Silicon Valley leaders wish to reenergize valley

April 19, 2010 7:30:34 PM PDT
Some of Silicon Valley's best minds got together on Monday. They gathered to figure out what it is going to take to pull away from the recession and to get the economy chugging along again. It seems more green tech will get the green light.

Silicon Valley is making strides in clean energy innovation, but many say more needs to be done to emerge as a leader in this growing global market.

"Silicon Valley, California, the country, we've got to get our innovation mojo going again because that's the way we create a lot of really great jobs and prosperity," says venture capitalist John Doerr.

One problem is that the recession has severely restricted the flow of money making even good ideas hard to develop.

From 2008 to 2009 venture capital investment was off by 37 percent and Valley CEOs say access to cash is critical for any recovery to gain traction.

Silicon Valley executives gathered Monday for a business climate summit and there is some encouragement the capital market is improving.

"I wouldn't say that it's a sharp turning point, but certainly there are changes, visual and measurable changes taking place," says SVS Financial Group CEO Ken Wilcox.

Business leaders say Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger gets high marks for pushing tax incentives and legislation that support a green tech economy.

"I will make sure we protect the economy and the environment simultaneously," said Schwarzenegger.

Silicon Valley is also encouraged by federal efforts. The Energy Department has allocated nearly $37 billion in Recovery Act stimulus funds.

Matt Rogers is a senior advisor in the Obama administration's Energy Department.

"The opportunity for Silicon Valley to work across the value chain and really make sure we're innovating in manufacturing, as well as in products, and innovating at a scale to make a difference in the US energy equation," says Rogers.

Next month, some 50 Silicon Valley executives will visit the nation's capital to talk about how the Valley's vision of clean tech can benefit the entire country.


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