As the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I am grateful for the technology ingenuity that is busy at work, helping us break down the man-made walls separating us from our own smarter future. 


One great way to thank our technology innovators is to join them on their “Hero’s Journey”. This is the raison d'être of the Clean Tech Open, the world-class mentorship program for the clean tech community, which celebrated its annual “Academy Awards” last week.

Congratulations to CTO 2012 Grand Prize Winner HEVT, and all the finalists, semifinalists, participants and alumni who convened at the Hayes Mansion in San Jose, CA to celebrate the past year’s installment of entrepreneurial effort.   Challenges being met by these dedicated innovators range from HEVT's next-generation hybrid-electric motors to SkipToRenew's petroleum-replacing biodegradable industrial bio-lubricants to HIVE's high-intensity, low-energy wide-spectrum plasma light fixtures for the TV and film biz.  


My personal grand prize pick is GR Green, which has developed recycled and recyclable roof tile and siding solutions that are so clean they are safe to eat ("But don't.")  Synthetic replacements for cedar, these materials are attractive, performant, cost-effective and install like cedar. (I look forward to discovering more building material innovations at GreenBuild Expo this week.) 


A close contender for “favorite” status is Micronic Technologies, which has developed a micro-desalination "tornado" solution, which literally removes everything from water but, well, the water. Simply revolutionary.  Always a fan of SMART management solutions, I enjoyed conversations also with the CEOs of SMART Office Energy Solutions' wireless plug-and-play systems,  Retrolux' lighting lifecycle management systems, and many more.


While at CTO, I spoke with many visionary problem-solvers, and formally joined the community that supports these heroes.   CTO tribe members -- my heartfelt Thank You goes out to every one of you!

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Sue Lebeck 

  Cool Block Platform Director

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