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Cleantech San Diego Awarded $5 Million to Advance Regional Energy Innovation and Commercialization

Cleantech San Diego has been awarded a $5 million grant over five years from the California Energy Commission to further advance the San Diego region’s energy innovation industry. This award represents the largest grant Cleantech San Diego has received in its nine-year history. The award will be used to develop the San Diego Regional Energy Innovation Cluster, a partnership between nine regional business organizations and academic institutions that will connect entrepreneurs in San Diego, Imperial, Riverside and San Bernardino counties to facilities, training, and resources to help them successfully bring energy innovations to market

The San Diego Regional Energy Innovation Cluster will be a partnership of Cleantech San Diego, CONNECT, San Diego Venture Group, Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation, Inland Empire Economic Partnership, Center for Sustainable Energy, San Diego State University, UC San Diego, and University of San Diego (USD). This partnership represents the first time these organizations have come together to work under one formal directive.

The program will identify innovative entrepreneurs that are developing solutions to the region’s priority energy needs and provide them with a customized plan that includes access to advisory support, technology commercialization services, and proof-of-concept and pilot testing. Entrepreneurs will also have opportunities to connect with investors and companies that can assist in product commercialization and adoption.

The program will engage Cluster partners, regional stakeholders, and other local service providers to offer development services customized to the unique needs of selected entrepreneurs, such as: mentoring, training, and education; accelerator/incubator services; access to capital through networking forums; facilities for proof-of-concept/technology validation; advisory support, market intelligence, and other services to advance energy innovations to the market.

“The San Diego region is home to a thriving entrepreneurial and innovative community with robust energy and technology sectors that continue to grow at a rapid pace,” said Cleantech San Diego President and CEO Jason Anderson. “With this award from the Energy Commission, we are pleased to launch the San Diego Regional Energy Innovation Cluster to create and enhance programs focused specifically on the technical, business, and policy needs that will help clean energy entrepreneurs continue to prosper in the San Diego region.”

“University of San Diego is pleased to be part of this great regional partnership,” said Scott Anders, Director of USD School of Law’s Energy Policy Initiatives Center. “By working with innovative energy startup companies to provide regulatory and technical assistance, our Schools of Law and Engineering will be on the front lines of innovation and change in the energy industry – exactly the kind of work we want to be doing.”

“This award from the Energy Commission presents a tremendous opportunity to leverage the San Diego region’s globally-recognized business, economic, and academic resources to advance the creation and commercialization of clean energy innovations that will transform our region’s energy future,” said San Diego Venture Group President Mike Krenn.

In addition to its support of the San Diego Regional Energy Innovation Cluster, the Energy Commission is also funding energy innovation clusters in the Los Angeles, Central Valley, and San Francisco Bay areas.

Entrepreneurs interested in applying and mentors interested in getting involved can visit the San Diego Regional Energy Innovation Cluster website for more information.

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