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March 5, 2013

North Shore nonprofits seek 'sustainability'

From the installment of wind turbines in Gloucester and Ipswich to the development of devices for detecting early stage cancer, local entrepreneurs on the North Shore are busy when it comes to clean technology.

“Sustainability is a big issue and we try and stay on top of it,” said John Coulbourn, chair of the Sustainability Forum at the Cummings Center in Beverly.

Coulbourn’s group is one of many comprising the North Shore Technology Council (NSTC), a multifaceted nonprofit dedicated to promoting sustainable technology and growth on the North Shore. Run by volunteers and funded by corporate sponsors, the Council connects with the community through frequent forums, panels and networking events each month.

The group collaborates with laypeople and leading educators, technologists and environmentalists to network and learn about new initiatives in monthly meetings opened to the community. The next gathering will take place on Wednesday, March 6 at 8 a.m. at the Cummings Center in Beverly. (Details can be found at http://norshoretechcouncil.blogspot.com/)

“It’s all about information when it comes to sustainability: the more we have the better off we’ll be,” said Coulbourn who also serves on the advisory board North Shore Innoventures (NSIV). NSIV, also located in the Cummings Center, is an incubator fostered through NSTC, according to Dr. Martha Farmer, the CEO and president of Innoventures. The organization was designed to mentor and assist entrepreneurs, and engages with the community through clean technology.

“I’m excited by the new technologies people are developing (in the area) to solve real problems,” said Farmer. “We have incubators working on projects on anything from life sciences to clean tech. One incubator called New England Hydropower is working with us to create hydropower plants at dams. The potential energy gains in this area will be greater than those of solar or wind power.”

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