SANTA CRUZ – The Sixth Annual Green Tech event hosted by Santa Cruz Works is set to happen virtually on Wednesday and Thursday and will address energy solutions and infrastructure.
The two-day event will feature discussions from tech and energy companies and organizations most of which are native to the Monterey Bay. The event was extended to two days this year due to the number of topics and tech announcements the workshop intends to cover.
“If you look at the bright side of the pandemic, what its taught us is we need to get together as a planet and work on global warming,” said Santa Cruz Works Executive Director Doug Erikson. “You can’t do it city by city or state by state. You’ve got to attack it on a global level. That’s one of the reasons we expanded it. There’s just so much to talk about.”
Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D – Carmel Valley) is the keynote speaker Wednesday evening and Tiffany Wise-West, a sustainability and climate action manager for Santa Cruz, will represent the city Thursday evening.
“I’m interested to hear what Congressman Panetta has to say,” Erikson said. “Particularly about infrastructure which is part of the Biden-Harris plan. That is pretty important for wildfires and pandemics.”
The American Jobs plan, the aforementioned infrastructure plan, would put an emphasis on repair of roads and bridges across the country, as well as the modernization of travel, both public and private. Modernization of transportation will lead to lower emissions and 100% clean transportation, a goal shared by President Biden and Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The workshop will also feature anticipated announcements from Joby Aviation and Ambient Photonics. Joby Aviation made headlines recently for progress it has made on its electrical vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.
The tech company recently formed partnerships with Uber, Toyota and Intel. The aircraft is teased as a faster and more environmentally feasible form of transportation. The aircrafts are intended to be used as an air taxi service. Someone will be able to hop in one in Santa Cruz and get to San Francisco in 12 minutes, hopefully for cheaper than an Uber, Erikson said.
Ambient Photonics is known for the creation of an ambient cell. It is primarily used to power low-voltage items, such as smoke detectors and digital displays.
The cell would effectively replace the need for watch batteries, as it lasts for a decade. It is also biodegradable and can be crumpled up and composted in a garden, Erikson said.
Bird scooters is also expected to make an announcement during the two-day workshop. However, the tech companies have held their cards close to their chests, and the nature of the announcements remain a mystery.
“This is what I call the golden era for Santa Cruz,” Erikson said. “The number of jobs that will be offered here is more than any in the past.”
Both days of the event, which are each an hour long, are free to attend. Attendees can register at eventbrite.com. Santa Cruz Works is also accepting donations for its efforts.
“We’re just like any non-profit organization,” Erikson said. “We still have to pay the bills and we have employees so we ask for donations when we can get it.”