The Danish science and technology attaché meets with leaders from Vermont’s energy sector at UVM


Vermont Business Magazine Torben Orla Nielsen, consular officer and science / technology attaché at the Danish Consulate in Boston, met with researchers from the University of Vermont and leaders in Vermont’s energy sector last Thursday at the University’s Davis Center.

Nielsen said he was impressed with the ingenuity of the business, government and nonprofit executives he met.

“I think Vermont’s small size helps the collaborative process,” said Nielsen. “One of the people I met today said, ‘We know how to get things done.'”

Nielsen is an economist and scientist as well as a diplomat.

“I see diplomacy moving from classic international politics to focusing on areas like science and energy innovation, things that we can all work on together,” said Nielsen.

The meeting follows closely on the heels of a Memorandum of Understanding signed on June 7th by US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities Dan Jørgensen. The agreement outlines areas of cooperation between the two countries in research, science and technology for clean energy.

The meeting was arranged by UVM Assistant Professor of Electrical and Biomedical Engineering Mads Almassalkhi. The native Dane invited Nielsen to come north to see Vermont up close, which Almassalkhi calls a “rock star” for energy innovation.

“This is an opportunity to describe how unique, world-class and powerful Vermont’s energy vision, implementation and delivery is,” he said.

Almassalkhi sees the conference as a first step to position UVM and the state as key partners in joint Danish-American projects to commercialize and scale new technologies as quickly as possible.

The meeting was followed by a series of visits to innovative energy and technology companies, including Beta Technologies, Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET), Benchmark Space Systems, Hula and Packaged energy.

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