NanceSilicon Valley in California is known as the home to some of the ‘smart’ industry’s bestknown startups, including Trilliant, eMeter and Opower.

However, innovation in the smart grid sector is not limited to the West coast of the United States.

During a recent visit to North America, Metering & Smart Energy International had a chance to meet with Lee Anne Nance, managing director of the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster (RTCC) in Raleigh, North Carolina.

RTCC is a non-profit economic development organisation ‘on a mission, with a mission.’ Their goal: to facilitate collaboration between companies, institutions and government agencies.

‘By working together, we will grow the cleantech sector in the Triangle while maintaining its leadership role throughout the world,’ says Nance.

Cleantech cluster

Yet, what is it about this region specifically that has drawn so many clean tech companies to this region?

Nance believes that the region’s cleantech cluster started to develop in 1954 with the arrival of Westinghouse Corp.’s electricity metering division, followed a decade later by IBM. Computer networking giant Cisco Systems later joined them. The region is today ‘a one-of-a-kind intersection for the convergence of hardware, software, network solutions and business analytics’.

Today the Research Triangle Region includes hundreds of companies that cover a vast spectrum of the cleantech industry— with names like Elster, Itron, SAS, Siemens and Schneider Electric.

Nance is a firm believer in being ‘intentional’ and says this focus will continue to drive the development of the RTCC going forward. ‘While we have a great heritage of innovation in the area, RTCC plans on leveraging this by intentional development of cleantech. The best way we can do this is …

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