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Around the World in TBED

April 25, 2012

Innovation quickly is becoming the key phrase for the world’s economies. Increasingly nations are turning their economic development efforts towards building 21st century economies that are cleaner, more efficient and built on collaboration, both domestically and internationally. The European Union, New Zealand, South Korea and the United Kingdom have announced new initiatives that target increasing their overall competiveness not simply in the short-term, but long-term. 

United Kingdom

United Kingdom (UK) launched a contest to support up to two pilot wave energy projects in hopes to scale up the clean technologies in the country. Companies and organizations across the country will be able to bid for a share of the £20 million (approximately $32.2 million) prize to establish one of the two pre-commercial projects. Currently, Marine power has the potential to provide up to 20% of current electricity demand in the UK, as well as support thousands of jobs. Read the press release

The UK also has the potential to become a world-leader in smart grid technologies and the development of intelligent networks that would revolutionize the way power is generated and used, according to a report from Ernst and Young — Smart Grid: A Race Worth Winning.  The report estimates that additional investment of £23 billion (approximately $37 billion) will be needed, but that this will deliver benefits of up to £19 billion (approximately $31 billion), create close to 10,000 high-paying jobs and establish a £5 billion (approximately $8 billion) export market. Read the report

New Zealand

New Zealand announced the creation of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). Effective July 1, the new ministry will fuse together four existing government entities and assume their existing functions. MBIE will play a central role in shaping and delivering a strong national economy that focus on innovation. New Zealand’s Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce expects businesses to see the Government moving faster and in a more coordinated way to tackle the issues that matter to business. The consolidation also will save the country up to $11 million per year. Read the press release

European Union & South Korea

According to an article in University World News, the European Union (EU) and South Korea announced a range of initiatives to strengthen research cooperation including joint initiatives in energy, industrial technologies, information technology and nanotechnology research. The two sides also will cooperate on assessments of nanotechnology safety standards and the development of test beds on smart grids able to power electric vehicles. Other initiatives include the establishment of joint EU-South Korean workshops in specific research fields and exchange programs for both students and researchers. Read the article

international, energy, cleantech, r&d, nanotech