Now in its 16th year, Cleantech Forum San Francisco 2018 will once again be a true kick off for your year – mark your calendars for January 22-24, 2018!

This annual gathering of the global cleantech innovation community offers a comprehensive, three-day program along with exclusive opportunities to network, learn, and get deals done. Since 2002, Cleantech Group has brought together clean technology’s most influential leaders – corporate executives, start-up and growth company CEOs, investors, government agencies, and other players – from across all areas of resource innovation, from the major industrial verticals, and from across the globe.

The upcoming Forum will be our 16th annual showing of our flagship event, and Charting the Future, Connecting the Globe remains core to the value proposition of Cleantech Forums, and indeed all of CTG’s services.

What You’ll Experience

Our Cleantech Forums give you a glimpse of the future, get you out of your everyday silos, provide a different perspective, and help you find innovations of relevance to you that are in adjacent or altogether different industrial and technology areas. We convene the game-changers from multiple sectors all in one place for three days, from 25+ countries, and from over 100 cities worldwide. Our 16-year history of Cleantech Forums speaks to the importance of our events in getting deals done (or started), and the feedback we receive from attendees each year highlights the unique opportunities found at our Forums.

For our 16th Forum, we are building the theme around the idea of “next generations.” Expect insights on where the next generation of technologies might take the industrial landscape, hear from the newest generation of investment vehicles, and expect to meet CEOs who are representing how the next generation of entrepreneurs are shaping up.

We will once again host the official announcement of our annual Global Cleantech 100 list and awards, as well as release our Global Cleantech 100 Report that highlights the mega-trends of the next 5-10 years.

Haven’t experienced a Cleantech Forum? Learn more about it here.

Who Attends

You can expect to meet high-level corporate and investor representatives, entrepreneurs and disruptive start-ups, and other innovation leaders from 25+ countries, 5 continents, and from across many different sectors and industries.

Attendee numbers are consistently in the 550-600 range. Each is motivated to see today’s ‘state of the art’ in sustainable innovation and to gain insights on tomorrow.

Entrepreneurs: The start-ups and innovators on the front lines of sustainable innovation.

Corporates: Representatives from today’s leading corporate open innovation and venturing programs – those funding, incubating and partnering with innovation for strategic as well as financial return.

Financial Investors: Representatives from leading financial firms – venture and growth capital firms, from Sand Hill Road to Zhongguancun, along with the angels and family offices looking to make a sustainable impact and financial return.

Innovation Leaders: The ecosystem is completed with the presence of public sector officials and programs specialized in helping cleantech and resource innovation, and by lawyers and bankers, thinkers and innovation visionaries.

Check out a sampling of who typically attends our Forum here.


Next Generations

In line with CTG’s “charting the future” mission, this year’s Forum is built around the idea of Next Generations.

Through keynotes, panels, company pitches, and our interaction track, our 2018 Forum will be exploring many angles on this idea. Here are some of what you should expect:

You should expect a series of sessions to meet and hear from next generation entrepreneurs – the rising stars as identified from within our GCT100 program, but also from the generation of companies on the horizon.

Next generation technologies will, of course get some airtime – in part from the keynote from the CEO of Singularity University (with its well-known focus on exponential technologies) and in part from CTG’s own Cutting Edge series, which continues to explore the relevant energy and industrial applications of enabling technologies such as AI, blockchain, and gene editing.

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The idea of next generation industries will have its place, focusing in particular on two of the oldest industrial activities – feeding people, and moving people and goods. Agriculture and Food, Transportation and Mobility are the hot investment categories today, but where are these industries heading, at what speed and with what implications to whom?

Technology is exciting, but is not always a defining factor in whether a young company thrives. Instead, it is often suitable business models and investment vehicles that accelerate and finance immature technologies. The 2018 Forum will feature next generation investment approaches to call out this trend we have been following closely for the past two years.

Leadership has never felt more important – be it in a venture company, a multi-national, a city, state or country. New leaders are picking up the baton of the sustainable revolution, and we would like to hear from some of these next generation leaders in positions of influence.

And finally, we are also looking at how to bring actual next generations into the mix, both as participants and voices in the Forum. We also want to look at how the decades-long trends we are following will be impacted by the next generations and their marked differences from the baby boomer generation (in numbers; in the way they communicate, collaborate and consume; what they demand of products and services; and where they are/will be (namely in Asia and Africa)).

