Op-Ed: The Frontier Conference and beyond
April 28, 2017
Louisiana is uniquely positioned to develop a thriving ecosystem focused on industrial innovation. With core industries including agribusiness, chemicals, energy, manufacturing and transportation, Louisiana and the entire Gulf Coast region are becoming an epicenter of customers, capital and industry expertise. Without a doubt, innovation is driving a sea change in the industrial sectors to create increased
efficiency, safety and profitability. As emerging technologies continue to transform these sectors, a focused community of new leaders and innovators is also beginning to emerge.
Now is the time to come together as a community of innovators – which is why, on April 12, my team and I launched the first annual Frontier Conference™ (“The Frontier™”) with the two-pronged goal of building a community of leaders and innovators to gather to analyze and solve keys issues related to industrial innovation and the goal of positioning New Orleans as a major hub of emerging technology ventures and ideas. Based on New Orleans’ history and key industries, it is the ideal home for The Frontier Community™ and the ideal city to draw innovators to gather and fuse industrial ecosystems of Louisiana and Gulf Coast together.
With approximately 170 attendees, representing over 100 different companies and institutions within the United States, The Frontier Conference™ brought together industry leaders and innovators with expertise in the key issues impacting our most vital sectors, including: automation, the Internet-of-Things, cleantech, advanced manufacturing, intellectual property monetization and commercialization, and the future of the energy industry.
To quote one of our distinguished Frontier Conference™ speakers, the enterprise innovation leader, Ram Shenoy, chief technology officer of The RBR Group and former CTO of ConocoPhillips, “The choices you make in terms of riding the trends that are unfolding before us…are huge.” The Frontier Conference™ would not have come to fruition without the intentional choices of our numerous supporters. The collaboration of so many proves the old adage that “It takes a village” to make things happen.
I would like to personally thank the City of New Orleans, the Frontier Conference™ team, sponsors, partners, attendees and friends for making the choice to lend their unwavering support to The Frontier Conference™. The team and I thank you all. As we continue to nurture innovations in our industrial ecosystem in 2017, we look forward to seeing all of you next year at the 2018 Frontier Conference™.
Hank L. Torbert is a founder of The Frontier Conference.