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Kelly H. Carnes
President & CEO
TechVision21 stands out as a unique and highly specialized consulting firm. The Honorable Kelly Carnes, President and CEO, and her team have decades of Federal innovation policy and program experience. They have implemented Presidential and Cabinet-level programs, and worked successfully with numerous agencies, including the Departments of Defense, Commerce and Energy, and the National Science Foundation. They use that experience and deep understanding of Federal innovation policy, programs, and budgets to help companies, universities, and non-profit organizations of all sizes advance their interests. Over its 20 years in business, TechVision21 has supported numerous pathbreaking technologies, including information and communications technology, broadband, renewable energy and energy efficiency, semiconductors, automotive technologies, artificial intelligence, and more.
With a wide variety of capabilities, TechVision21 marries the needs and interests of clients with opportunities in the government innovation policy and program arena. The TechVision21 team has the insight to quickly pinpoint each client’s specific needs and identify how those needs could be addressed by partnering with the Federal government, engaging with policy makers, pursuing Federal funding opportunities, or helping guide new policy.
TechVision21 team members also are deeply knowledgeable about the theories and models of innovation, and the history of science and technology policy, bringing a rare level of expertise.
Kelly has a long history of encouraging women to pursue STEM degrees as a stepping-stone to high-tech entrepreneurship. As Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Technology Policy, she created GetTech, an award-winning national public awareness and information campaign to encourage teens to pursue technology careers. She was also a Member of the Steering Committee for the Commission on the Advancement of Women and Minorities in Science, Engineering, and Technology, and led the Clin ton Administration’s efforts to increase the representation of women and minorities in the Nation’s technology workforce. TechVision21 also has helped the Air Force, Army, and Navy to understand their current and future STEM-workforce needs and enhance their efforts in support of STEM education.
For Kelly, the inspiration to enhance women in all roles comes from her role model, Mary Good, a true ground breaker across her unmatched career in academia, industry, and government in a field dominated by men. One of the most renowned female scientists of her generation, she completed her Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry at 24 and began her first career in academia at Louisiana State University, rising to Dean of the School of Engineering. She then moved to industry, eventually serving as Senior Vice President for Technology at Al-lied-Signal. Dr.Good was appointed by President Carter and President Reagan to serve on the National Science Board and she later became its Chair. President George H.W. Bush appointed her to serve on the prestigious President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. President Clinton selected her to serve as Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology, where Kelly, serving as Assistant Secretary, began her long and close collaboration with Mary. Kelly has been inspired to follow in Mary Good’s footsteps. She has worked to elevate technology policy to the highest levels of the U.S. government throughout her career. Kelly has not only become a national thought leader on innovation and competitiveness policy but has also positioned TechVision21 to be a consulting firm in a league of its own.
After working in government, Kelly realized there were many companies—from the smallest of start-ups to global giants—that were not leveraging Federal government policies, programs, and funding to their fullest potential, and that playing a Sherpa role would help a wide range of clients advance exciting technologies that could increase their success while helping improve U.S. competitiveness, job creation, and economic growth. Kelly believes strongly in the philosophy of “doing well while doing good,” and values the contributions of TechVision21 and its clients to U.S. economic growth and competitiveness. She also believes it is vitally important to contribute to policy and program development to ensure that the United States can benefit from breakthrough technologies and that innovators can commercialize them.
One key pain point TechVision21 focuses on is “The Valley of Death.” Many high-tech start-ups and small businesses have promising technologies but cannot acquire the capital to sufficiently advance and demonstrate them to get the cost and performance data needed to attract commercial financing. Too often, these technologies fall into the “Valley of Death” and are never commercialized. The innovative companies that developed these promising technologies are stymied on the pathway to growth. Some Federal programs provide support to bridge this funding gap, and TechVision21 has helped many businesses seek that support.
TechVision21 develops a customized strategy for each client’s needs and provides key support for its implementation—from two-page briefers, talking points, and data to concept papers, responses to Federal requests for information, and complex funding proposals. The company’s team brings a deep level of expertise and experience to this work, stays on top of new developments, and gathers intelligence—be it political, programmatic, or budgetary—to help clients stay ahead of the curve and get out in front of potential opportunities.
When a producer in a rural area wanted to expand a small biofuels plant, and a rural utility wanted to install a geothermal system, they turned to Techvision21 for assistance. TechVision21 worked on proposals for Federal funding and both of these clients won $500,000 for their projects. At the higher end, TechVision21 worked with an industry consortium on a proposal that won a $60 million grant for a PV manufacturing development center. In another effort, TechVision21 helped a global company move a unique utility-scale renewable energy system off the back burner. “While we did help them win several multi-million dollar grants to advance the technology, we also helped secure the technology’s eligibility for Federal renewable energy production tax credits, and a government commitment to re-establish the regulatory framework for the technology,” says Kelly. “In the mid-range, we’ve helped clients win awards of several million dollars each, for example, to purchase and install specialized equipment in a university manufacturing research center, and to advance a new type of battery.”
Kelly is very enthusiastic about the opportunities that will arise in the next couple of years, and continues to advocate for a strategic, comprehensive approach to U.S. technology policy and decision-making. According to Kelly, the new Administration and Congress have big plans to expand programming and significantly boost Federal budgets in science, technology, and clean energy. “During our 20 years in business, TechVision21 has had the opportunity to work on many exciting projects, promoting and supporting many “new to the world” technologies with great potential to disrupt existing industries and benefit the U.S. economy. We look forward to the next 20 years.”
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