Crow, Dirks represent higher ed at White House

<p>Entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, scientists and policymakers convened May 7 for the White House Energy Innovation Conference.</p><separator></separator><p>Arizona State University (ASU) President Michael M. Crow and Gary Dirks, director of ASU’s LightWorks alternative energy program, represented higher education in a high-level energy innovation roundtable moderated by Small Business Administrator Karen Mills.</p><separator></separator><p>They were joined by Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Desh Deshpande, chairman of Sycamore Networks, and Dan Reicher, head of energy initiatives for &nbsp;</p><separator></separator><p>The purpose of the White House Energy Innovation Conference was to support energy entrepreneurs and high-growth energy businesses, and Crow spoke about the importance of energy innovation for economic growth, and the role of universities in advancing that.&nbsp; The event kicked off a series of regional meetings, with the first in Omaha next month and the last in Phoenix in early September.</p><separator></separator><p>“ASU has a deep capacity in energy research. &nbsp;Universities, as knowledge enterprises, are uniquely positioned to advance new discoveries, but we also have a great responsibility to connect innovation to the marketplace. We are hard at work on this,” said Crow.</p><separator></separator><p>Following the roundtable discussion and a panel about jumpstarting commercialization, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke commended the group for its commitment to revitalizing the clean energy market.</p><separator></separator><p>"We can meet half of our future energy demand through enhanced efficiency alone – and that is through existing technology," Locke said.&nbsp; To accomplish this we need cross-sector partnerships that leverage all stakeholders' unique capabilities and skills to ultimately expedite the process of bringing ideas to market.</p><separator></separator><p>Afternoon breakout sessions provided a forum for participants to dive into issues such as the early adoption of energy innovation and pathways for entrepreneurs to advance innovation to the market.&nbsp; Effective solutions to commercialization barriers will embrace connectivity, support collaboration and address demand side challenges.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><separator></separator><p>Just two weeks ago, Crow accompanied Mayor of Phoenix Phil Gordon to the White House in honor of the Energize Phoenix project, a $25 million collaboration between ASU, the City of Phoenix and Arizona Public Service (APS) awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy.&nbsp; Energize Phoenix aims to create 1,900 to 2,700 new jobs.</p>