Regional Innovation Hubs Supported by Energy Commission Receive Federal Funding

Two regional clean energy hubs that received support from the California Energy Commission got another boost after being selected for federal grants that will help increase private sector support of energy innovations.

The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) and Activation Energy of Berkeley are among 11 projects selected to receive $7.8 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Technology-to-Market Program to develop and test new ways to integrate emerging technologies into the energy industry. The funds, which were announced in August, will also help LACI and Activation Energy develop new methods to support clean energy entrepreneurs and examine new concepts for unlocking private capital to support energy innovation.

Both organizations were awarded a $5 million grant last year through an Energy Commission initiative to create a statewide innovation ecosystem to support clean energy entrepreneurship. The initiative is funded through the Energy Commission’s Electric Program Investment Charge program – often called EPIC -- which invests in clean energy research.

“This illustrates how state and federal agencies can support innovation,” said Energy Commission Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller. “It is also a good example of the partnerships that the Energy Commission has created with cleantech incubators in Los Angeles and the Bay Area to bring innovative clean energy technologies to the marketplace.”

LACI is a central coordinating hub for clean energy start-up companies in the Los Angeles area. Activation Energy plays the same role for companies in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The two groups are helping to transform the energy sector in their regions by supporting innovators who are developing clean energy technology concepts. These hubs connect entrepreneurs with industry and finance leaders and provide mentoring services, strategic guidance and educational programming. The hubs also provide access to the resources and facilities entrepreneurs need to commercialize their innovations.

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California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency created by the Legislature in 1974.
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