:Philip Auerswald, George Mason University

Panelist:Judi Greenwald, Pew Center on Global Climate Change

Panelist: L. Jerry Hansen, United States Army

Panelist:William Drayton, Ashoka and Get America Working! .pdf


Panel #3: Legislating Change: U.S. policy options and directions
video

Moderator:Edward Maibach, George Mason University

Panelist:Richard Meserve, The Carnegie Institution

Panelist:Jason Grumet, Bipartisan Policy Center

Panelist:Bracken Hendricks, Center for American Progress


Introduction of Keynote Speaker

Philip Auerswald, George Mason University

Keynote Address video

John P. Holdren, Science Adviser to the President of the United States .pdf


Panel #4: Negotiating Change: International agreements and new institutional arrangements at a global scale
video

Moderator:William Bonvillian, MIT .pdf

Panelist:Thomas Schelling, University of Maryland .pdf

Panelist: Frank Alix, Powerspan Corp. .pdf

Panelist:Iqbal Quadir, MIT

Closing Address video

Rear Admiral Philip Hart Cullom, United States Navy


Concluding Remarks
video

William Bonvillian, MIT .pdf

Read William B. Bonvillian and Charles Weiss’s MIT Press Book: Structuring an Energy Technology Revolution

Subscribe to Innovations

World Bank Development Marketplace Climate Adaptation Grant Recipients to be Announced November 10-13, 2009

In agriculture, Bioscience, Biotechnology, cleantech, Environment, greentech, Science, Sustainable, Technology on October 20, 2009 at 12:27 pm

The Development Marketplace is a competitive grant program administered by the World Bank. The 2009 global competition is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and additional DM partners. It aims to identify 20 to 25 innovative, early-stage projects addressing climate adaptation.

Open to the public: this year’s Climate Adaptation Grant Recipients will be announced on Nov 10-13, 2009

Development Marketplace – DM2009 – Climate Adaptation.

In 2008- twenty-two project winners collected their crystal awards and grant checks in the 2008 Global Development Marketplace: Sustainable Agriculture for Development:

The winners came from Sub-Saharan Africa, South and East Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean.  India, Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador, Cambodia, and Vietnam were each the home of two award winners.  Altogether, 15 countries and Sub-Saharan Africa as a region were represented.

The projects that made the final cut — from 1,800 applications that were winnowed down to 100 from 42 countries — promise to deliver a number of objectives and innovations to increase agricultural productivity, give farmers more land rights and link them to global markets, and, overall, reduce the deep poverty of rural regions in developing countries.

All the grants are $200,000 or less — but the World Bank Group and other funders of DM2008 see even the smallest projects having a catalyst effect on lagging agricultural development that has been undercutting gains in the global fight against poverty.

In her opening remarks, Katherine Sierra, Vice President of Sustainable Development at the World Bank, a DM2008 partner, complimented the winners on their “ambition and drive,” and said their innovation comes when it’s especially needed — amid the crisis of rising commodity prices.

“Today we meet to celebrate innovation,” said second speaker Monique Barbut, CEO of the Global Environment Facility, a competition partner.  “And the projects we are recognizing here do just that by supporting communities struggling with the agricultural challenges of the food price crisis.”

More compliments came from other speakers representing other partners — Mercy Karanja, Senior Program Officer of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Albert Engel, Head, Division for Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food at GTZ.

The winners that used technology are listed below: (listed by project, country, sponsoring organization, and objective):

1. Using Cassava Waste to Raise Goats, Nigeria, University of Agricultural, Abeokuta. To create a new market linking cassava producers and goat keepers through the introduction of a simple drying technology that will turn cassava waste into goat feed.  As a result, the project will increase farming incomes and reduce carbon dioxide wastes by eliminating the need to burn cassava waste.

2. Converting Rice Fields into Green Fertilizer Factories, Ecuador, Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL). To increase rice yields and reduce dependency on imported artificial nitrogen fertilizers through the re-introduction and cultivation of the Azolla Anabena plant as a biofertilizer.