Featured speakers

January 22, 2018

denotes Moderator
    Entrepreneur Coaching

    Select entrepreneurs will have the chance to participate in a coaching session with a small group of subject matter experts from our network, representing different perspectives and experiences on a range of topics relevant to “the building of a company.” (Invitation Only)

    Executive Summit: Next Generation Mobility

    This limited-seating, afternoon Executive Summit will be devoted to sharing views on the intersection of mobility and where it will have the biggest impact and the most challenges – cities. The objectives are to engage in a dialogue around getting mobility solutions beyond pilots into commercial operations, while also addressing how the emerging business models and technology support the broader public good.

    If you are interested in attending, please email us at forums@cleantech.com to request an invitation. Priority will go to those are already registered for the entire Forum, and who are active in this space. 

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    There are several intersecting trends in mobility that will shape the next generation: autonomous vehicles, widespread use of sensors and data across the transportation infrastructure, new transportation service models, and active participation from cities on planning and control to meet diverse needs and challenges of increasing urbanization – to name a few.

    We will look across the ecosystem at the programs, plans and possibilities; who is leading the way; and where to watch. In this Summit setting, we will bring together key participants driving these trends in an effort to lay out concerns, identify opportunities, and foster collaboration.

    The City view (representatives from 3-4 cities actively addressing mobility):

    • How can the emerging business models and technology support the broader public good, and not just private actor actions?
    • Let’s talk about data – what is on the table and what is not – when it comes to privacy, ownership, and competitive advantage.

    The Service Provider view (3-4 large companies active in mobility, and 3-5 startups with innovative ideas):

    • We will look at transportation solutions beyond pilots, and how to take them to commercial scale.
    • The speed of change: technology changes now, tomorrow and next Tuesday….

    Entrepreneur & Investor Speed Networking

    The Entrepreneur & Investor Speed Networking session will connect investors, corporates, and entrepreneurs via a facilitated “speed dating” format. Entrepreneurs will have the chance to meet to multiple investors throughout the session. Limited seating and by invitation only.

    If you are interested in participating, please email us at forums@cleantech.com to request an invitation.

  • Cyril Magnin Foyer
    Registration & Official Opening
  • Cyril Magnin Ballroom
    The 2018 Global Cleantech 100 is Unveiled: Welcome to the 16th Annual Cleantech Forum San Francisco!

    We will open the Forum by releasing the latest edition of the Global Cleantech 100, the ninth such list since its inaugural appearance in 2009.

  • Cyril Magnin Ballroom
    The Future is Bright, the Future is Electric

    To what extent, and at what speed, might our transportation networks electrify? What are the detectible signals today that EV’s time has truly arrived?

    These are some of the questions the CEOs of two leading companies in the space will address through their different perspectives on the trend.

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    Hard to think of anyone better placed to talk to us about the charging infrastructure network and its chicken and egg role in the mass adoption of EVs predicted over the next decades than ChargePoint, the operator of the world’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging network.

    Light duty grabs a lot of the headlines, but just as important a question is how electric the medium/heavy duty portion of global transportation can go, and with what kind of an adoption curve? Proterra will speak about how they believe the sun is setting on combustion.

    In between, we will have the chance to briefly meet a newly active fund and a “fresh face” at the Forum – all in the spirit of the Connecting the Globe part of CTG’s mission.

  • James Redford: “HAPPENING: A Clean Energy Revolution”

    Filmmaker James Redford joins us to share his new HBO documentary, Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution. We’ll here about his personal journey into the clean energy era and enjoy a film clip. Q&A will follow his presentation.

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    Film Synopsis: James Redford embarks on a colorful personal journey into the dawn of the clean energy era as it creates jobs, turns profits, and makes communities stronger and healthier across the US. Unlikely entrepreneurs in communities from Georgetown, TX to Buffalo, NY reveal pioneering clean energy solutions while James’ discovery of how clean energy works, and what it means at a personal level, becomes the audiences’ discovery too. Reaching well beyond a great story of technology and innovation, “Happening” explores issues of human resilience, social justice, embracing the future, and finding hope for our survival. Learn about the film here.


