The Howard Baker Forum was established in Washington, D.C. to provide a platform for examining specific, immediate, critical issues affecting the nation’s progress at home and its relations abroad. Under Senator Baker’s leadership, the Forum organizes a variety of programs and research projects to examine and illuminate public policy challenges facing the nation today.

The Cuba Consortium

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The Cuba Consortium is an assembly of companies, non-profit organizations, investors, academics, and entrepreneurs organized to track and examine the normalization process in both countries and to inform and prepare its members for opportunities to engage Cuba. They are complemented by foreign policy, political, economic, international development, legal, and cultural experts who have specialized knowledge of the diplomacy, politics, and economics of the normalization process.

A National Roadmap on Advancing Energy Technologies

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The Howard Baker Forum program, A National Roadmap on Advancing Energy Technologies, was established to produce an actionable, national roadmap for advancing energy technologies through the application of high performance computing (HPC) modeling and simulation. Startups, particularly small and medium-size businesses, have not taken full advantage of these unique national assets. High performance computing can provide an edge to American entrepreneurs and companies and hasten implementation of crucial new technologies by substantially reducing development time and cost. The U.S. national laboratory system can provide expertise and capabilities at a level found few places in the world.

A National Summit on Advancing Clean Energy Technology

On May 16 and 17, 2011, the National Summit mobilized the extraordinary talent and insights of energy technologists and computational experts with the knowledge and experience of industry executives and public officials. During the event, speakers and panelists discussed the practical pathways necessary to improve America’s pursuit of energy and environmental security, economic growth and competitiveness, and the creation of next generation high-tech jobs. This informative exchange of ideas served as the foundation for a National High Performance Computing Roadmap.

North Dakota Energy Symposium: Using Technology to Enhance Clean Energy Production

Symposium Agenda

On March 5, 2012, The Howard Baker Forum and LLNL took the ideas of A National Summit on Advancing Clean Energy Technologies: Entrepreneurship and Innovation Through High Performance Computing on the road to Fargo, North Dakota. Senator John Hoeven and North Dakota State University hosted the first regional National Roadmap event featuring experts from academia, the national laboratories, state regulatory officials, federal energy regulatory officials, and private sector representatives. Senator John Hoeven, with representatives from sponsoring organizations and industry, held a press conference on-site to discuss energy challenges and opportunities. Following the press conference Senator Hoeven delivered a keynote address.

The Conference on Bipartisan Energy Policy

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The Conference on Bipartisan Energy Policy was organized to develop a systems approach to national policy-making that would apply the nation’s best science-based decision-making tools to the evaluation of policy options. A group of leading universities and national laboratories worked with the Howard Baker Forum to investigate and analyze how we can improve the way energy policy is made.

American Shale Consortium

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The Howard Baker Forum focuses on critical issues facing the nation and, in the leadership tradition of Senator Howard Baker, seeks practical and bipartisan solutions in the national interest. Shale gas and liquids are potential game-changers for American political, economic, and energy security. The Howard Baker Forum is actively working toward a national consensus. With its technology partner, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Howard Baker forum seeks to address the contested issues surrounding this important natural resource.

The two institutions have been working together to broaden the national dialogue on shale energy by inviting a wide array of stakeholders to join the process of consensus building and national policymaking. The American Shale Consortium is being established to institutionalize these efforts and bring together diverse stakeholders interested in practical, near-term solutions.

HPC for Energy

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Launched in February 2013, widely disseminates information about the power of high performance computing (HPC) to improve American competitiveness in the global marketplace. serves as a clearinghouse and one-stop shop for businesses engaged in developing energy technologies and interested in leveraging HPC and the expertise at the national laboratories to advance the commercialization of new products.

The website features success stories, articles by leaders in energy technology, and facilitates partnerships between American companies and national laboratories. The site’s mission is to bring business leaders, research institutions, and computing professionals to discover the impact of high-performance computing on American entrepreneurship and innovation.

Autonomous Vehicles

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Autonomous Vehicles (AV) will soon introduce dramatic changes in American life–in its economy and its society. Transportation systems, urban planning and infrastructure, citizen safety, data privacy, cyber-security, and the industrial base will all be affected. The pending arrival of AV challenges many of our nation’s basic working arrangements, laws, and societal relationships. It will raise a plethora of ethical and legal issues and challenge governments’ ability to anticipate, adapt, and govern.

The truly disruptive transformation to driverless vehicles is outrunning our national and state governments capacity to timely and adequately legislate and regulate. The AV Start Act, which unanimously cleared the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in October of 2017, was the first piece of AV legislation introduced to allow for more testing, deregulation, and federal preemption on AV design, construction, and performance. The bill is still stalled in the Senate as special interests groups are making the topic increasingly partisan. Major issues like data privacy and cybersecurity are not even in the bill and must be taken up subsequent to AV Start’s passage.

Purdue Discovery Park and The Howard Baker Forum hosted an expert roundtable on Capitol Hill on January 25, 2018 examining the legal, ethical, and societal issues facing autonomous vehicles. Thought leaders from the private sector, academia, trade associations, and government took stock of the industry and discussed the legal, ethical, social, and legislative implications of a driverless future.