Eco Investor June 2011


Welcome to Eco Innovation Forum 2011

Good morning ladies and gentlemen. My name is Victor Bivell; I’m the founder of Eco Investor Media, and it’s my pleasure to welcome all of you here today for our second Eco Innovation Forum.

These innovation forums are about commercializing environmental technologies and businesses. Everyone here knows that Australia has plenty of environmental innovations, that we have no shortage of technological creativity.

Everyone here also knows that turning those innovations into profitable businesses is tough, time consuming and expensive.

The purpose of these Forums is to try and make that job just a little bit easier. So let me thank the organizations and people who have made today’s Forum possible.

In particular our sponsors - Austrade, ASSOB and KixstaartBoard. Without their support this Forum wouldn’t have happened, and certainly not in such a great venue.

Thanks also to our speakers. Their organizations are an important part of Australia’s commercialization infrastructure. We have key government agencies, venture capital firms, angel networks, an IP law firm and successful environmental entrepreneurs.

All of our speakers are among the most experienced environmental investors and technology commercializers in Australia today. I know you’ll find their presentations very interesting and worthwhile.

Thanks also to all of our delegates. Many of you have come from around Australia. We had a surprisingly good number of interstate and country delegates last year, but I think we have even more this year, and I think the only places we’re missing are Tasmania and the Northern Territory. It would be fair to call this a national Forum, and I thank you for making it so.

The other interesting fact is the large variety of innovations here today. I said it in my last emailout, but I think it’s worth repeating. We have delegates here from most environmental sectors - solar energy, waste to energy, wind energy, ocean energy, geothermal energy, bio energy, water, waste water, recycled plastics, air pollution, emissions reporting, building products, cleaning products, instrumentation, sustainable design and other leading edge businesses.

It’s a great list, and it makes for a great networking opportunity. So don’t hold back. We’ve got four networking sessions including a terrific lunch, so stay for the whole Forum if you can and make the most of it. If you’re commercializing an environmental business, and you haven’t won the lottery, there’s no better place to be today than right here.

I wish I could say the environment for cleantech was as good outside as it is inside, but it’s not. There’s been a big change in cleantech’s fortunes in recent times. So if I could make just one political comment, it’s this. Both major parties are to blame. I date that change from when Tony Abbott took the leadership of the Liberal Party and then prime minister Kevin Rudd postponed the Emissions Trading Scheme. It’s been tough for cleantech and clean energy ever since.

It remains to be seen if the carbon tax can reverse this. Even if it can, I suspect it won’t happen quickly.

Everyone here has been around long enough to have seen whole industries rise with government support, and whole industries, sometimes the same industries, fall when that support is withdrawn. The latest example may even be happening here in NSW as we speak with the solar feed-in tariff fiasco.

So we need to change how our leaders view cleantech; and ideally we need policies that have bipartisan support.

And to do that we need to be successful. We need a strong cleantech sector that can stand on its own two feet, in some cases, despite the politicians.

So as our entrepreneurs go about turning their ideas into businesses, their best response, where it’s possible, is to be successful anyway.

Success can come in small steps, sometimes some bigger successes and hopefully you’re soon in for a great ride. Maybe even the ride of your life.

At Eco Investor we want you to be successful. That’s how you can help the environment, your clients, your shareholders, and your staff.

In the long term, that’s how you can also help our readers. We hope some of you will one day go on to list on the ASX, and grow into substantial businesses.

Our readers have very high environmental standards, they are very picky. They want and need businesses like yours to give them more investment choice and to help them achieve their financial goals.

So we need you to be successful. Australia needs successful environmental entrepreneurs. I hope today helps you in some way to achieve that.





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