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EMAIL INTERVIEW - Barry Haaser & Ken Sinclair
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Reinvention Convention Comes to Silicon Valley
Energy is likely to lead the next technological boom
Sinclair: What will be the next technological boom for Silicon Valley?
Haaser: There is a tremendous amount of activity underway in Silicon Valley today around Energy and clean tech. New and existing companies are attempting to latch onto the $43 billion being allocated for energy related initiatives. Furthermore, the Venture Capital Community invested nearly $6 billion in clean tech and energy related start-ups last year. What really drives innovation in Silicon Valley is a great idea, access to capital, and availability of talented people.
Sinclair: Isn’t the economic downturn slowing innovation?
Haaser: On the contrary, downturns tend to fuel innovation. With double-digit unemployment and access to capital, innovation is in overdrive. Silicon Valley is retooling.
Sinclair: Retooling in what way?
Haaser: While some older Silicon Valley companies are contracting and laying-off very talented people, we are seeing a wave of new ventures forming, new technologies invented, and new solutions coming to market that will support the next economic boom. Existing companies like Applied Materials, Cisco, Google and Oracle are retooling to play a significant role in energy related markets. Organizations are also retooling like the .NET user community, OASIS, OPC Foundation, ZigBee Alliance HomePlug Power Line Alliance and others.
Sinclair: Aren’t some of these companies and organizations supporting BuilConn?
Haaser: What I enjoy most about BuilConn is that it is the annual gathering of industry thought leaders who discuss technology and energy related issues. Attendees will hear first hand from industry visionaries like Robert “Bob” Metcalfe, co-inventor of Ethernet; Ed Chu, former astronaut and current Google energy guru; and Juval Lowy, .NET guru, author and developer.
Sinclair: What other topics will be covered at BuilConn?
Haaser: Your audience is probably most interested in building related discussions. Attendees will see how tools like Building Information Model (BIM) are changing the way buildings are designed. Attendees can llearn about new software tools and services that deliver access data to help reduce energy, improve maintenance and cut operating costs. Identify affordable solutions for charging electric vehicles that will arrive early next year. For those interested in learning how to get the most out of the Smart Grid, I encourage them to attend the GridWise conference as part of ConnectivityWeek as it relates to demand response, new pricing programs, energy storage, renewable energy and more.
Sinclair: Budgets are tight, why should someone spend money to attend this event?
Haaser: This is the best time to reflect, analyze and plan. BuilConn is an investment in the future. It provides a forum to help people understand how they can do things better and more efficiently; how to make better use new tools and technologies; and how to reinvent the way we design, develop, support and manage energy in our facilities and lives.
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