Wednesday, April 16, 2008

DBI Inc., con't

Eric is baiting me, but just for the record: my sole qualification to be the nominal "president" of our newly formed AZ non-profit corporation over Eric's "vice president" role is that my last name comes ahead of his alphabetically and our esteemed counsel dropped my name in the first slot. Eric's already agreed to swap in 2009, but I'll enjoy my lame duck session while it lasts. :-)

For anyone who wants more info about how we envision DBI evolving, we have a draft 1-pager posted here (.pdf) that might be useful. As noted in the 1-pager, Eric and I see our roles currently as roughly "technical director" (Eric) and "policy director" (Brad), with responsibilities split equally and considerable overlap in what we cover. Also, Sam has been working with us in a role that I think of as "policy analyst." We're all volunteer at the moment, but we're working with some grant writers (whose services have been generously lent to us by ASU Law's Center for the Study of Law, Science and Technology), and if we can raise some money we'll hire in an executive director-type position.

As described better in the 1-pager, we envision our activities falling roughly into three categories: policy, operational and education. On the policy side, our goal is to create a virtual "think tank" focused on biofuels policy issues, working closely with various partners at ASU. Operationally, we're excited about some ideas under discussion about a program to incentivize restaurants throughout the Sonoran Desert region to keep their WVO here for use as feedstock for biodiesel, and about the possibility of creating a pilot biofuel plant that could help local commercial producers bridge new technologies from academic research labs into actual production. On the education front, we plan to continue extensive stakeholder outreach, more blogging and info-gathering, and will plan a second local biofuels summit.

Ultimately we hope to help play a "glue" role connecting the many various stakeholders -- entrepreneurs, policymakers, regulators, researchers, the grassroots community -- who will need to work together in order for "local biofuels" to thrive in Arizona. Our intent is to complement the efforts of other stakeholders, and to try to identify and solve problems that aren't being addressed by others.

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