Research Center at UMass Amherst Invites Business Leaders to Help Map Road to a Clean Environment

AMHERST, Mass. - Key leaders of Massachusetts manufacturing industries, elected officials, government agency representatives, and researchers from the University of Massachusetts will meet at the Worcester Centrum Centre on Fri. Sept. 15 to develop strategies to increase energy efficiency and address environmental issues related to business growth in the next decade.

The program, "A Roadmap for the Sustainable Future of Critical Massachusetts Industries," is the first event of the Massachusetts Industries of the Future (IOF) program, developed by the National Environmental Technology Institute (NETI) and the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (CEERE) at UMass, and is funded by state and federal grants.

Representatives of at least 35 major Massachusetts manufacturers, including Solutia, Shipley, ChemDesign (a subsidiary of Bayer), and Rexam Image Products, will attend. Speakers include Frederick W. Byron, interim vice chancellor for research at UMass; Mayor Ray Mariano of Worcester; Lauren Liss, commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection; and a representative from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., will deliver the keynote address via a videotaped message.

"We''ve asked companies and elected officials what it will take to keep industries such as chemical, plastics, pulp and paper, and printing operating successfully for another 20 years or more. Through the IOF program, we will identify some of the technical and environmental challenges they can expect to face, and, together, we can determine ways to help them survive the changes ahead," explains Chad Nelson, director of NETI.

Nelson says the organizers have created a panel of "distinguished business and government leaders who understand the challenges of the marketplace, as well as the difficulties of dealing with environmental, safety, and health issues." Panelists include: Carl Irwin, program coordinator for the West Virginia Industries of the Future program; Michael DeVito, executive director of the Massachusetts Chemical Technology Alliance; Paul Kennedy, president, Kennedy Dye Casting Inc., and president, Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership; Stephen Sears, president, Crane and Co. Inc; Phil Hillman, vice president/health, safety, and environmentals, Polaroid; Paul Scheihing, chemicals team leader, DOE; and Scott Hutchins, Boston regional office, DOE.

For more information, call Chad Nelson, director of NETI, at 413/545-2842.