The UC Davis School of Law is hosting a day-long conference today entitled “CleanTech in the New ‘Environmental’ Environment: mapping the evolving landscape for CleanTech entrepreneurs and professionals.”
The first panel discussion begins at 9:45 a.m. and is one of three panels that are free and open to the public throughout the course of the day at King Hall.
The symposium is expected to run until 4:45 p.m. and will be followed by a reception. Keynote presentations and a luncheon required reservations. However, students and members of the community are encouraged to attend the free panels.
Kevin R. Johnson, dean of the School of Law, has been involved with planning the symposium for the past year.
“The idea behind this symposium – and, really, what we aim to do at the law school every day – is to stay on the cutting edge of important fields and connect our scholarly efforts with problem-solving in the real world,” Johnson said.
CleanTech is a term that describes a relatively new direction for environmentally-friendly technology that proponents say supersedes the traditional approaches to green technology. Rather than focusing on controlling the results of pollution-creating processes, CleanTech is more concerned with addressing the fundamentals of environmental challenges through innovative new science in the fields of biology and bio-mimicry.
Dan Sperling, professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science and Policy and founding director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis, is a keynote speaker at the event.
“Clean technology actually covers a really broad area,” Sperling said. “At Davis we have research in renewable energy, energy storage and cooling. We’re definitely at the major source of development in this kind of technology, so I was invited to deliver a keynote presentation.”
Sperling is familiar with speaking about CleanTech – I spoke with him as he waited for a flight out to Washington D.C. to give a briefing on the same subject at the White House before returning for the conference.
Other speakers at the conference have impressive credentials as well. John Doerr, the other keynote speaker, is an influential venture capitalist and appointed member of President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. His selection as a keynote speaker reflects the significant interest in clean technology shown by venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. CleanTech aspires to be productivity-enhancing as well as beneficial to the environment.
“In selecting the speakers, we sought to create panels that would feature a diverse range of experiences and expertise in business, industry and academia,” Johnson said.
The conference is the second in a series of five annual symposia sponsored by Silicon Valley law firm Fenwick and West, as well as by friends of the UC Davis Law School. Speakers volunteer their time in the interest of furthering scholarship and real-world solutions in the CleanTech field and see the conference as an opportunity to network and learn about the latest developments in the industry.
Pamela Wu, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the School of Law, emphasized the public nature of the panels.
“We’ve set up an overflow room in King Hall 2011,” Wu said in an e-mail. “[Everyone] is welcome to attend.”
For a schedule of events, please visit www.law.ucdavis.edu and click on “Fenwick & West Symposium” under the Events section.
“CleanTech in the new ‘environmental’ environment” is expected to draw several hundred students and industry professionals as attendees.
BRIAN GERSON can be reached at email@example.com.