3. Linking Coffee Farmers to Markets via Traceable Coffee, Sub-Saharan Africa, Pachama Coffee Cooperative of Small-scale coffee producers. To support small farmers to obtain a greater share of the value-added in coffee production through the introduction of an online tracking system that will allow end consumers to trace a specific coffee back to the level of the actual farm.

4. Mini Cold Storage Ventures, India, Tiruchirappalli Regional Engineering College- Science and Technology Entrepreneurs Park. To establish cold chain enterprises among trained youth using the latest technology in refrigeration adapted to the needs of small farmers.

5. Renewable Energy-Powered Milk Coolers, Uganda, University of Georgia, To test a reengineered milk cooling system to match the needs of smallholder dairy farmers, resulting in reduced post-harvest losses and increased farm income.

6. Micro-Franchising Scheme for Agricultural Services, Cambodia, International Development Enterprises Cambodia. To develop a sustainable micro-franchise enterprise to provide affordable horticulture services through private extension agents.

7. Açaí Production for Income Generation and Forest Protection, Brazil, Centro Ecológico. To provide technical services to a local cooperative of small scale farmers in the biodiversity-rich Atlantic Forests to harvest and market the açaí berry.

8. Value Chain Development for Textile Products, Mongolia, VSO. To increase the domestic value of livestock production through better marketing opportunities and services to raw material producers and processors.

9. Organoleptic Analysis to Improve Market Access for Cacao Growers, Ecuador, Conservación y Desarrollo. To equip cacao growers with access to chocolate making machinery so that they can better serve differentiated markets and improve the quality of their product.

10. Ancient Cocoa: Modern Genomics Methods Benefiting Small Farmers, Trinida and Tobago, Bioversity International. To enhance the cocoa value chain by facilitating the identification of more profitable trace cocoa cultivars using modern genomics methods.

11. Riverbed Farming for Landless Households in Nepal, Nepal, Helvetas. To facilitate the use of leasing arrangements for landless households to gain access to unused dry riverbeds for off-season cultivation of horticultural produce.

12. Collective Land Ownership Model for Women, India, Manav Seva Sansthan “SEVA.” To demonstrate the effectiveness of a collective land ownership model that provides women secured land holdings necessary for them to adopt more profitable modern farming practices.

13. Legal Aid for Farmers’ Land Rights, China, Rural Development Institute. To create the first legal aid center in China devoted to farmers’ agricultural land rights.

14. Land Ownership for the Rural Poor in Mexico, Mexico, Agros International.To create two sustainable farming communities in Chiapas through the long-term lease of land and provision of integrated technical services to landless farmers.

15. Producing Biofuel from Indigenous Non-Edible Nuts, Tanazania, Africa Biofuel and Emission Reduction Ltd. To cultivate and sell an indigenous oil-seed for biofuel from the Croton tree, creating a new, sustainable cash crop for smallholder farmers.

16. Locally Produced Biofuel Outboard Motor, Senegal, Mission Goorgoorlu. To introduce along Senegal’s waterways an affordable and environmentally friendly mode to transport agriculture products to market. The project is using traditional vessels powered by a locally produced biofuel outboard motor fueled by processed indigenous oil seeds.

17. Agricultural Cooperatives for Biodiversity Conservation, Cambodia, Wildlife Conservation Society. To pilot Cambodia’s first market for payment for environmental services generated from agriculture using a “Wildlife-friendly” branding and marketing strategy.

18. Reducing Impacts of Ranching on Biodiversity, Mexico, Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda. To pilot a payment scheme for a “gourmet” menu of integrated environmental services generated from intensive cattle operations in the biodiversity-rich area of San Antonio Tancoyol.

19. Sustaining Nitrogen-Efficient Rice Production, Vietnam, University of Sydney. To establish an integrated production-supply-extension chain to ensure a reliable biofertilizer product that reduces chemical contamination and increases yields.

20. Low-Cost Housing: Waste Rice Straw Construction Panels, Vietnam, Vinh Sang Ltd. To create a sustainable enterprise that manufactures kits for affordable environmentally sustainable housing made from recycled straw waste in the Mekong Delta.

