"We are genetically coded to be able to partner well with others," said Steve Eisenbrown, senior vice president of everything that doesn't have to do with motors for Rockwell Automation, as he introduced a panel discussion about "New Soltuions to Process Automation Challenges." The speakers are Peter Rippen, director of strategic alliances at Endress+Hauser, Myron Danzer, vice president of Renewable Energy Group, and Norman Olson, Director, Biomass Energy Conversion Facility, Iowa Energy Center. Rippen described the strategic alliance with Rockwell: collaborating to provide world class solutions. He did say that E+H reserved the right to date other people, because they aren't married, but that they feel that this is a unique alliance that draws from the core competencies of both companies. He pointed out that E+H has the field instruments, and Rockwell has the rest of it. "We are trying to merge the competencies," Rippen said, "of both companies into something greater than each company alone." "Seamless integration is required," he said. Endress+Hauser does measurement, Rockwell does control. He explained what that means in some detail. It's the difference between "Code 701" and "You have air in the measuring tube and the batch is going bad." "One plus one is greater than two." We've made our technologies available to our competitors, as well. We believe that customers do not want to be locked into proprietary solutions. Rippen talked about W@M "Web enabled asset management." This is a common information portal about asbuilt information that is accessible on the web.This can be fully integrated into the maintenance environment. He showed examples of SAP and Maximo environments with W@M built into it, fully integrated. "We want to make this technology available to other vendors, because we believe in openness." He showed a list of key verticals that was amazingly similar to the key verticals list Nosbusch had shown earlier. E+H numbers, $1.5 billion, with a net of $124 million and a equity cap of 56.5% on 7045 employees. We intend to remain independent. Next, Myron Danzer talked about biodiesel--and what REG does as a full service biodiesel company with a network of biodiesel plants. Norman Olson talked about Biomass Energy Conversion industry. This is a new industry that is being driven by rising oil prices. BECON (Biomass Energy Conversion Facility) provides credible, first-hand information on renewable, biomass-based fuels and chemicals by creating research, testing, demos, education and training opportunities on cost-effective biomass conversion systems. BECON bridges the gap between lab reserach and commecial industry with functional full scale demonstration systems. This creates opportunities for rural economic development. Four or five of the community colleges in Iowa are preparing to train technicians for BECON. Olson talked about all the various ways to convert biomass into energy sources.