Birmingham to host Frontier Conference 2020

Birmingham to host Frontier Conference 2020
The Frontier Conference 2020 is coming to Birmingham in April. (contributed)

More than 200 business, government and academic leaders will gather in Birmingham this year to share information and best practices for industrial innovation.

Frontier Conference 2020 is set for April 1-3 at The Lyric Theatre and Hill Event Center in Birmingham.

The most recent Frontier Conference, in 2018, attracted innovation leaders representing 130 organizations from 20 states and five countries, spanning 17 major industrial disciplines. The concept is to share ideas between industries about everything from transportation logistics, to renewable energy’s impact on power generation, to leadership tips for forward-thinking industrial companies.

Frontier Conference 2020 coming to Birmingham from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

The conference’s leaders decided to move from New Orleans to Birmingham for the third edition because of the Birmingham area’s tradition as a manufacturing and industrial center and its status as one of the top hubs for industrial innovation in the South.

“Technology is changing the industrial landscape every day, and it can be hard for professionals to know what’s happening beyond their own industries,” said Tom Meredith of Brightstar Capital Partners, chairman of Frontier Conference 2020. “This conference offers a unique way for industrial leaders to find new ways to address current challenges while embracing opportunities for the future.”

Meredith, whose career in finance and manufacturing has included senior-level roles at Dell, Sun Microsystems, Meritage Capital and Amdahl Capital, is taking a lead role in developing a list of speakers and panelists who are thought leaders at corporate, finance, academic and research organizations. He is currently a partner at Brightstar Capital Partners, a private equity firm focused on investing in closely held, middle-market companies.

The Frontier Conference will bring together more than 200 thought leaders to discuss issues related to industrial innovation. (contributed)

The industrial and energy sectors have experienced tremendous change in the past decade, with millennials taking roles as future leaders, software disruption and new challenges related to safety, security and the environment. Both established companies and disruptive startups are seeking to take advantage of these changes and to be ready for the future, and the Frontier Conference is designed to help them determine the best way forward.

“The Frontier Conference is designed to be the intersection between tech and big industry,” said Hank Torbert, who is heavily involved in emerging technologies for industrial companies and is CEO and founder of the Frontier Conference. “Our goal is to bring industry leaders together to connect and celebrate.”

A look at the conference schedule illustrates the wide breadth of content. For Thursday, April 2, topics will include:

  • Industry 4.0 and Where It Will Take Us
  • Manufacturing Innovation: How Technology Can Drive Productivity
  • Mobility and the Automotive Landscape: Where Are We Going?
  • Energy and Renewables: What Technologies Are Leading Power Generation and Distribution
  • Transportation and Logistics: Technologies That Are Leading the Sector
  • Aerospace and Defense Industry: What Technologies Are Driving Innovation?
  • Chemicals and Biomaterials and How They Are Transforming How We Make Things.

For Friday, April 3, the topics include:

  • Frontier Leadership Panel: How Do We Lead the Company of The Future?
  • Financing Industrial Innovation Fireside Chat with VCs and CVCs
  • Automation and Drones: What Technologies Are Leading Industrial Transformation
  • Tech Transfer and Commercialization: Monetizing Industrial Technologies and IP.

For more information about the Frontier Conference, visit

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