Solutions Lab Hits Indianapolis: Gathering to talk Clean Technology and Environmental Innovation

By: Rick Cockrum, Capitol Assets, President

A recent study by Brookings ranks Indiana 19th in the nation for the size of its clean economy, far behind #5 Illinois and #6 Ohio. A recent survey by the Indiana Business Research Center shows job growth in the clean sector, but not enough to offset declines in other sectors. Let's face it, Indiana is not a leader in creating green jobs and building a 21st century green economy. Not yet, anyway.

But it can take its rightful leadership position. The message behind these numbers is not to give up, but to try harder. Indiana's resources include corporate innovators like Cummins and academic powerhouses like IU and Purdue, and collaborations like the Energy Systems Network— engines that can accelerate growth in this vital sector.

To explore how companies are taking advantage of opportunities in the clean sector, the Green Innovators in Business Network (GIBN) – led in partnership with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and DIG IN – is working with local leaders to bring a Solutions Lab to Indianapolis on September 20, 2011.  Solutions Labs are one-day, participatory events, where attendees help craft the agenda and spend time actively networking and brainstorming  "big ideas" for accelerating business while improving environmental impacts. We'll talk about the "green economy" as well as how all business can benefit from a focus on efficiency and sustainability that will drive jobs, profits, innovation, and employee retention.

The purpose of the conference is to allow business people in Indiana the opportunity to learn from experts, and other business people, how to grow their companies in an environmentally friendly way.  While participants will hear from experts in the field of clean energy, there will also be a heavy dose of business to business interaction.

The clean energy field is one of the fastest growing parts of the American economy.  Manufacturers can learn how to become part of that growth through this conference.  Topics include access to grants and funds, state policy driving clean energy, and best practices on how to make facilities more efficient.

Highlights from the day will include a conversation with Dr. Steve Charlton, Chief Technology Officer for Cummins, and a discussion on state policy for sustainability with State Senator Jim Merritt, State Representatives Marianne Sullivan and Wes Culver, and Brandon Seitz, director of Indiana’s Department of Energy. The full agenda for the Indiana Solutions Lab is available online.

Please register now to participate and help build this future.

Indiana isn't a leader in the high-growth green economy – not yet. Working together, it will be.