  • Cyril Magnin Foyer
    Welcome Reception

January 23, 2018

denotes Moderator
  • Cyril Magnin Foyer
    Registration & Continental Breakfast

    Welcome coffee and light breakfast will be served in the general networking area.

  • Our Annual Energy Storage Breakfast: Where are Costs and Value Today?

    The team that leads the annual Lazard LCOS (Levelized Cost of Storage) analysis will host this breakfast, once again providing the latest findings on the storage market, from costs to deployment.

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    By the time of the Forum, Lazard, well-known for its LCOE (Levelized Cost of Energy) analysis, will have released the third edition of LCOS. The LCOS analysis, conducted with support from Enovation Partners, is an in-depth study of the major energy storage technologies in the context of their various uses, from large-scale, power grid-oriented applications to small-scale, residential applications. Its purpose is to compare the cost-effectiveness of each technology on an “apples to apples” basis within applications, and to compare each application to conventional alternatives.

    This breakfast session is your chance to hear from the authors and to have your questions answered.

  • Cyril Magnin Ballroom
    Next Generations: Who and What to Pay Attention to Now about the Future

    Our main-stage time on Tuesday morning will kick off with the following two contributions:

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    • Next Generation Cleantech: CTG will provide its viewpoints on who and what we will be paying attention to in the years ahead, as well as within the Forum’s two-day agenda.
    • Future-Proofing for the Next Generation: The CEO of Singularity University, Rob Nail, will provide his views on the incredible stress all our systems are under, and on the potential – and the threats – inherent in the incredible wealth and power of the next wave of exponential technologies and their disruptive impacts on the incumbent, global industries. In particular, Rob will look at next generation manufacturing and where that might go in the next decade or two. He will also speak about his experiences of companies for which the future caught up with them, even when they were anticipating and trying to make change. Adapting now to the next generation is required, though may not be sufficient.

  • Cyril Magnin Ballroom
    Next Generation Industries: Dramatic Changes are A-Coming

    Our main-stage time on Tuesday morning will conclude with the following:

    A Next Generation Oil & Gas Industry: Whatever the Monday opening session on EVs might conclude, and however a big threat to future oil demand that represents, the reality will remain that the hydrocarbon is all-pervasive across our lives and will remain a massive industry for the foreseeable future.

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    Dr Pratima will talk to us about her mandate as the head of OGCI Climate Investments, a new $1B fund backed by 10 Oil & Gas majors (only PEMEX is not from Europe and Asia), to de-carbonize the Oil & Gas industry.

    One to two other speakers will be announced during November.

  • Cyril Magnin Foyer
    Networking Break
  • Next Generation Mobility

    This session will draw on the pre-Forum Executive Summit to share some of the key findings and thoughts on where the world of transportation and mobility might be heading, and why; and what new we should be paying attention to.

  • The Rising Stars

    We will hear from six CEOs from companies who have made the Global Cleantech 100 for the first time. They will tell us about what they are doing and why their innovation matters – and what impact they will make on the 2020s.

  • Interaction Track
    Power to Gas: In Search Of Its Niche In The Next Generation Energy System

    As the nation’s largest natural gas local distribution company, Southern California Gas Company is looking to raise awareness of the importance of advanced gas technologies in the cleantech ecosystem and the potential role of Power-to-Gas (P2G) technology can play in an integrated and distributed clean energy infrastructure.

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    Southern California Gas Company believes that these advanced gas focused technologies can bring environmental, operational, and economic benefits to its customers. This tutorial will consisted of 30 minutes’ presentation led by SoCalGas RD&D team and 10 minutes interactive discussion with the attendees. Major topics include the latest P2G technology including cost reduction trend and potential future advances, case studies of recent deployments in EU and NA, various use cases of P2G, and the investment potential in P2G.

    Co-Hosted by: Southern California Gas Company

  • Cyril Magnin Ballroom
    General Networking Lunch
  • Lunch Session: Hydrogen Fuel Cell or Battery Electric? What might China’s New Energy Vehicle transportation market look like?

    There will be no one answer to how a lower carbon global transportation industry market might look. Different solution mixes will emerge for different geographical markets and for different use cases (from single passenger urban travel to heavy duty, long-distance transportation). This lunch session will explore the role of China and how its ambitions for New Energy Vehicles will influence global technology adoption.

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    There will be a particular focus on the rapid increase in fuel cell activity in China and the impact this is having on Western technology companies, not least exemplified by the tie-ups between Ballard and Zhongshan Broad-Ocean Motor, and between Plug Power and Furui. This session will share some perspectives on what is trending in China and why, from different players within the value chain.

    Will Chinese investors do for the hydrogen and fuel cell economy what they have done in the past for solar and wind? What role does hydrogen have in decarbonizing Chinese transportation, industry, and lowering emissions – and what impact will this have globally?

    Co-Hosted by: Anglo American Platinum 

  • Next Gen ICT: AI Meets Energy

    From optimizing asset location to balancing the grid and helping consumers reduce their electricity use, artificial intelligence is being deployed throughout the energy value chain. However, with AI being used as a buzzword by so many, it is challenging to discern where it really adds value. Inspired by CTG’s Cutting Edge research series, this session will look at some of the most promising technologies at the intersection of AI and energy, followed by a discussion on the merits and questions AI brings to the industry.

  • Ones to Watch

    The Ones to Watch session will feature companies from across the breadth of our sustainable resource themes, as well as companies selected from our sister list to the Global Cleantech 100 – the Global Cleantech 100 Ones to Watch – which highlights companies who are rising up the GCT100’s rankings, and getting close to making the final 100 for the first time.

  • Interaction Track
    Next Generation: Construction for the 21st Century

    The volume of construction output will grow by 85% to $15.5 trillion worldwide by 2030. Technology platforms such as advanced materials, IoT, drones, robotics, 3D Printing and AR are now turning to this huge industry to disrupt the way we plan and construct projects in the future. In this session, we will look to hear perspectives from the innovators and construction companies looking to pioneer the use of new construction techniques.

    Co-Hosted by: Israel Export Institute

  • Networking Break
  • Next Generation: Spacetech and Satellites

    As technological advances continue along a seemingly exponential trajectory, pressure on earth’s resources is reaching a critical point. In this session, we will highlight the visionary exploits of companies that are looking to outer-space for answers to earth’s most pressing questions. With 3D printing, space manufacturing, asteroid mining and satellite technologies, we will highlight the companies at the very cutting edge of what is possible.

  • Fledglings & Seedlings

    In search of the next generation of ideas, we are looking to identify some of the “best of” from sources of early-stage innovation – the labs, University TTOs, international business competitions, and accelerator/incubator programs. Our aim will be to bring you something different, something to inspire or provoke.

  • Networking Break
  • A Next Generation Industry on the Rise: Legal Cannabis and its Innovation Dynamics

    Over 15 years Cleantech Forums have taken a look at the resource efficiency needs and the innovation dynamics of most mature 20th century industries. Inspired by our next generation theme, here is a relatively new, but fast-growing, and resource-intensive industry for us to discover – namely, legal cannabis. We are currently assembling a group of people to educate us on this industry, with innovation as the anchor.

    Read more

    Where is this industry heading, and what are the implications for other industries, such as alcohol and beverages, on the one hand and the utility industry, on another? How energy and resource intensive is this as an industry? Are its needs being met, when it comes to being more energy, water and CO2 efficient? What solutions are already being deployed, what additional would be welcomed and why? These are some of the questions we seek to address – depending on the final line-up of experts we are able to bring together during December.

  • Nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs: What does success look like, and for whom?

    From ideation labs to incubators, accelerators, and themed co-working spaces, more and more organizations are providing entrepreneurial support services to cleantech companies. Who are they all, and how do their missions and models differ? As platforms and connectors, how do they create value for startups, corporate partners, local authorities, and investors? What are the key metrics they use to demonstrate that value?

    Read more

    We will hear from nonprofit, corporate, and publicly-funded organizations about their objectives, how they have evolved over time, and what they are doing to be successful going forward.

  • Transition Break
  • Cyril Magnin Ballroom
    A Next Generation Power Industry: Visions, Views and Concerns

    Our Tuesday agenda will conclude with an examination of what a next generation power industry might look and feel like.

