Friday, May 6, 2011

May 6th, 2011

Blue Tech Valley Water Conference—Success!

Thank you to everyone who made this week’s Blue Tech Valley Water Conference a success. The speakers were outstanding. They touched the future and showed us how to get there. The comments below provide multiple perspectives:

I am sitting here at my desk reflecting on what just happened. It happened so fast. What just happened was a GREAT Water Tech Conference...right the Central Valley of California...thanks to you! The Conference drew people from near and far (some speakers flew in from places like India, Singapore and Denmark) to be here with us to talk Water Tech.

In addition to the presence of our local industry leaders such as: Grundfos, Lyle's Construction Group, Lakos, Jain and Netafim, we had companies like Intel, Veolia Water, IBM & Paramount Farms here too. Top Investment Firms, such as Draper, Fisher & Jurvetson, WedBush and Virgin Green Fund and thought leaders from Universities around California (CSUF, UC Berkeley, Stanford, UCLA & UC Merced) were in attendance. We highlighted innovation and entrepreneurship and showcased some of our star start-ups!”

Kirk Nagamine, CEO--Central Valley Business Incubator.

The Blue Tech Valley Water Conference was a major event for the Central Valley. I often hear complaints that the Valley doesn’t connect with the best and brightest from around the world due to our isolation in the middle of the state. Well for those of us who attended, this was the highest level of brain power ever assembled in one room to deal with the most important issue we are challenged with to secure our economic future…. Water. I give you my highest congratulations for a job well done and recognize the global connections that are now in place to make this region the Blue Tech Valley for the world. Any support we at the EDC can lend to assist the CVBI and ICWT in accomplishing this is at your disposal.” Steve Geil, CEO--Economic Development Corporation.

By all accounts, this was an important and very welcome event and a significant step in our ongoing efforts to become a pre-eminent center for water technology and research. Congratulations.” Dr. Bill Covino, Provost, Fresno State

“Great work! This is a watershed moment (a pun intended).” Professor Tim Stearns, Director of the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Congratulations to all. I heard good things from everyone who attend on both days.” Mike Dozier, Director of the Office of Community & Economic Development, Fresno State.

Historical Framework

Given the critical role Grundfos and Claude Laval Corporation leaders played in making the conference a success (Grundfos even brought a semi from Texas), it is important to acknowledge the long time role these companies have played since the beginning. The first meeting of the water cluster was held at the old Grundfos facility in 2000. Founding stalwarts like Claude Laval and Jerry Cook were on hand. This was our beta test to determine whether or not clustering—linking, aligning and leveraging existing assets—would substantially impact our economy. Two incubators, many workforce initiatives, cross industry partnerships, joint ventures, new capital, etc., demonstrate that perseverance pays off in compounding ways if you have the courage to begin and the commitment to continue. Thank you to Collaborative Economics—our catalyst.

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