October 15, 2014 – How can the Seattle region become the best mid-sized economy in the world? That is the question that regional leaders are discussing this week at the Seattle Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 Regional Leadership Conference.
Among the topics of discussion at this year’s annual conference is Seattle’s ability to double the capacity to deliver higher education focused on STEM degrees. At the opening night reception the audience also heard about macroeconomic forces or “mega trends,” such as climate change, that could have huge potential impacts on the region’s economy and quality of life.
Students from the Clean Energy Institute had the opportunity to demonstrate their clean energy research, ranging from solar and battery materials research to renewable energy integration. In addition, CEI Director Dan Schwartz provided the audience with some perspective about the importance of STEM education and clean energy research when addressing Seattle’s global competitiveness:
- The University of Washington provides over 180 different Majors, and has increased the production of degrees in the STEM fields by 48% in the last 10 years. It is significant that the chamber recognizes the importance of STEM and higher education to a successful economy.
- When students graduate from the UW, nearly three-quarters of them stay in our region, which makes a huge impact on our ability to grow our research and technology-based economy.
- UW students and faculty are among the leaders in the important emerging industry of clean energy. It is an industry that relies on technology and innovation. It is also an industry that we in Seattle have all the pieces in place, from renewable energy to IT, that can makes us a global leader in addressing energy and climate challenges.
Photos from the opening night reception: