Opportunity Miami
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Opportunity Miami

Innovation, activism — and now policy

This is the January 10, 2023 edition of the Opportunity Miami newsletter written by Matt Haggman, which we send every Tuesday. Click here to subscribe to get our weekly updates in your inbox.

Featured Content

Event: Opportunity Miami x Miami-Dade County Climate Tech Meetup
You can RSVP to the free event at The Miami-Dade Beacon Council here

It’s been said that a sustainable economic future stands on three legs: innovation, civic activism, and policy.

In two of those areas, the U.S. has fared well. It’s home to many entrepreneurs, investors, and businesses building zero-carbon companies. There are plenty of activists keeping climate change atop the public agenda. But the U.S. has long been criticized as a laggard when it comes to government policy aimed at hastening a zero-emissions future.

Yet, over a ten-month span, that has changed in a big way.

First, in November 2021, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was signed into law. Then, in August 2022, the CHIPS and Science Act became law. Finally, that same month, the Inflation Reduction Act was enacted as well.

Together, the legislation has given the world the signal “that America is getting serious about climate change,” Vijay Vaitheeswaran, Global Energy & Climate Innovation Editor at The Economist, said on a recent Opportunity Miami podcast.

Now, as 2023 begins, this legislation — and the funds that come with it — are starting to be implemented. It presents a huge opportunity for communities like Greater Miami to remake themselves and build for the future in a big way.

But what does it mean not just for local governments but entrepreneurs and business leaders? And how can funds be accessed?

To get a better understanding, our fourth Opportunity Miami x Miami-Dade County Climate Tech Meetup will take a deep dive into the federal legislation. We will meet on Wednesday, January 11th at 10 am (for those reading this on Tuesday, that’s tomorrow) at Miami-Dade Beacon Council. Galen Treuer, who leads Climate Tech and Economic Innovation at Miami-Dade County, and I will lead the discussion.

If you haven’t already, please sign up here.

Together, the three pieces of legislation provide outsized funding to do things like connect every household to the internet, build electric vehicle charging stations, provide tax credits to buy electric vehicles, increase public transit, incentivize and accelerate the build-out of renewable energy, and make buildings much more efficient, among others.

To give a sense of the scale, the Infrastructure bill is some $1.2 trillion, CHIPS and Science Act $280 billion, and the Inflation Reduction Act includes $369 billion in energy and climate change programs. And much of it is to be deployed before the end of the decade, said The Economist’s Vaitheeswaran.

Last week, in our latest Opportunity Miami podcast, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava talked about making Miami-Dade “Future Ready,” and she said it includes leveraging the enormous new levels of federal funding. This includes a campaign to get every home in Miami-Dade County connected to the internet (currently, roughly 8 in 10 homes are, according to the U.S. Census) and increasing mobility by expanding Metrorail north to Miami Gardens and Hard Rock Stadium.

You can watch the full conversation with Mayor Levine Cava here.

But what else should Miami be pursuing in this federal legislation focused on the future? It starts with understanding what’s in the legislation, and we hope you’ll join us at the Climate Tech meetup to discuss and share.

Separately, BrainStation and J.P. Morgan are partnering to provide full-ride scholarships for underrepresented individuals in tech. There will be a kickoff event on Thursday, Jan. 12th, that will include remarks by BrainStation’s Johanna Mikkola, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, J.P. Morgan’s Maria Escorcia, and Miami Foundation’s Rebecca Fishman Lipsey. You can RSVP here.

As always, we would love to hear from you. You can share ideas about people and ideas that are shaping our future in Miami or anything that’s on your mind by emailing us at next@opportunity.miami. We invite you to subscribe to our newsletter and podcast and to follow us on social channels by going here.

Hope to hear from you.

Matt

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