“Biofuels in the Americas” conference explores technology, investment, and the path forward.

More than 170 energy experts, executives from multinational corporations, and high-ranking government officials from across the Western Hemisphere gathered at Florida International University on January 24, 2008, to discuss the state of biofuels in The Americas at a day-long conference that reinforced the College of Business Administration’s commitment to international business.

Dr. Brenda Haendler, Science and Technology Officer and International Energy Coordinator Liaison, Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs, U.S. Department of State U.S. Energy Policy and the U.S.-Brazil Biofuels Initiative, addresses attendees.

“Topics focused on how hemispheric collaboration can help The Americas collectively secure our energy future,” said Ed Glab, clinical professor, Department of Management and International Business, College of Business Administration, and director of the college’s Knight Ridder Center for Excellence in Management. “We discussed how biofuels can complement or displace traditional fuels and examined investment opportunities for bringing technologies to the marketplace.”

Keynote speakers included Ambassador Craig A. Kelly, principal deputy assistant secretary, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, U.S. Department of State; Arnaldo Vieira de Carvalho, Inter-American Development Bank, Energy Division, Infrastructure and Environment Department; and Robin Speer, vice president of public affairs, Canadian Renewable Fuels Association. Glab served as conference master of ceremonies.

Dr. Brenda Haendler addresses participants.

U.S. pioneers in cellulosic ethanol, along with government and private-sector representatives from Canada, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Argentina, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Brazil participated in several discussion panels. George Philippidis, associate director of the university’s Applied Research Center, chaired the panel on “Technology” and presented during “The Path Forward” session.

The university’s Energy Business Forum, which Glab and Philippidis co-direct, hosted the conference.

Numerous other organizations sponsored the event, including the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship Studies, Chevron Products Company, The Organization of American States, ETH BioEnergy Inc., Florida Crystals Corporation, GovTec Corporation, and General Motors.

2008 GM Malibu Hybrid

Biofuels topic generates positive response.

One attendee, Margaret Cullen, trade commissioner with the Consulate General of Canada in Miami, commented that the event “raised the bar for everyone involved in this industry in Miami.” She offered congratulations for “pulling together such a diverse audience with one common goal.”

Another attendee, Saif Y. Ishoof, president, FCT Technologies, Inc., found the conference to be “world-class and informative,” adding that “as a South Florida business that is engaged in the marketing of process machinery and technology services in the support of the energy sector, I would like to continue to stay engaged with the university on future initiatives.”

To learn more about the Energy Business Forum, visit http://krcem.fiu.edu/Energy.html.

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