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Posted on Sep 24, 2009 - 08:46 PM

Forging Global Cooperation and Partnership

The final panel of the day:

  • Walter P. Havenstein — CEO, Science Applications International Corp.
  • Charles O. Holliday, Jr. — Chairman, DuPont; Chairman, Council on Competitiveness
  • Hon. Shirley Ann Jackson, PhD — University Vice Chair and Co-Chair, Energy Security, Innovation & Sustainability Initiative, Council on Competitiveness; President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Lee A. McIntire — President and CEO, CH2M HILL
  • Dr. Luis M. Proenza — President, The University of Akron
  • Hon. Deborah L. Wince-Smith — President, Council on Competitiveness

Deborah Wince-Smith: You heard yesterday that the work we've produced in Drive has been a collective effort from the Council on Competitiveness. What does this panel think we need to do now?

Chad Holliday: Ted Turner gave us some good advice -- we've got a very narrow window for this. We've got a deadline, and we let it slip. We need to make progress before Copenhagen.

Deborah Wince-Smith: How can we carry on this agenda?

Shirley Ann Jackson: We've got the seeds right here. We can bring the attention of Congress to where it needs to be. We also need to take this out to the governors and the states.

Deborah Wince-Smith: What can we do building on our manufacturing recommendations to marry the energy challenge and the manufacturing challenge?

Luis Proenza: There are three compelling things. It's our nation's differential rates of learning -- the talent is something we have to focus on. The average American doesn't understand these issues, and that's unacceptable. What's driving manufacturing now is disruptive innovation. The last theme is collaboration -- not just between neighbors, but a global collaboration and collaboration between competitors. Universities and industry have to be able to work together, or we won't capture the full benefit of the innovative capability of America.

Deborah Wince-Smith: Are we going to be able to build out this smart grid?

Walt Havenstein: We have the drive to do it. If we remove the barriers effectively, those of us in tech-based industries can work with universities and take ideas and convepts through invention to the market. We need to remove barriers to allow competitors to enter the market, so we can invest.

Deborah Wince-Smith: What do we need to do to accelerate manufacturing infrastructure?

Lee McIntire: Until I got here, I didn't realize how much government policy would decide everything. I learn from customers, who have energy issues and want to make a change and need new business models. These people are innovating as fast as they can, and carbon pricing would lead to certainty. There's a lot of innovation going on elsewhere - if you're a businessperson, you want the government to help through tax incentives. 

Shirley Ann Jackson: We don't talk about innovation in business models. For example, Marathon Oil made a deliberate attempt to capture gas. That cut CO2 emissions and cut waste, making them money. Looking at the lifecycle of how business is done, taking out energy intensity can help profitablility. FedEx tries to limit energy consumption through fuel-efficient planes. IBM marries information technology with hard technology to design transportation systems, help people manage manufacturing systems, etc. We need to call out these examples and figure out what policy is enabling and what policy is inhibiting.

Deborah Wince-Smith: How do you innovate around cooperation and competition?

Chad Holliday: We think about things differently when we listen to our customers and try to solve their problems. Get out of your comfort zone.

Walt Havenstein: The continuum between cooperation and competition changes every day. Scientists and engineers don't just provide tech, but invention. The thing America does best is invent, because we're free to think, to create, and then apply it. Key to that is having the free thinkers. We're losing our edge among the young people who will replace us.

Luis Proenza:  The thing that best exemplifies what Akron has done is how we're learning about innovation. When we have a technological or scientific problem, we have the wherewithal to reach out to the entire world for solutions. We're learning to look beyond the old ways of doing things. Open innovation gives us the opportunity to get talent from anywhere and put it to work anywhere.

Deborah Wince-Smith: Share an example of a partnership or innovation in the energy space that has transformational potential. As an example, the Council on Competitiveness has been working with Brazil to create a new network of leaders going forward with smart city designs for a sustainable grid out of a series of meetings. The power of those networks and the freedom to think let us work together.

Luis Proenza: The kind of networking model that helps develop a robust platform is vital. We're seeing the opportunity to integrate universities much more robustly. Technology? Coal-fired fuel cell.

Lee McIntire: We have 9000 projects -- they all have a sustainability angle. Everyone demands sustainability, and if you're good at it, you can make a lot of money on it. Common sense is important, too -- sometimes common sense is innovation.

Shirley Ann Jackson: We're working with an architecture firm to bring architects, scientists, and engineers together to work on sustainable design. Students are excited about sustainability, and we have a responsibility to give them a global perspective.

Chad Holliday: We needed a new office building at DuPont, and we found that if we used working from home properly, we wouldn't even need a building.

Walt Havenstein: We partnered with the military to help power transportation around the world. The military consumes a lot of petroleum products. Now we're partnering with Virginia to work on infrastructure issues around energy. We're not going green because it's politically correct, but because it's good business sense. Partnering effectively makes good business sense.

Deborah Wince-Smith: Lyndon Johnson said "This is what America is all about -- the uncrossed desert and the unclimbed ridge. Is our world gone? We say farewell. Is a new world coming? We welcome it, and we will bend it toward the hopes of mankind."

 

— Sarah Spooner

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