March 12, 2007
Continuing the successful panel format, the 9th TVEF focused on Intellectual Property (IP). The event was co-sponsored by the law firm Heslin Rothenberg Farley Mesiti, P.C. and the discussion was moderated by managing partner Jeff Rothenberg. Invited panelists were:
Michael C. Barnas is the General Counsel of GE Wind Energy, a leading global wind power company and a business unit of GE Energy. In that role he provides legal advice to senior business management and strategic guidance to transaction teams. Mike has served as General Counsel since GE Wind was formed in May 2002. Before joining the Wind business, Mike was Counsel to the Commercial Operations team at GE Energy Products, where he helped manage GE's response to the dramatic growth of the U.S. gas turbine market from 1998 through 2002. Between 1989 and 1998, Mike was a transaction lawyer with GE Energy, and concentrated on the structuring and negotiating of complex infrastructure projects in twenty-eight countries in Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. During that period he was instrumental in the development of projects in twenty-eight countries on four continents. Between 1988 and 1989, Mike served as an attorney in GE's apparatus service business. He began his GE career in 1981 in GE's Human Resources operation. Mike holds an undergraduate degree in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia College, was awarded his J.D. from Fordham University in 1978, and was admitted to the bar of the State of New York in 1988.
Dr. Venkat Selvamanickam serves as the Vice President and CTO of SuperPower Inc where he heads the Technology Development Department. He manages an annual R&D and capital equipment budget of $ 11 M, including multi-million dollar contracts from the U.S. Air Force, Department of Energy (DOE), and the Department of Defense. Under his leadership, SuperPower completed the world's first significant delivery of second-generation (2G) HTS wire. Nearly 10,000 m of wire that was delivered in December 2006 is being used by Sumitomo Electric to build a 30 m cable that will be installed in grid in National Grid's utility line in Albany and would be the world's first large-scale 2G HTS prototype. Dr. Selvamanickam is also responsible for technology roadmap creation and execution, overall Intellectual Property of the Company, and management of research agreements with several National Laboratories and Universities. Dr. Selvamanickam built a group of 40+ technologists starting from only three in 2000 when SuperPower was formed, and along the way established world-record breaking performance levels for 2G HTS wire at essentially all length scales. His superconductivity program at SuperPower has been ranked "World-Class" and #1 in Industry four years in a row since 2003 by an independent international panel of reviewers under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy.
Ann Partlow served as financial advisor and portfolio manager to members of the Rockefeller Family at Rockefeller & Co. from 1974 until she began the formation of Earthrise Capital, a venture fund for sustainable energy, water and agricultural technology investments, in late 2004. As founder of the Socially Responsive Investment Group at Rockefeller & Co., she created and managed two pooled funds for public and private equities, the first, Odyssey Fund, established in 1978. Odyssey Fund was the earliest "mission related" investment fund specifically for businesses with innovative products and services addressing key social and environmental issues, such as energy, water, health care and education. The Fund produced an excellent long term investment record over 25 years. Ann also created and managed a successful large cap fund, Libra Fund, for investment in mainstream companies with histories of good corporate stewardship.