Objectives 2014

Providing reliable energy to the world’s growing population and simultaneously addressing climate change are two major issues facing the world today. These are daunting challenges that leading innovators also view as exciting opportunities.

While global energy demand continues to increase with the development of emerging countries, changes in energy generation and consumption are reshaping the industry all over the world. Two examples on the production and on the user side of the energy industry are particularly relevant of this change of paradigm: low-carbon intermittent energy generation – which can be centralized or disseminated – and electric mobility – electric cars or trucks – as fleets or used by individuals. Both are developing rapidly, in the United-States, in China and in Europe and involve energy storage technologies as critical components of their developments.

In the consumer products world, technical advances have made portable electronics ubiquitous in our daily lives. More breakthroughs will be needed to face the large scale uses of tomorrow.

But technical breakthroughs are not enough. The technologies need to be tested, challenged under many conditions and produced at very large industrial scale. Bringing these new technologies to the market place is no easy task. Significant investments are needed to launch clean-energy companies, and these investments are dwarfed by the amounts necessary to demonstrate reliability in real conditions and at the industrial scale needed. The regulatory environment is complex and fast evolving. And in some cases markets do not exist yet. Meanwhile the consumer is expecting stable prices, on par with fossil fuel-derived energy, and with 100% reliability.

What are some of the promising storage new technologies? How best to bring them to market?

The Office for Science and Technology of the Embassy of France in the United States in partnership with the CEA (Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission) the MIT and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, are organizing the 2014 French American Innovation Days to address these questions. This conference will compare how these challenges are met in France and in the United States. In the process, we hope to foster partnerships between academics and industry actors of both countries.

The symposium will feature:

  • Keynote speakers and roundtables: Experts from technical, industrial, and economic backgrounds will discuss their visions of today’s energy storage challenges ;
  • Technical conferences: Overview and discussions of tomorrow’s technologies applied to mobile and stationary applications;
  • Open Innovation Meetup: Corporate leaders and startups will expose their needs and solutions in energy storage.

The symposium will be held in Cambridge at the MIT Media Lab, on December 8-9, 2014.

During these two days, emphasis will be placed on networking and establishing international relationships among all stakeholders in energy storage, a sector that enables many of the needed advances to meet the energy challenges of the 21st century.