Tuesday 6 June 2006

Prince Joachim in California

As we previously reported, Prince Joachim has been visiting California promoting innovative Danish businesses and the culture of Danish cinema. Prince Joachim leaves Los Angeles and goes to Beijing next up.

Prince Joachim at the first annual Danish Film Festival in Los Angeles. Presented by Danish Film Fest LA, The Royal Danish Embassy, and American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. June 3 2006

Prince Joachim arrives at the Gala event for the First Annual Danish Film Festival Bergamot Station Los Angeles, CA. June 3 2006

for more photos, visit the Danish Film Fest's gallery

On energy and innovation

Report from The Stanford Daily:
Danish prince pays royal visit

By Cassie Harvey
Friday, 2 June, 2006

While U.S. politicians and analysts clamor for renewable energy in the wake of skyrocketing oil prices, the Royal Highness Prince Joachim of Denmark took action yesterday by visiting Stanford to promote the launch of the Innovation Center Denmark — a bridge firm for developing alternative energy sources.
The prince and his delegation met with University President John Hennessy and faculty to listen in on presentations given by Prof. Franklin Orr, director of the Global Climate and Energy Project, and Rosamond Naylor, senior fellow at the Institute for International Studies. The presentations addressed issues ranging from greenhouse gas emissions to new energy technologies.
Located in Palo Alto, the Innovation Center Denmark aims to wed Danish ideas and firms with the Silicon Valley’s lucrative business potential. Jointly funded by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Danish Ministry of Science and Technology, the Center opens at an opportune time as concerns over conflict in the Middle East, high gas prices and global warming have led President George W. Bush to call for non-traditional energy sources.
“In a U.S. market eagerly looking for fossil fuel alternatives, Denmark has something to offer,” stated the Royal Danish Embassy in a press release.
Its remarkable energy revolution — progressing from 99 percent dependent on foreign oil to completely independent, as well as 20 percent wind powered, in only 32 years — certainly shows Denmark has much to offer in terms of energy models for the U.S. The country is also a net exporter of energy, providing 40 percent of the world’s wind energy. The 1973 oil embargo served as a wake up call that motivated Danish officials to develop alternative energy technologies.
“[Denmark] leads the way in using renewables in the energy mix,” Orr said. “They use lots of wind and biomass [materials].”
Harnessing this knowledge is only one of the goals of the new Center. Marianne Toftegaard Poulson, the Center’s director, envisions the Center as an intermediary between Danish-based companies and those in the Silicon Valley.
“The opening of the center really creates a win-win situation,” Poulson said. “Denmark has a lot to offer and the Silicon Valley area is a perfect market for the kind of technologies Denmark specializes in.”
Poulson also said she hopes the Center will foster strong ties with the Stanford community.
“University officials have been very receptive,” she said. “I view the Center as building bridges. Hopefully, by working closely with the University we can create more opportunities for exchange between the two countries, making it easier for researchers and students from both countries to spend time working or studying in Denmark and Silicon Valley respectively.”
Orr, who previously collaborated with students and faculty from the Technical University of Denmark, reflected on the positive experience and high quality research conducted.
“They’ve sent very capable PhD students,” Orr said. “I’ve had two absolutely terrific post docs.”
The grand opening of Innovation Center Denmark will take place this afternoon. Approximately 400 guests have been invited. Prince Joachim will then head to Los Angeles, where he will stay for two days before flying to Beijing.The Stanford Daily

On energy

From Inside Bay Area.com
Danish prince talks of 'energy independence'

