Business Leaders Meet in Richland for TechMagination - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Business Leaders Meet in Richland for TechMagination

August 28, 2007  11:39 

Richland --  Some business leaders in the region say they have a theory: the higher prices go,  the more creative people get.

Members of the government, industry leaders, and academics met in Richland Tuesday to brainstorm about clean technologies, hoping to generate ideas that could mean millions of dollars for this area.

Congressman Doc Hastings, who kicked off the session, says the rising price of gasoline in this country has spurred action, and created opportunity,

"One thing about America, we are very innovative. Certain things push innovation. Obviously the price of the product is one factor, and that's where we're going."

Businesses like Weyerhaeuser, Gen-X Energy and Fruit Smart participated in the brainstorming session, titled TechMagination: A Day for Developing a Clean Technology Agenda. Concepts developed Tuesday could eventually lead to the designation of a part of the region as an 'Innovation Partnership Zone.'  If that happens, millions of dollars could make its way into the area thanks to new 'I.P.Z.' legislation backed by Governor Christine Gregoire.

Panel members and other participants  spent the day working on ways that clean technologies can be demonstrated and developed in the Pacific Northwest.  Doc Hastings commented after his introduction of the session that the hope is that the meeting will spur action, rather than simple hypothetics on bio-fuels and clean energy.


The keynote speaker was John Plaza, president and founder of the largest bio-energy firm in the nation, Imperium Renewables in Seattle.