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International Expert Now

July 15, 2013

Had the opportunity last month to check out the latest in sophisticated clean technology. Turns out its the simple bike. Nice overview here on the best conference I’ve ever been too. Velo-city Vienna attracted 1,400 people from 40 countries. Here’s proof (at about 2:40) that I was there. Yeah, big deal.



Promoting Dialogue: Energy & Environment

May 15, 2013

As chair of the Sustainability Forum I thought this connection would be good for us on the North Shore. Lots of work being done in clean-tech and other areas of innovation here. Happy to make this North Shore opportunity happen:

On Wed, May 22, the North Shore Technology Council’s Business Breakfast will feature Secretary Richard K. Sullivan of Massachusetts’ Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

Secretary Sullivan will provide us an update on the State’s progress and objectives. No doubt there will be good questions from the audience. This promises to be great breakfast and an important opportunity to share our North Shore commitment to energy, innovation and our unique resources.

Secretary Sullivan, Massachusetts Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs

You can register online at NSTC here.  Or contact me. Bring a friend.


Good Press from Gloucester Times

March 7, 2013

North Shore NonProfits Seek “Sustainability”

By Alanah Percy

From the installment of wind turbines in Gloucester and Ipswich to the development of devices for detecting early stage cancer, local entrepreneurs on the North Shore are busy when it comes to clean technology.

“Sustainability is a big issue and we try and stay on top of it,” said John Coulbourn, chair of the Sustainability Forum at the Cummings Center in Beverly.

Coulbourn’s group is one of many comprising the North Shore Technology Council (NSTC), a multifaceted nonprofit dedicated to promoting sustainable technology and growth on the North Shore. Run by volunteers and funded by corporate sponsors, the Council connects with the community through frequent forums, panels and networking events each month.

The group collaborates with laypeople and leading educators, technologists and environmentalists to network and learn about new initiatives in monthly meetings opened to the community. The next gathering will take place on Wednesday, March 6 at 8 a.m. at the Cummings Center in Beverly. (Details can be found here)

“It’s all about information when it comes to sustainability: the more we have the better off we’ll be,” said Coulbourn who also serves on the advisory board North Shore Innoventures (NSIV). NSIV, also located in the Cummings Center, is an incubator fostered through NSTC, according to Dr. Martha Farmer, the CEO and president of Innoventures. The organization was designed to mentor and assist entrepreneurs, and engages with the community through clean technology.

North Shore Innoventures Tech Incubator

Pictured, from left, are Dr. Marty Farmer, pres. of North Shore InnoVentures; Dr. Carl Safina, Blue Ocean Institute; Tom Kinneman, VP, NSIV; John Coulbourn; Eric Graham, Next Step Living & NSIV; and Eric Groft, NSIV.

Read more of the Gloucester Times article here.



The simplest clean tech: bikes

January 26, 2013

Sometimes we get so caught-up in our own particular perspective.  So, please excuse us if we assume you know what we’re talking about when we talk about bikes.  These days any particular interest or preference can be super-focused and magnified by an entire world of fellow (and expert) aficionados. It’s easy to think that we all think alike.

You probably have your own special interests. The internet is a monster magazine rack on the back-side of a wormhole.  It’s 2.1 billion people creating 100,000 tweets, 27,700 tumblr posts, 48 hours of YouTube video and 571 new websites – every minute — of every day. Boy, it’s easy to get distracted.

Ipswich River Media: Why bikes?
But we’ve gotten engaged with a world of bike enthusiasts that’s way beyond the travails of Lance Armstrong and mountain bike videos. Check out LovelyBicycle, for example, there’s a New England neighbor who writes about biking the way James Beard writes about food.  We’ve “met” Byron of TokyoByBike, Mike of BikeBlogNYC. There’s Cleverhood, a small company (and client) inventing US-made outwear for livable cities. And we’ve been indoctrinated by the teachings of Mikael Colville of Copenhagen Chic fame, the slow bike movement and the helmet law argument.

It turns out that the simple bike is the key to happiness. Perhaps you knew that once. Kelly McClure over at Vice Magazine said the bike conjured visions of her pink Strawberry Shortcake bike. In our neighborhood we’d mount our bikes to discover new territory. They were our imaginary jets.

Livable Cities
Now that we’re all grown up we’re starting to re-learn the whole bike thing all over again. Bikes are a way of living, says “Bikes are a way to get around town, to relax, to have adventures, and to stay happy and healthy. And every time we pedal our way forward, we not only get to where we’re going, but we also show the rest of the world just how powerful human power really can be.”

It’s more than just that fact that traffic congestion wastes nearly 3 billion gallons of gas per year in the U.S. Or that, for every 1 mile pedaled rather than driven, about 1 pound of CO² is saved. Hey, we love traffic jams as much as you do.

It’s about re-thinking cities. In NYC, Mayor Bloomberg gets it. He appointed Janette Sadik-Khan as transportation commissioner. She loves bikes (and she has a Cleverhood, btw). Around the world, cities are closing down car lanes and opening new bike sharing programs. We’re re-thinking our relationship with cars and just how are cities got this way.

So, when we talk about bikes we’re talking about all the people we’re meeting all over the world who care about creating more livable cities.


Collaborating to Create Technology & Jobs

January 1, 2013

Here’s what we’re talking about: 1) Clean technology development; 2) Job creation; 3) Collaboration. Nice hit for North Shore Innoventures. Proud to be part of the leadership team. Looking for more success in 2013.

Beverly Incubator Grows Life Science, Clean Tech Start-ups

The Boston Globe
By Kathy McCabe /  December 26, 2012

BEVERLY — In 2008, when the economy plunged into recession, North Shore InnoVentures launched a business technology incubator to stimulate growth in the emerging life sciences and clean technology sectors.

It was a risky move. Biotech and clean energy firms require big dollars and brain capital. Banks are reluctant to lend ­money to start-ups without a proven track record of sales. With biotech incubators popping up in Boston and Cambridge, competition was intense to lure enterprising scientists and engineers.

But leaders of the North Shore Technology Council, which created the nonprofit incubator, thought the region had more to lose if it did not try to catch the Bay State’s tech wave.

North Shore Innoventures“We had to be proactive,” said Martha Farmer, a founder and chief executive of InnoVentures, located at the Cummings Center in Beverly. “We didn’t have any idea how well we’d do. We thought if we created 50 local jobs, we’d be quite successful.”

The incubator has taken more than ­baby steps. A total of 23 early-stage companies so far have been nurtured in its spacious office and laboratory space. Entre­preneurs are researching drugs to cure cancer, developing medical devices to calm nerve tremors, and testing energy conservation measures.

In the last two years, nine firms have raised a total of $25 million in private equity, mostly through individual investors, venture capital firms, or government and private grants.

A total of 115 jobs have been created across the companies, Farmer said. “That’s pretty good for our little operation.”

The progress comes as life sciences looms larger on the region­al employment horizon. The North Shore Workforce Invest­ment Board is surveying local firms to determine what skills are required to land a job in the promising field.

Keep reading here at