Accelerating Low-Carbon Business Innovation

As the U.S. recovers slowly from the Great Recession, many economists, government officials and pioneering companies view innovation in low-carbon energy as a key pathway toward sustained economic growth. To help pave this road, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, in partnership with Hewlett-Packard, has launched a research project to highlight the most effective ways that companies are bringing low-carbon technologies to market. The focus is on accelerating the business innovation needed to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Steering the research is Professor Andrew Hargadon, director of the UC Davis Center for Entrepreneurship.

As part of this effort, Hargadon moderated workshops last November and in March that convened industry experts, policy makers and financiers to explore the innovation challenges and opportunities in the electric power, transportation, defense and financial sectors. The panelists included senior executives from IBM, General Motors, GE, Dow Chemical, Citigroup, Duke Energy and PG&E Corp. Hargadon is now drafting a comprehensive report on best practices that will include a summary of the workshops, findings from a survey of nearly 70 leading companies, and four in-depth case studies of successful company programs. The Pew Center will release the report at an invitation-only conference in Atlanta on October 26.

Hargadon most recently presented his research on low-carbon innovation at Oxford University and Reading College in the U.K. He continues to be a sought after keynote speaker, most recently at the California CleanTech Open final competition in October, the Sacramento Metro Chamber’s “Innovate 2010” event in November, North Carolina Partners in Innovation’s “Innovation 2010: Business Resources for Success” event in November, and for the senior leadership of Vanguard Healthcare, also in November.


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