Industries of the Future-West Virginia will look to build on past successes during its sixth symposium Dec. 10-12 at the Charleston Town Center Marriott.


The organization, which formed in 1997 to help state manufacturers become more energy efficient and productive, will develop a new five-year plan for participating industries and their partners.


“We will be developing new projects for the coming five years,”said Carl Irwin, director.”We will reassess priorities for industry, develop new research, strengthen West VirginiaUniversitys involvement, create new partnerships and explore fresh co-funding opportunities.”


In the first five years, he noted, several state industries revamped their means of production, leading to more energy-saving operations that were both friendly to the bottom line and the environment. Irwin, also an administrator at WVU s NationalResearchCenter for Coal and Energy, said this years goal is to”build upon these achievements based on changes in the economy, the needs of industry and expanded research expertise.”


The symposium will feature brainstorming sessions on future projects, panel discussions on research and economic development issues, and several workshops and short courses.


Speakers and panelists will include WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr.; West Virginia Development Office Executive Director David Satterfield; Peter Berner, vice president of Dow Chemical Co.s West Virginia operations; state Sen. Brooks McCabe, D-Kanawha; Delegate Sam Cann, D-Harrison; and John Weete, vice president for research and economic development at WVU and president of the WVU Research Corp.


Irwin said he would like to see 15 or more detailed project descriptions come out of the symposium, as well as a long-term commitment to rely more on university-based research and technologies in improving manufacturing processes in the state.


Industries of the Future-West Virginia is a state version of a national program developed through the U.S. Department of Energy. Its role is to promote projects, partnerships and programs that increase energy efficiency, reduce and use waste materials, and improve productivity in energy-intensive industries.


The state program is a partnership involving WVU , the DOE s Office of Industrial Technologies, the West Virginia Development Office and state industry groups. Eight state industries participate in the program: aluminum, steel, metal casting, glass, forest/wood products, chemicals/polymers, mining and cross-cut industries.


Twenty-five other states have followed West Virginias lead and established IOF programs.


For more information about the symposium, visit the IOF -WV Web site athttp://iofwv.nrcce.wvu.edu.