The city of San Jose and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory recently formed a partnership that will help pave the road for the commercialization and adoption of clean technologies by other California cities hoping to overcome energy and environmental challenges in their local communities.
The new partnership will bring together Berkeley Lab’s research capabilities and resources with San Jose’s program Providing Real-time Opportunities to Showcase and Pilot Emerging Clean Technology in Silicon Valley, or ProspeCT SV, which aims to help clean technology companies attract investors and test emerging prototypes and technological solutions. The partnership was jointly implemented by Douglas Davenport, program manager of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division at Berkeley Lab, and Scott Green, clean tech and regional policy officer in San Jose.
“It’s important as a national laboratory to be as relevant and in sync with challenges that cities and emerging companies are facing,” Davenport said. “The need for field-testing is very important, especially in clean technology.”
The collaboration will increase the number of clean technology jobs and the city’s economic growth by introducing commercialization resources and Silicon Valley testing facilities to companies, according to a Berkeley Lab press release.
In addition to providing an area for field-testing, Berkeley Lab will also bring its research expertise as a national laboratory, according to Davenport.
For San Jose, the partnership will allow the city to continue catalyzing young clean technology companies by providing them with the resources from the Berkeley Lab, according to Green.
San Jose has a done a range of demonstration projects that have assisted start-up companies with market entry. Now, the city is focusing on supporting commercialization efforts of more efficient and less carbon-intensive next-generation clean technology, Green said.
“Many of our pressing energy and environmental challenges will require new technology solutions,” he said. “As the tenth largest city in (the United States), we are committed to supporting young companies’ efforts to bring these products to the marketplace.”
According to Davenport, the future of this collaboration looks bright and can have a major impact due to San Jose’s unique collaboration with a research institute.
“Potentially, this relationship with ProspeCT SV can hugely benefit the entire Bay Area and the country,” Davenport said. “We’re opening something significant. This is a very exciting thing in the Bay Area that can accelerate clean technology efforts.”
Davenport also said the arrangement is purely a strategic one between Berkeley Lab and San Jose, with no monetary involvement or motive for each of the groups involved.
He also said he is ultimately looking forward to the new partnership increasing Berkeley Lab’s knowledge of clean technology and strengthening the capacity for research and development of clean technology.
“We will try to find ways our research work aligns with San Jose’s attempts to develop new clean technology and support startup companies,” Davenport said. “There’s a lot to be learned about clean technology, from how they perform to how valuable they are to environmental sustainability.”
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