22. Payment for Ecosystem Services and Sustainable Agriculture, Paraguay, Organization of American States. To implement in three pilot sites a menu of agro-forestry practices combined with a scheme of Payments for Ecosystem Services. This will be the first application of Paraguay’s Law of Ecosystem Services in the context of a rural farm economy.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Supports Sustainable Agricultural Development through Science & Technology

In agriculture, Bioscience, Biotechnology, Environment, finance, greentech, investment, Science, Sustainable, Technology on October 20, 2009 at 10:42 am

The following is taken from parts of the Gates Foundation’s website

Frequently Asked Questions About Agricultural Development – Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation support programs that will enable small farmers to break the cycle of hunger and poverty—to sell what they grow or raise, increase their incomes, and make their farms more productive and sustainable.
“We fund projects with partners who”:
  • Employ a collaborative and comprehensive approach.
  • Provide small farmers with the supplies and support they need to succeed.
  • Put women at the center of their work.
  • Help small farmers profit from their crops.
  • Use science and technology to develop crops that can thrive.

Updates on Funded Projects
During the original Green Revolution, overuse of fertilizer led to unanticipated environmental consequences. Today, we consider potential environmental impacts in all of our grantmaking, and are committed to a sustainable model of agriculture that takes into account the needs of both farmers and the environment. So while Africa’s severely depleted soils require fertilizer, we promote judicious and efficient uses of fertilizer, and more intensive use of organic matter. We also invest in efforts to improve soil and water conservation techniques.

Another unanticipated consequence of the original Green Revolution was increased inequity in some areas. Our work is focused on providing small farmers living on less than a dollar a day—most of whom are women—with tools and opportunities to lift themselves out of hunger and poverty. We and our grantees work to involve small farmers in the design and evaluation of our projects, to ensure that our work meets their needs and addresses the realities they face in their local areas.

Another difference is that the original Green Revolution focused primarily on raising the yields of two staple crops: rice and wheat. Africa’s diverse agroecological zones and varied conditions will require a much greater range of approaches, from boosting productivity in a wider range of crops to developing crops that are resistant to drought, disease, and pests. We are working to carefully understand the different needs of small farmers throughout the continent and are designing our efforts to respond to their specific circumstances.

This new Green Revolution is broad based and includes significant African leadership on a number of levels. We are working with a wide range of partners to strengthen the entire agricultural value chain—from seeds and soil to farm management and market access—so that progress is sustainable over the long-term. We are also working to involve and empower women—who are integral to success in agriculture—at every level of our work.

Q: Do you pay attention to the environmental impact of your agricultural grantmaking?

A: Yes—we consider potential environmental impacts in all of our grantmaking. Our approach is to support both poor farmers and the environment.Population growth and poor soil health in Africa have forced farmers to clear and cultivate more marginal lands, often leading to erosion, deforestation, and sometimes desertification. In Asia, the misuse of fertilizers and irrigation has caused large areas of land to be lost to acidification and salinization.

We understand these are not sustainable ways to produce food or preserve the environment. In revitalizing small-scale farm production we are funding approaches that support small farmers and are ecologically sound.

Q: Does the foundation promote the use of fertilizers?

A: Healthy soil is critical to farm productivity, and the judicious use of organic and mineral fertilizers can help small farmers prosper while preserving their land.We support AGRA’s Soil Health Program, which focuses on integrated soil fertility management as well as the use of fertilizers where necessary to provide important plant nutrients missing from the soil and from organic materials available to the farmer. We invest in information and knowledge-sharing to assist small farmers in using the right fertilizers in the right way to nourish their soil. We also invest in efforts to improve soil and water conservation techniques.

We are committed to sustainable agriculture, using farming supplies that farmers can afford and that take environmental needs into account.

Q: What is the foundation doing about climate change?