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    California has committed itself to achieving a 100% renewable energy for its next generation. How can this be achieved? What technologies and innovations are missing today? What are the implications for a utility, and indeed, industry served by the utilities? What strategic options exist from here?

    These are some of the questions we will explore with Steve Malnight, Head of Strategy at PG&E.

    One additional guest speaker is possible for this session.

  • Cyril Magnin Foyer
    Tuesday Evening Reception

January 24, 2018

denotes Moderator
  • Cyril Magnin Foyer
    Registration & Continental Breakfast

    Welcome coffee and a light breakfast will be served in the general networking area.

  • Cyril Magnin Ballroom
    Next Generations: Feeding and Financing

    Our main stage time on Wednesday morning will be used to kick off the focus of the day’s two main tracks – Next Generation Finance and Next Generation Ag & Food.

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    In the first part, we will look at some of the signals visible today of what the next generation will demand of the finance and investment industry, in line with how the next generation has grown up experiencing an always on and connected world. This leads to democratization and an expectation of transparency and control – things that big finance and indeed all 20th century financial instruments, including venture capital, do not really provide. Prior generations have ceded control to big institutions who invest on our behalves. Change feels afoot generally, but we will take a particular focus on this theme through sustainability investing, through the eyes of a millennial founder of a new hot fintech start-up, Ethic Investing. What Ethic is offering progressives in investing is highly relevant to us as we think about financing the next generation of technologies and innovations.

    In the second part, we will explore next generation entrepreneurship through the eyes, viewpoints and experiences of Jeannine Sargent. Across her career, from small companies to big, from being the entrepreneur to the investor, Jeannine has experienced and seen most things venture, and through a few different technology waves too. We will seek to draw out her views on the future through her reflections on the past. These will include, inter alia, discussing the changed context of where innovation comes from, given the decline in corporate labs, making the case for what venture capital is relatively good at, and outlining how all of that impacts the choices the next generation of entrepreneurs will need to make about their sources of capital and the different funding mechanisms. Additionally, we’ll look at different business models and perhaps a re-set on what constitutes success, particularly when it comes to innovating in the industrial sphere.

    In the final part of the morning’s opening, to help set up the three Ag & Food sessions that follow, Will Rosenzweig will provide us with his views on the key drivers and trends disrupting the Ag & Food worlds, an understanding of why food is different and why Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods changes everything; plus we will gain some of his insights into how the supply chains may evolve in the coming years, driven by automation, biology and information technology.

  • Transition Break
  • Next Generation Finance for Industrial Innovation

    The traditional fixed-term venture capital fund model has more often than not proved an imperfect tool for getting hard-tech to scale in industrial sectors. Technology development and sales cycles in highly regulated industries often take longer than the next new gaming app might take to recruit 100 million users, but the need of limited partners to eventually see returns on investment does not change.

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    Lots of folks in our ecosystem are therefore focused on new models for commercialization of new products and services that either help to supplement venture capital, precede it, or avoid it altogether. One thing is becoming clear – there is no silver bullet. In this mini-block, with the opportunity to extend the discussions into lunch, we’ll look to catalyze a discussion led by purveyors of some of these new models of when and where to plug in various types of funding and facilitation – and how replicable the combinations and order might be for future ventures.

  • Feeding the World Through Digital Agriculture

    This morning’s two-session block will center on the question of feeding the world’s growing population, providing you some thought-provoking viewpoints on next generation technologies and innovations in the agriculture & food value chain. The first session will focus on the digitization of agriculture, diving deep into transformative areas such as precision agriculture, plant data analytics, and farm management. We will hear from various stakeholders across the ecosystem – the corporates, investors, start-ups, and technology adopters – to have a meaningful discussion towards the adoption of digital agricultural technologies.

  • Networking Break
  • Next Generation Finance for Early Commercial Deployments

    After development of an innovative new technology or service often comes the question of how to finance early demonstrations or commercial deployments for first customers. There is usually still too much risk for big banks to play here, while financing projects out of company equity can create too much risk for both a technology supplier and its customers. New players have emerged here, with the industry experience to evaluate projects and an eye toward packaging many similar small projects together to create cash flow streams sufficient to interest potential investors. Perhaps insurance houses can also play a role. In this session we’ll hear what’s now thought possible from those advancing the front lines of early project finance.


