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Published: Tuesday, 11/27/2007

UT chosen office site of energy alliance

BY MEGHAN GILBERT
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The University of Toledo has taken another step toward making the area a leader in alternative energy.

As a member of the statewide University Clean Energy Alliance of Ohio, UT sought and was selected as the site to house the alliance's offices.

The alliance coordinates collaboration among 15 Ohio universities in the discovery, development, and commercialization of energy-related technologies.

UT, Ohio State University, and Miami University gave presentations to have the physical presence of the alliance on their campuses, said Frank Calzonetti, vice president for research development at UT.

"They decided we could help advance this as a statewide agency," Mr. Calzonetti said.

The alliance's offices will be in UT's Clean and Alternative Energy Incubation Center at Dorr Street and Douglas Road.

Having the signature location set-up that works with alternative energy businesses - the Wright Center for Photovoltaics Innovation and Commercialization - and the support of UT President Dr. Lloyd Jacobs and U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) helped ensure UT as the host, Mr. Calzonetti said.

UT also can point to the successes of Solar Fields LLC of Perrysburg and Xunlight Corp. of Toledo, formerly MWOE Solar Inc., that both got their early start in a UT business incubator.

The University Clean Energy Alliance of Ohio is a relatively new organization. The idea began late last year, and the inaugural meeting was held in April.

"They wanted to take advantage of all the research in the state," Mr. Calzonetti said. "If we put our talents and research together and collaborate, we could be as good, if not better, than any other state in the nation."

The alliance's board hopes to have an executive director in place early next year, which is about the time they plan to have people working in the Toledo office, Mr. Calzonetti said.

The results of the alliance's collaborative efforts and its presence in the city could have an impact on the local economy, said Diane Miller, UT's interim assistant director of incubation.

"If this is the place to go for information on advanced energy in Ohio, that makes UT the place to go for the industry," she said.

More alternative energy companies could be interested in locating near an office that easily can get them in touch with researchers in the field at universities across the state, she said.

While not every product of the alliance will create a Toledo-area business, the collaboration will help build up the state as a leader in "advanced energy," which is the new term to describe clean, alternative, and renewable energies, Mr. Calzonetti said. "We're happier if it stays in Toledo, but if it stays in the state, that's wonderful," he said.

Contact Meghan Gilbert at:

mgilbert@theblade.com

or 419-724-6134.



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