Preparing Small and Medium Size Business Enterprises for a Green Energy Future

Event information
Venue:FIU Modesto A. Maidique Campus, MARC International Pavilion

Florida Network for Global Studies International Business Summit

“Preparing Small and Medium Size Business Enterprises for a Green Energy Future” March 23, 2011

Florida International University, Maidique Campus MARC building

Conference Purpose: The conference goal is to bring together a range of stakeholders with an interest in expanding Florida’s renewable energy sector, attracting investment to it, and promoting its technologies and products to the Caribbean and Central American region. Entrepreneurs, business leaders, technology developers, investors, government agencies, and the general public will convene at FIU to hear the latest national and international developments in energy generation and to see what Florida companies have to offer in green energy products and services. Florida’s historically close ties to the region make the State an ideal launching pad for renewable technologies that can benefit the entire Western Hemisphere.

Conference Rationale: Renewable energy from natural resources, such as solar, wind, biomass-to-energy, and biofuels, can help the US and Caribbean Basin countries place their economies on a sustainable basis by becoming more energy self-sufficient and less dependent on imported oil, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating climate change. Florida is gifted with plentiful sunlight, ocean currents, and biomass. Taking advantage of these abundant resources to enhance its renewable energy portfolio can propel the State into the forefront of green development, with the benefits of investment, new jobs, a more diversified economy, increased trade, and technology exports.

Florida companies, Universities, and research institutions are responding to the prospects of a green economy by building and expanding their operations in the State and seeking export opportunities in the region. Countries of the Caribbean Basin, in particular, are conveniently located in geographic proximity to Florida and possess similar natural resources making them excellent candidates for business growth and technology transfer. To be successful, Florida clean-tech companies need assistance to understand the diverse local cultures, business and financing practices, and regulatory and legal frameworks of the region. Partnerships with local entrepreneurs and companies can be an effective way of doing business in both the Caribbean and Central America because such partners can bridge American know-how with local experience and market understanding.

Conference Funding and Sponsors: The conference is part of a grant from the U.S. Department of Education Business and International Education Program being implemented by the Florida Network for Global Studies (FNGS). FNGS member institutions are FIU, UF, UNF, USF and UCF.


Please RSVP by March 11, 2011.

For directions, please click here.

For conference flyer, please click here.

Presenter Biographies

Please click here to learn about each presenter's background and experience.


  • 8:00-8:45 Registration and Breakfast
  • 8:45-9:00 Welcome and Introduction
  • 9:00-10:30 Panel I: Solar and Wind Energy

Moderator: Dr. Ed Glab, Global Energy Security Forum, SIPA. Buck Martinez, FP&L Senior Director of Development Dr. Yogi Goswami, Professor and Co-Director, Clean Energy Research Center, University of South Florida. Editor-in-Chief of Solar Energy Journal and Progress in Solar Energy

  • 10:30-10:45 Break
  • 10:45-11:45 Panel II: Biomass-to-Energy

Moderator: Dr. George Philippidis, Energy Director, FIU Applied Research Center (ARC) Paul Gilman, Chief Sustainability Officer, Covanta Energy Al Townsend, Director of Alternative Fuels, Titan America Dr. Kelly Morgan, Institute of Food and Agricultural Services, University of Florida

  • 10:30-10:45 Student Poster Program

"Biofuel Technology, Institution, and Economics: Experiences of Developing Countries:“ Dr. Mahadev Bhat, Professor and Associate Chair, Earth and Environment Department, College of Arts and Sciences, FIU. Sponsored by the USDA NIFA's International Science and Education Grants Program (#2008-51160-04356).

  • 11:50-1:00 Lunch and Keynote Speaker

Dr. Roberto Dobles, former Costa Rican Energy Minister: “Green Business Opportunities in the Caribbean and Central America.”

  • 1:00-2:15 Panel III: Biofuels

Moderator: David Adams, Editor of Poder; former Energy Reporter, St. Petersburg Times Nicolas Lund-Larsen, CEO, EPG Fuels, Inc. Dr. Kenneth B. Spall, VP Business Development, Algenol Biofuels

  • 2:15-2:30 Break
  • 2:30-3:30 Panel IV: Financing Sustainable Energy Projects for Small and Medium Size Businesses

Moderator: Dr. Mary Ann Von Glinow, Knight Ridder Eminent Scholar Chair in International Management and CIBER Director Dr. Irma Becerra-Fernandez, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Professor of Business, Director of FIU’s Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center Dr. Jerry Haar, Associate Dean for FIU’s International Programs and Professor of Management and International Business

For a printable version of the agenda and bios, click here.