By Douglas Fischer, Staff Writer

STANFORD — Tired of $3.60 gasoline? Danish Crown Prince Joachim has some advice:
Sacrifice, save, and sweat the small stuff.
After the 1973 Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' oil embargo, the Danes — 99 percent dependent on imported energy at the time — set out to free themselves from foreign oil. Today the country is the only exporter of energy in Europe, producing 55 percent more power than it needs. Renewable fuels — wind, solar, waste — generates 15 percent of that, and the country is almost completely "energy independent."
Thursday Prince Joachim and his delegation toured Stanford University, meeting with scientists working on ways to solve the world's daunting energy needs in the next century.
Those scientists, affiliated with the university's Global Climate and Energy Project, spent the morning tutoring the prince, 36, on ways society might someday warm the home, power the TV and ward off global warming.
It was a dazzling display of American ingenuity: Nanoprobe arrays that pluck off the extra electron or two cells generate during photosynthesis, advance membrane reactions to produce carbon-free hydrogen, genetically engineered cellulose to increase biomass yield.
There are some hitches, however. None of that works on a commercial scale. And Denmark didn't use any of it en route to energy independence.
Rather, said Danish officials accompanying the prince, such freedom came from small things: toilets with two buttons — one for a big flush, one for a little; highly insulated houses; a switch years ago to compact fluorescent bulbs; high energy taxes; wind.
"America has always been a leader," the prince said. "Now we're reaching a point where comfort has allowed America to not develop.
"But need and competition has brought change to Europe."
Of course, 85 percent of Denmark's power still comes from oil and natural gas. But the trend is steadily — if slowly — moving away from that.
In 1979, when Three Mile Island almost lost its nuclear core and much of the world turned from nuclear power, Denmark turned to wind, said Danish Ambassador Friis Arne Petersen, who accompanied the Prince.
Today Denmark is a global leader in wind turbines.
But big breakthroughs didn't turn Denmark into an energy exporter, said Petersen.
"You want that big breakthrough. That's wonderful if it succeeds," he said. "But sometimes lots of small steps need to be taken."
Lynn Orr, director of Stanford's climate and energy project, brooks no qualm over wind power. Or conservation. Americans certainly have plenty to conserve, and can even make money doing so, he said.
Yet when you look globally, when you follow trendlines out 50 years, Orr said, you quickly realize the numbers are far too huge for any one approach.
Two billion people on the planet today are just trying to get energy, let alone conserve it, he said.
China, to meet energy needs, is adding 1,000 megawatts of new coal-fired generation a week.
Worldwide people derive the same amount of energy by burning wood — five zeta-joules, or power enough to keep the city of Berkeley lit until the sun burns out — as by burning oil.
And in 50 years, the energy needs of humans on this planet are expected to double.
"There's no silver bullet here," Orr said of the high-tech solutions his group is exploring. "We need all of these things plus probably 20 more."
But if it's such a pressing problem, asked Petersen, why did Stanford University — one of the nation's premier research institutions — only start the Global Climate and Energy Project three years ago?
Orr didn't have an answer to that. Inside Bay Area.com

Danish cinema

From Danish Film Fest Los Angeles 2006
"Thumbs up"!

by Mathilde Moyell Juul

Those were the words from HRH Prince Joachim of Denmark on his visit to the Danish Film Fest : LA last night. The third night of screenings was a tribute to director Susanne Bier, showing 'Open Hearts' and 'Brothers' at the Aero Theatre. Once again it was an evening with the best of Danish film that also included a big gala event hosted by the Danish Embassy in honour of the prince's visit to California. In his speech, Prince Joachim said he was "honoured" and "extremely happy" to be the patron of the Danish Festival: "It's great, but also odd to be in Hollywood celebrating Dogme, the one film movement that goes against everything Hollywood stands for".

Ironic, as exactly this evening showed that Danish filmmakers aren't afraid to take their talent to the big American screen - Susanne Bier is currently working on two projects with Dreamworks, starring Oscar winners Halle Berry and Benicio del Toro. Last mentioned also paid the Aero Theatre a visit last night for 'Brothers' and the two panel discussions with Bier herself, writer Anders Thomas Jensen and actors Mads Mikkelsen and Ulrich Thomsen.

The Fest continued at the The Bergamont Theatre in Santa Monica, the setting of the big gala reception. In true Hollywood style with red carpet, spots and flashlights, over 300 people with a Danish/American connection were celebrating with HRH Prince Joachim, the cream of Danish film and Hollywood residents such as cinematographer Mikael Salomon, beauty guru Ole Henriksen and actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.

A great night celebrating a unique festival and making evident that the borders between the States and Denmark are becoming less visible. Tonight, Sunday, the festival rounds up with Lars von Trier's 'The Idiots' and his and Jørgen Leth's 'Five Obstructions'. Jørgen Leth will be there to present this film and his older work 'The Perfect Human' as well as answering questions from LA Weekly film critic Scott Foundras.

Next leg of Prince Joachim's trip is Beijing.

Added: Billed Bladet reports on Joachim's Film Fest experience in LA. Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen was there, he is currently filming the new James Bond film Casino Royale. He is playing the baddie Le Chiffre!



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