A: The foundation believes that climate change is a major issue facing all of us, particularly poor people in developing countries, and we applaud the work that many are doing to help find solutions in this area. While the foundation does not fund efforts specifically aimed at reducing carbon emissions, many of our Agricultural Development grants directly address problems that climate change creates or exacerbates. For example, we have made several grants to help small farmers who live on less than $1 per day adapt to increased drought and flooding through the development of drought and flood resistant crops, improved irrigation efficiency, and other means.

Bill Gates Wants a Green Agriculture Revolution: Here’s Tech That Can Drive It

In agriculture, cleantech, entrepreneur, Environment, greentech, investment, Science, Sustainable, Venture Capital on October 19, 2009 at 4:08 pm

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By Josie Garthwaite
Original content at earth2tech.com

bill-gates-agriculture

Excerpts below

At the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa today, Gates announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded $120 million in nine new grants to organizations and research partners (including $15 million for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa), to work on the effort, focusing primarily on small-scale farming in sub-Saharan Africa. In his speech Gates called for an end to the ideological division over the future of agriculture: “Productivity or sustainability — they say you have to choose. It’s a false choice,” he said. Rather, we need farming techniques that are both environmentally responsible and highly productive, and technology will help bridge the gap, he said.

Today’s grants are being awarded for projects including distribution of legumes that fix nitrogen in the soil and pest-resistant sweet potatoes, training for African governments to “draw on as they regulate biotechnologies,” help for women farmers in India to manage land and water resources sustainably and programs to deliver information to farmers via radio and mobile phones. The awards come as part of the $1.4 billion that the Gates Foundation has committed so far for agricultural development efforts — promoting techniques such as no-till farming (explained in the video clip below), rainwater harvesting and drip irrigation.

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The Gates Foundation has drawn criticism, as the Seattle Times points out today, for focusing too strongly “on technology solutions and higher yields, a path that risks repeating the mistakes of the original Green Revolution.” But a growing number of firms, including startups and small companies, are working on a new wave of agricultural tech that could play an important role in a real green shift.

via Bill Gates Wants a Green Agriculture Revolution: Here’s Tech That Can Drive It.

Climate change is raising the stakes for agricultural tech as the world population grows and the amount of arable land shrinks. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, farmers will have to deal with “increased potential” for extreme events like droughts, floods and heat waves,” and “enduring changes in climate, water supply and soil moisture could make it less feasible to continue crop production in certain regions.” More mouths to feed, plus less arable land and changing rainfall patterns, means growing demand for tech that lets farmers do more with less.

Venture capitalist David Anthony, founding partner of 21Ventures and a frequent co-investor with Quercus Trust, thinks that “aeroponic farming,” or farms in urban environments that use technology like LEDs to grow crops, will find a growing market. His firm invested in Aero Farm Systems, a New York-based startup that develops tech-heavy urban farming processes. In general, Anthony thinks that advanced farming techniques are an under-invested area where his firm sees promise.

A slew of companies are also working on smart water management technology, and some of them could extend to agricultural applications. PureSense, for example, uses soil moisture sensors and sends data via wireless networks to irrigation control systems.

Other companies are helping small-scale farmers bring their surplus foods to market using technology and the broadband age. Take FarmsReach, a California startup that won the audience choice award at our Green:Net conference in March. The 2-year-old company has developed a web marketplace to make it easier for buyers, such as restaurants, hospitals and schools, to order produce from nearby farmers, and for farmers to manage their sales and deliveries.

FarmsReach has been designed with the U.S. food system in mind, but other iterations — perhaps utilizing mobile devices for areas without ready computer or broadband access — could be useful elsewhere. Gates spoke to that need today, urging food companies to “buying power to provide markets for small farmers,” although, “the logistics might be more complex at first.”

Of course, the farmers and communities that the Gates Foundation is seeking to serve with these grants need low-cost solutions, and much of the technology emerging from startups right now still has a ways to go on the cost curve. As Pacific Institute co-founder Peter Gleick put it at this year’s Clean-Tech Investor Summit, “It’s entirely possible to create brilliant water technology that the places that need it the most can’t afford.” So we second the call from Gates for a “greener” revolution, with an extra nudge for startups to  put technology to work for small farmers and the planet.

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Photo credit Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation