face this competitive challenge and is to be congratulated,” she said. Given Michigan’s economic and employment problems, the state’s leadership “is close to miraculous.”
The White House also is committed to securing leadership in energy and transportation technologies, Dr. Good said. “We are really fortunate and happy to have people like Dr. Kota, who on is taking time off from his Michigan assignments to be part of this discussion in the White House.” Some “really good people” have been appointed to address such issues in the White House, she noted, “and he is a really good example of the kinds of folks that are now available in the Administration to make these kinds of things work.”
The symposium’s goal is to highlight the challenges and opportunities for Congress, the DoE, Michigan, and other states as they work to develop an advanced battery industry in the United States, Dr. Good explained. “And it is indeed a challenge,” she said. “To start a new industry like this and be competitive is not a simple thing to do.”
Above all, the purpose of the conference is to seek expert opinion “on what is working and what is not working,” she said. The conference will not produce conclusions on what the federal government should do, she said. “What we want to do is provide information and assessments that help people working on these problems to make good judgments. To do that, they really need all the good input they can get.”
The symposium is part of a broader effort by the National Academies to study selective state and regional programs, Dr. Good explained. “This particular committee’s aim is to try to identify the best practices with regards to their goals, structures, instruments, and modes of operation,” she said. It also is studying best practices regarding fund levels and mechanisms, as well as “the challenges, accomplishments, and evaluation efforts of these programs.”
The STEP board also is studying how regions are capitalizing on state and federal investments in “developing a knowledge-based, innovation-led economy,” Dr. Good said. Many economic development efforts around the nation are being led by state governments, she noted.
Dr. Good expressed the STEP board’s gratitude for the support and insights of the MEDC and DOE for “bringing together the battery community in this room and their support of this event.” She especially thanked Gary Krause of the MEDC, who has been instrumental in making the conference happen. McAlister Clabaugh of the National Academies and David Howell and Jim Miller of the DOE also were instrumental. Dr. Good also thanked A123 Systems and the Michigan University Research Corridor for supporting the conference.
The National Academies will follow with another conference on advanced batteries in Washington, D. C., Dr. Good noted. At that event, “we will expand on the issues raised” at this symposium. The board decided to come to Michigan for the initial conference “because this is where the industry is and where the federal and state governments are making big commitments in