  • Sustainable Food System – Bridging the Gap Between Farm and Table

    Building on our discussion around next generation digital agriculture, this session will focus on the development of a sustainable food system. Specifically, we will zoom in on hot topics around food access, food security and, taking a step further, food replacements. We will highlight the various technologies and best practices that are needed to ensure the growing population will have sufficient access to safe and nutritious food.

  • Cyril Magnin Ballroom
    General Networking Lunch
  • Lunch Session: Catch-up with Next Generation India: Power and Opportunity For All

    In its 70 years since independence, India has added 3 times the population of the US today. Sometime in the 2020s, it will surpass China as the most populous country on earth. What India’s next generation energy, power and transportation markets look like matters – to us all.

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    This lunch session will look at the groundwork being laid by the Modi government, in terms of accelerating its power and transportation sectors toward a lower carbon future. We will examine three areas and the opportunities for us all within these themes – the rise of rooftop solar, the rise of new businesses and new business models in mobility, and the “power to all.”

  • Blockchain in Energy & Industry: A Growing Intersection

    Blockchain has been a major area of interest for the energy sector over the past couple of years. With growing traction, distributed ledger technology could power the future of energy, industry and mobility. But for all its potential, blockchain is still a nascent technology, and questions around use cases, technology readiness and business models abound. In this session, with learnings from our November Executive Summit on the topic, we will hear from some of the top innovators and corporate adopters to go beyond the hype and provide elements of answers to these questions.

  • Biotechnology Applications and Alternatives in Ag & Food

    The last session of our Next Generation Agriculture & Food series will focus on biotechnology applications in the agriculture & food sector. We will look into innovation technologies in areas such as plant genomics, bio-based pesticides, and alternative sources of animal feed.

  • Cyril Magnin Foyer
    Networking Break
  • Roundtable Discussions

    For 40 minutes, ahead of the final session of the conference, we will offer you the opportunity to sit down with leaders in their field on important subjects we think are important for us all to keep following and stay up to date.  A full set of subjects will be provided in due course.

    Two likely subjects, as examples are: Carbon to Value: How to get more investors engaged in deep de-carbonization, and The Methanol Economy: Are enough people paying attention?

  • Cyril Magnin Ballroom
    All of the Above, One Year On: Time for a Look Across All Energy Technologies and Their Future Potentialities?

    Under Ernest Moniz’s tenure at the US Department of Energy, the US’s energy policy was often referred to as “all of the above,” meant to capture the idea that all forms of energy had a part to play in the future energy mix, even if lowering carbon emissions was an explicit lens through which “all of the above” was to be carried out.

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    In this same time slot in 2017 (on the 3rd working day of the Trump administration), we had a lively panel session, tasked with the hard job of speculating what would change under the new presidency. One year on, we think it opportune and useful to revisit and take a look at where we are, with regards to all the potential energy technologies – from coal to renewables, from carbon capture to fusion.

    The objective is to assemble a group of panelists who are au courant with the policies and politics, as well as (perhaps more critically) the economics of all of the above, and so who can help us take away a balanced and realistic view of how much has changed, and how little or much politics can trump the underlying economics.

  • Cyril Magnin Foyer
    Closing Reception

    Thank you for joining us for our 16th annual Cleantech Forum San Francisco! We hope to see you next year.


Cleantech Forum San Francisco 2018 will be headquartered at Parc 55 San Francisco, a modern and spacious hotel located just steps away from Union Square, the Powell Street cable car turnaround, and the Moscone Center. With a contemporary design geared for both corporate and leisure guests, the hotel is an exceptional place to stay while visiting San Francisco. Parc 55 boasts 1,024 accommodating guest rooms, a full service 24-hour fitness center, and an array of dining options.

Hotel rooms have historically filled very quickly for Cleantech Forum San Francisco. We encourage you to book your room at the special Cleantech Group delegate rate of $279.00 per room per night. Our hotel block deadline is December 31, 2017, or until rooms run out. Available room nights for this rate are between January 20-25, with more limited availability on January 20-21 and January 24-25.

You can also call the hotel directly using the phone number below and referencing our event code:

Phone Number: +1 415-392-8000

Code: CLN

Parc 55 San Francisco
55 Cyril Magnin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

Phone: +1 415-392-8000



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