EC-MAP Convenes Industrials Sector Stakeholder Forum.

On March 5, EC-MAP hosted over 50 stakeholders at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center in one of the first forums to discuss ideas at the intersection of digitalization and decarbonization for the industrial sector. Our event brought together a diversity of stakeholders including policymakers, energy industry professionals and technology experts to discuss themes from our newest white paper, The Role of Digitalization in Driving Demand for Industrial Decarbonization.

EC-MAP Founder and Executive Director Tom Hassenboehler highlighted the megatrends shaping the future of energy markets in the coming decade – transparency and decarbonization – and the role that digitalization and data-driven innovation plays in empowering companies, investors, and policymakers to facilitate more transparent market-driven climate action. These efforts will take on new prominence in the months and years ahead as these can enable systems that promote full traceability of products from their sources to the final consumer and help promote economic recovery by incentivizing more localized community development where possible.

Subsequently, EC-MAP’s lead writer, Alisa Ferguson, and research advisor, Apoorva Sahay, showcased findings from the report and emphasized emerging efforts to develop a common set of digital metrics and standards to both differentiate and drive demand for low-carbon industrial products.

To provide a Federal digital innovation perspective, we were excited to hear from U.S. DoE’s Chief Commercialization Officer and Director of Office of Technology Transitions Conner Prochaska.  Mr. Prochaska discussed the suite of technological tools and digital initiatives provided by the DoE to investors, entrepreneurs and businesses in order to increase the momentum for American energy transitions in the 21st century. The recent announcement of DoE’s new Artificial Intelligence and Technology Office (AITO) are part of the agency’s endeavor to match that momentum. AITO aims to harmonize AI functions across departments in the federal agency and advance new research in data, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Our panel of speakers included digital innovators Andy Bose, Head of Ecosystems & Data Partnerships at Xpansiv CBL, Tom Schuler, President & CEO of Solidia, Jason Massey, Founder & CEO of Ndustrial.io and moderated by Alisa Ferguson. The panel presented the opportunities and challenges, including technical, market, and policy barriers, that exist as companies try to scale up digital solutions.

Remarks were also delivered by Mary Martin, Chief Counsel for Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR). Mary discussed how data can also become an asset onto itself that can help to illuminate competitive elements of products to be valued by consumers and investors —who are increasingly seeking more information about the supply chains and other impacts of their products. This transparency has implications not only for climate, but for industrial competitiveness, as local products and their supply chains can get valued more favorably. The implications of these efforts in future policymaking activities will become increasingly important as digital infrastructures are built out to promote economic recovery, public health, and the environment.

In closing, Mike Catanzaro, EC-MAP’s Policy Advisory Board Chair, wrapped up by offering brief comments about the bipartisan policy opportunities these digitalization efforts present to make progress on addressing climate solutions. By leading to more evidence based and quantitative policy making, there are ways that these emerging digital efforts can lead to progress as the federal government seeks to identify ways to marry economic growth and recovery with sustainable regenerative solutions.

As always, we welcome your ideas and feedback and look forward to working with you to align policy with a digital energy future.