Keynotes

Raj Apte
Raj Apte
Principle Engineer
Google X
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Raj Apte
Raj Apte
Principle Engineer
Google X
Dr. Raj B Apte is Principal Engineer for new projects, responsible for identifying and developing early stage moonshots. He initiated and led project Malta, a breakthrough pumped thermal energy storage solution that will enable greater use of wind and solar energy, a pollution- and carbon-free grid. Prior to joining X in 2015, Raj managed a research team and clean room at Xerox PARC, where he worked on polysilicon circuitry for ultrasonic and x-ray imaging, the internet of things, novel MEMs displays, electronic paper, organic and printed transistors, and amorphous-silicon x-ray cameras. Five start-up companies have licensed his inventions, and he has played a significant role in bringing five new technologies to market: thermal energy storage, ultrasonic fingerprint scanner (in the S10), printed organic electronics, digital x-ray sensors, and micromachined diffractive displays.

Raj holds MS and PhD degrees from Stanford University and BS with Distinction from UC Berkeley, all in Electrical Engineering. He has 75 publications and 61 issued patents.
Alicia Barton
Alicia Barton
President & CEO
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
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Alicia Barton
Alicia Barton
President & CEO
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
Alicia Barton is president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), a public benefit corporation that advances innovative energy solutions to improve New York State’s economy and environment.
Ms. Barton has held public and private sector leadership roles advancing clean energy projects and companies for over a decade including serving as co-chair of the Energy and Cleantech Practice at Foley Hoag, LLP, chief of operations of the Global Utility business unit at SunEdison and chief executive officer of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), a publicly supported agency that funds and accelerates the development of the clean energy sector. Prior to serving as CEO of MassCEC, Ms. Barton was the Deputy Commissioner for Policy and Planning for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP); Assistant Secretary for Environmental Review and Director of the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) office; and Deputy General Counsel at the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA).
Ernesto Ciorra
Ernesto Ciorra
Chief Innovability Officer
Enel
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Ernesto Ciorra
Ernesto Ciorra
Chief Innovability Officer
Enel
Ernesto Ciorra was born in 1971, graduated in Business Economics at Bocconi University in Milan, magna cum laude, worked many years in consultancy, and then joined Enel on October 2014 as Chief Innnovability Officer. Founder of Ars et Inventio (2003), a consulting firm focused only on innovation and creativity, he has supported many companies at designing and launching innovative products and services that have become popular worldwide. Nokia, Telecom Italia, Vodafone, Poste Italiane, Eni, GDF, Edison, the P&G Fater and Fameccanica joint-ventures, Unilever, RCS, Sole24Ore, BNP, Unicredit and American Express are some of the firms he cooperated with. Lecturer of Innovation Management in Italian and Spanish universities and business schools (director of the “Programa Avanzado de Gestión de la Innovación” at Istituto de Empresa de Madrid, professor and member of the Scientific Committee of the “Master in Innovazione Strategica” at Cà Foscari), he has also authored three collections of verses and a theatrical play acted in several theatres in Italy (in Milan, Bologna, Taormina and Siracusa). Professors Henry Chesbrough of Berkeley and Mark Kramer of Harvard have written two business cases regarding his activity as Chief Innovability Officer at Enel. The two business cases are available on www.hrb.org and are used in several courses at Berkeley and Harvard.
Ramya Swaminathan
Ramya Swaminathan
CEO
MALTA Inc.
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Ramya Swaminathan
Ramya Swaminathan
CEO
MALTA Inc.
Ramya Swaminathan joined Malta from Rye Development, where she was CEO and Co-founder. Under her leadership, Rye Development grew to be the leading developer of new hydropower projects in the United States and its portfolio of development projects, held at its holdco affiliate, FFP New Hydro, advanced from concept through FERC licensing and late stage development financing. She was also responsible for the expansion of Rye’s platform into energy storage, with the addition of two sizable pumped hydro storage development projects in the Pacific Northwest. At Rye Development, Ms. Swaminathan led a multi-disciplinary team, with specialists in engineering and construction, regulatory and environmental aspects, and power marketing. She also led the company through several financing rounds, both at the platform and the project levels.
Prior to her work in the hydropower space, Ms. Swaminathan was a public finance banker, most recently as a Director at UBS, where she focused on public power clients and senior managed more than $10 billion in financings. Ms. Swaminathan holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government and a BA in Anthropology from Amherst College.