A two-day summit gathering 50 county and local officials, business executives, academic leaders and community figures last week found consensus that San Mateo County and Santa Clara County need to act more collectively on the challenges of sustainability, climate change and a fiscal crisis of historic proportions.
Organized by Joint Venture and funded by the Ford Foundation, the retreat at the Chaminade conference center in Santa Cruz March 23-25 brought together many of the region’s public and private leaders to discuss the benefits of increased collaboration in the face of record budgetary shortfalls.
The group—which included mayors, council members, city managers, a handful of business leaders, and university presidents—considered options ranging from the mild and mundane (continued informal collaboration) to the bold and audacious (agitating for California to be broken into smaller states). Using sophisticated real-time voting technology, the group expressed the strongest sentiment for having Joint Venture play a more strident role in creating cross-county partnerships; the group also showed a willingness to pursue a “Regional Operations Center” which would consolidate certain back-office functions and free up local funds for other government services.
Board endorses Bay Area bid for World EXPO 2020
The Joint Venture board of directors voted unanimously at its March meeting to endorse the Bay Area’s bid to host World EXPO 2020 at Moffett Field. Joint Venture will serve as the lead Silicon Valley organization supporting the proposal and will assist in the fundraising effort, liaison with local governments and provide logistical support.
The Bay Area Council, which is heading the overall effort, estimates a World EXPO would bring 25 million visitors and 45,700 jobs to the Bay Area and generate some $5.6 billion in economic activity for the region.
To read the complete Bay Area Council report, click here.
Cities, companies sign on to Moffett Park smart grid project
Six companies, two cities and a national research library have so far agreed to work in partnership with Joint Venture to develop what engineers envision will be the nation's most integrated smart grid, at Moffeet Park. Still in the preliminary stages, the public-private partnership has the potential to leverage aggregate purchasing power of renewable energies, offer grid resource optimization, and lower the net carbon footprint of member facilities.
The memorandum of understanding, signed at the March 11 Joint Venture board meeting, seeks to create a "net zero" business park. Some of the confirmed participants that will form a steering committee include the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the city of Sunnyvale, NetApp, Google and the Moffett Park Business Group, which includes Lockheed Martin, Yahoo!, Juniper Networks and Infinera.
Read the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal articlehere.
Menlo College president Jim Kelly joins board
Menlo College President Jim Kelly has been elected to the Joint Venture board of directors, filling the seat recently vacated by former Menlo president Tim Haight. Kelly, who became Menlo president on January 1, had been executive vice president and provost since 2007, following earlier senior administration roles with California State University East Bay, where he was interim provost and associate vice president for continuing and international education, and CSU Los Angeles.
An expert in new program development, Kelly has garnered more than $41 million in grants, contracts and gifts during his career. Kelly earned his undergraduate degree from Edinboro University in Pennsylvania, an MSSW from the University of Tennessee and a Ph.D. from the Heller School for Social Policy Management at Brandeis University.
Joint Venture, SVLG to host U.S. patent chief April 14
In a bid to bring a regional government patent office to Silicon Valley, Joint Venture and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group are co-hosting a forum with the head of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office next month at Applied Materials headquarters in Santa Clara.
At the forum, David J. Kappos, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and director of USPTO, will hear about the benefits of opening a Silicon Valley office from elected officials, Silicon Valley business leaders and local innovators exercised by the difficulties they face in regist ering patents.
Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, and the National Renewable Energy Lab joined Silicon Valley solar leaders and state and local representatives in the first Clean Energy Economy Acceleration Roundtable on March 17. The panel explored ways to replicate and scale several power purchasing collaboration models piloted in Silicon Valley, including Joint Venture’s Silicon Valley Renewable Energy Procurement Project, the City of San Jose’s SunShares program, and EPA’s Washington D.C. project modeled after the SV-REP project.
Included was a discussion of solar work force development and how Silicon Valley solar leaders can build better partnerships with federal agencies to enable and accelerate commercialization of solar power. Following the roundtable the attendees toured San Jose’s Green Vision Clean Energy Showcase.
The 21st Annual Meeting of the Electricity Storage Association comes to the Fairmont San Jose June 6-9 with a fully charged agenda of speakers, workshops and exhibits. Joint Venture has partnered with the ESA on this premier forum for leaders driving the evolutions and integration of storage systems and technologies.
For more information and registration, click here.
Article of the Month
"U.S. Sets 21st Century Goal: Building a Better Patent Office"
This recent New York Times article by Edward Wyatt laments the backlog in U.S patent applications and questions the wisdom of the U.S. Patent Office opening its first satellite facility in Detroit rather than California, where 25 percent of the country’s applications originate.
For a senior executive in a $4 billion company with the weight of global network security issues on his shoulders, Mark Bauhaus seems remarkably unruffled. But then, it’s probably typical for a passionate learner, collaborator and problem-solver.
Valley Vision visited with Bauhaus recently to talk about his involvement as board champion of Joint Venture’s Smart Grid Project, his work with Juniper and his unusual entrepreneurial background.