SOURCE: The Erb Institute

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November 30, 2010 08:00 ET

University of Michigan Hosts Clean Tech Symposium to Explore the Dynamics of Collaboration and Competition Between Michigan and China

Organized by the Erb Institute, Third Annual Symposium to Shine a Spotlight on Issues in Energy, Smart Grid, Green Cities and Transportation

ANN ARBOR, MI--(Marketwire - November 30, 2010) - Reflecting increased interest in global clean tech innovation and concerns over the emerging mix of cooperation and competition between the US and China, today The University of Michigan's Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise announced it will convene the University's third annual event focused exclusively on the latest developments in the industry. Michigan-China Clean Tech: Collaboration and Competition in Energy, Smart Grid, Green Cities and Transportation will be held on Friday, Dec. 10 at the University of Michigan Union.

The production and use of clean technology is expected to be a key economic driver for both the United States -- specifically, Michigan -- and China. Public and private-sector delegations frequently travel between Michigan and China to explore manufacturing opportunities, technology transfer and potential investments. But the outcome of Michigan's efforts to position itself at the center of US clean tech research and manufacturing is uncertain. Some argue it is bolstered by Chinese investment, cheap manufacturing capacity and domestic demand; others feel it is threatened by price competition from Chinese firms that obtain support from the Chinese government. With a view to markets, technology development and public policies, this symposium will directly address the many facets of this debate.

A main feature of the program will be the keynote address by Kenneth DeWoskin, senior advisor with Deloitte China and director of Deloitte's China Research and Insight Center, who will offer perspective on US-China clean tech trade and investment trends. The event also will spotlight the many cross-campus University resources available to businesses, investors and other community members. Those resources include the Erb Institute, the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute and Centers for Chinese Studies and International Business.

With Chinese and US speakers representing companies, investors, non-profits and academia, this symposium offers business people and others valuable and practical information, and opportunities to make contacts, network and receive mentoring from leaders in the clean tech field. Additional event highlights include:

  • Keynote speaker C.S. Kiang, chair of the Beijing University Environment Fund and director of the US-China Long Term Low Carbon City Initiative
  • Panel sessions that will explore: energy generation, storage and the smart grid; sustainable cities and infrastructure; and trade, investment and competition as enabling factors for clean tech
  • Closing keynote address by Peggy Liu, founder and chairperson of the Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy

"The relationship between Michigan and China is extremely complex, yet extremely important. Much of tomorrow's clean technology innovation relies on the partnerships, policies and investments that will take place in the near term on both sides," said Thomas Lyon, Director of the Erb Institute. "The symposium will bring together many of the industry's top experts, investors and policymakers, as well as promising startups and students interested in the space, for candid conversations about how to best collaborate to overcome challenges, create healthy competition and move sectors like energy, the smart grid and transportation forward."

The event is sponsored by the Erb Institute, along with the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, the Center for International Business Education, the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute, and the Center for Chinese Studies. Registration is free for University faculty, staff and students, and $50 for all others. To register, visit http://bit.ly/cleantechregistration.

About the Frederick A. and Barbara M. Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise
Created in 1996, the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise is a 50-50 partnership between the School of Natural Resources and Environment and the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. The Institute fosters professional education, public outreach and scientific scholarship supportive of the transition to sustainability -- that is, meeting the fundamental needs of a growing human population in an equitable manner within the means of nature. Utilizing a collaborative approach, the Institute helps business, government and civil society organizations to achieve meaningful progress toward sustainability. Its mission is to be a premier source of knowledge and leadership for the achievement of environmentally, economically and socially sustainable development and enterprise. For more information, visit www.erb.umich.edu

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