University Clean Energy Alliance of Ohio
was founded five years ago by Ohio's 15 research universities. The goal: to advance the cause of clean energy in Ohio in a collaborative way.
Since then, the Toledo-based organization has worked with a wide array of academic, government and business entities to further business-university partnerships in advanced energy and to encourage dialog on energy issues facing the state.
"The whole idea behind the alliance was to facilitate collaboration among the universities in their efforts to do research," says Jane Harf the UCEA's director. "And it's not the ivory tower research -- it's development and deployment. We really want to see these technologies make it to the marketplace -- commercialization and technology transfer."
While the organization started with the 15 research institutions, it has expanded its membership over the years to several community colleges and organizations like the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio
. Institutions such as the NASA Glenn Research Center
(formerly the Edison Welding Institute) -- are also members.
Harf says that as part of its work, UCEA has engaged in a number of projects related to clean energy advancement, including a study on business and university collaborations, focus groups with businesses to assess the challenges and opportunities for clean energy and programs supporting the state's nine university-based Advanced Energy Centers of Excellence.
On April 26 and 27, the organization will hold it's fifth annual conference in Columbus, where it will showcase the work being done at those centers and work being done by students -- and at which it will offer breakout sessions on a variety of topics including energy projects under way in Ohio, intellectual property issues surrounding university-business partnerships, policy issues around advanced and alternative energy and the opportunities and challenges of doing business in Ohio.
Also at the conference, the UCEA will roll out a new database that Harf says will provide advanced energy companies and others with current information about individual researchers and the work they do, programs of study available to those who are seeking degrees in alternative energy and on facilities and equipment available to businesses to further their technology development.
To register, go here
. Source: Jane Harf, UCEA
Writer: Gene Monteith