Oak Ridge National Laboratory

 

News Release

Media Contact: Mike Bradley ()
Communications and External Relations

 

Karsner to speak at ORNL's Global Venture Challenge 2009

Andy Karsner, former Assistant Energy Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Council on Competitiveness, is keynote speaker for the 2009 Global Venture Challenge at ORNL.
OAK RIDGE, Tenn., March 10, 2009 — Andy Karsner, former Assistant Energy Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Council on Competitiveness, will be the keynote speaker for the 2009 Global Venture Challenge at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Karsner, who directed the Department of Energy's EERE program office from March 2006 to August 2008, will speak March 26 at the ORNL Conference Center. His talk highlights the Global Venture Challenge, a competition of entrepreneurial and technological business proposals presented by student teams from 15 universities.

"Andy Karsner's expertise in renewable energy, technology implementation and marketplace integration is unsurpassed," said Tom Rogers, director of ORNL Industrial and Economic Development Partnerships. "He is perfect for this event, and we are absolutely thrilled by his participation."

As Assistant Secretary, Karsner managed a $1.72 billion energy research portfolio and held a leadership role in the Advanced Energy Initiative for clean energy research. He was a key to implementing the "Twenty in Ten" plan to reduce gasoline consumption, set aggressive alternative fuel standards, and establish the highest efficiency standards for vehicles, lighting and buildings ever enacted.

Karsner also established DOE's Transformational Energy Action Management, or TEAM, Initiative to reduce energy intensity and lower emissions across the DOE system by 30 percent.

He visited ORNL last June to kick off the TEAM Initiative here and announced ORNL's collaboration with General Electric on the first electric heat pump water heater to meet DOE's Energy Star criteria for energy efficiency.

Karsner was principal contributor to major international agreements on climate change and energy security and led the effort to pass the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Prior to his DOE work, Karsner's company Enercorp developed the world's largest private wind farm outside the United States. He has worked with Tondu Energy Systems of Texas, Wartsila Power Development of Finland and other prominent multinational energy firms.

The 2009 Global Venture Challenge will be held March 25-27. Participating teams are: Case Western Reserve University; Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College; Duke University; Lund University; Missouri University of Science & Technology; Purdue University; South Dakota State University; University of Maryland, College Park; University of Memphis; University of North Carolina, Charlotte; University of South Florida; University of Tennessee; University of Toledo; University of Washington; and West Virginia University.

The teams will be judged by panels of energy executives, venture capitalists, technologists, entrepreneurs and legal experts. The winning graduate student team will receive $25,000.

This year's Challenge, supported by the Department of Energy's Office of Industrial Technologies and UT-Battelle, also will include an Energy Venture Showcase of energy efficiency products and services from several participating companies.

For more information, please send an email to info@globalventurechallenge.com or to Jennifer Palmer at palmerja@ornl.gov or visit www.globalventurechallenge.com.

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.