Serious Materials Backer Joins Obama to Promote Clean Energy R&D

March 23, 2009

Paul Holland, a venture capitalist backer of Serious Materials, joined President Barack Obama today for a White House press briefing to support government budget proposals encouraging more investment in clean energy research and development. In outlining the potential benefits of such programs, the President highlighted Serious' re-opening of the former Kensington Windows plant in Pennsylvania and the fact that it is "whirring back to life" with workers who "have a new vision."

Holland, who is a representative of Foundation Capital, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based venture capital firm, said federal research and development efforts, as well as R&D loans to small companies, are key to the growth and success of companies like Serious Materials. Noting that 60 percent of government R&D loans and investments are claimed by manufacturers, and that many are small manufacturers with the potential to create many new jobs, he also emphasized the importance of this type of government support to create stronger industries for the future. 

Also participating in the briefing was Susan Hockfield, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who said the President's budget plans for energy research represented the most significant investment in science, technology and research since the Sputnik era. Pointing to the computer and other technologies that America's investment in the space program helped encourage, the MIT president suggested investment in clean energy similar potential for the economy.

Hockfield highlighted research to transform windows into solar cells among the clean energy technology efforts now underway at MIT.

In addition to the press briefing, President Obama met with about 120 clean energy entrepreneurs and leaders of the research community to discuss his strategy for building a clean energy economy and creating the industries and jobs of the future.  In addition to nearly $40 billion in energy investments included in the American Reinvestment Recovery Act, the Obama Administration has included plans in its budget for an approximately $75 billion investment in clean energy research and development over the next 10 years.

MSNBC coverage of the press briefing can be viewed below: