Boston Will Host Inaugural ClimaTech Summit In June

Gov. Maura Healey has long discussed making Massachusetts a global leader in the burgeoning climate tech industry and the economic development bill she filed this month would give that sector a major boost, with a 10-year, $1 billion investment of public dollars and tax incentives to "develop a leading global climatetech ecosystem that can drive innovations to fight climate change."

The inaugural ClimaTech conference could coincide with the Legislature's review of that bill -- it will be held June 3 through June 5 at the MGM Music Hall, House of Blues and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. Organizers said in Thursday's announcement that Healey's administration is helping with the conference's launch.

"Massachusetts is the premier place to host the first-ever ClimaTech. We have the best institutions and entrepreneurs innovating in the climate-tech space and creating clean energy jobs from Cape Cod to the Berkshires, coupled with our commitment to lower greenhouse gas emissions that sets an example for the rest of the country and the world," Healey said. "We look forward to hosting world leaders focused on this important, growing part of the economy and fostering meaningful progress in achieving our climate goals."

The conference will feature debates, fireside chats, keynote speeches and panel discussions with experts "who sit at the intersection of the climate crisis and technology as well as influencers from the broad arena of popular culture," organizers said. Start-up companies will have a chance to show off their climate-related technologies as part of an expo. The opening night reception will be held at Fenway Park and the JFK Library will host an event celebrating tech-driven innovation.

"Investing into the futures of ourselves and our loved ones begins with a sense of urgency around planning and taking action on climate change," Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said. "Today’s technological resources and innovative minds are a source of hope to bring about this needed change."

Organizers said the conference is privately funded by businesses, led by electric and gas utility National Grid as founding partner. Other partner companies include GE Vernova, Fenway Sports Group, Live Nation, Hydro-Québec, ANA CMO Global Growth Council, Boston Calling and the United Talent Agency. University of Massachusetts, Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology are involved in setting the program. Northeast Clean Energy Council, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts are among groups on an advisory council.

The ClimaTech conference is owned and produced by Emerald and Boston-based Novus Group, which is led by former Boston City Councilor Paul Scapicchio.

Healey's $1 billion climate tech proposal includes $700 million for the Mass. Clean Energy Center -- $400 million in capital funding and $300 million in operating money. The capital dollars would be split evenly across authorizations for a clean energy investment fund and an offshore wind industry investment fund. And the operating support could cover workforce development, strategic partnerships and internships, the administration said.

The clean tech plan also incorporates $300 million in tax incentives, including a $35 million annual offshore wind tax credit and a new climate tech tax incentive program worth up to $30 million annually.

"Innovation knows no borders and we will leverage our strengths here at home as a magnet to attract the most talented and impactful thinkers engaged in the fight to save our planet," Secretary of Economic Development Yvonne Hao said in the ClimaTech announcement.

The governor's economic development proposal, a bill that often gets finished by the Legislature very near to the July 31 deadline for formal business, would also reauthorize the state's life sciences initiative at $1 billion for the next decade. The BIO International Convention, the popular annual conference hosted by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, will overlap on the calendar with the ClimaTech conference.

The 2024 BIO International Convention is scheduled for June 3 through June 6 at the San Diego Convention Center.

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