Good afternoon, Minister Lee, dear colleagues and new friends.  My name is Jim Greenberger and I am the Executive Director of NAATBatt International.  NAATBatt is an association of more than 300 companies and research institutions working to support the development, commercialization and manufacture of advanced battery technology in the North American market.

I am pleased to report that earlier this morning NAATBatt entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with three distinguished organizations from the Republic of Korea:  the Korea Battery Industry Association, the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology and the Korea Electronics Technology Institute.

Under the Memorandum, all four organizations pledge to work together to promote friendly and profitable business relationships among our members.  This cooperation will include facilitating meetings and networking among our member companies, cooperating in pre-competitive research for next-generation battery technologies, battery reuse and battery recycling, and developing common standards for battery safety.

The signing of the Memorandum is an important and positive step in relations between the United States and the Republic of Korea.  But it is important to remember that it is but a small part of a much larger picture.

We meet today at the dawn of a new age of energy: The Age of the Electron.  Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, heat-based fuels have powered human society.  For many reasons that is changing.  In the future, human society will increasingly be powered by electrons not by heat. This transition is already taking place in vehicle technologies, aviation, medicine, computers, communications, consumer devices and even high energy weapons systems.

Battery technology will play a critical role in this new energy age.  Properly understood, battery technology is simply a way to deliver an electron to any point in space, at any point in time.

As we are at the very beginning of this new age, we really do not know where this new electron-based technology will lead mankind.  It is probably not for our generation to know.  But our grandchildren will know better than we do, and our great-grandchildren will know better still.

The Memorandum we signed this morning and our meeting here today will not be long remembered.  But what our grandchildren will remember is that at the beginning of the Age of the Electron their grandparents in the United States and their grandparents in Korea stood shoulder-to-shoulder and worked together to turn this new technology of electrochemical energy storage to the benefit of all their grandchildren.  And much better legacy than that, none of us can hope for.

My thanks, again, Minister Lee, for your leadership in bringing us here together.  NAATBatt looks forward to working with all our new friends in Korea for many years to come.