LA Cleantech Incubator receives funding
The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) recently announced that it will create more than 1,000 jobs over the next five years with the help of a $200,000 grant from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. The grant will fund key programs focused on advancing sustainable technology development and adoption in the Los Angeles region.
Since launching two years ago, LACI has incubated 25 companies that have received more than $24 million in investments. LACI and those companies have helped to create more than 100 direct jobs and an estimated 180 indirect jobs, while bringing innovative products and services to market.
Incubated companies operate in a variety of sectors including energy generation and efficiency, water conservation, electric transportation, recycling, waste management, sustainable materials and food production. LACI has provided these start-up companies with office space, executive coaching and mentoring and access to a network of experts and capital sources.
“On behalf of the City of Los Angeles, I would like to thank the JPMorgan Chase Foundation for their generous support of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “LACI plays a key role creating jobs, building a stronger cleantech industry cluster and generating opportunities to train Angelenos in tomorrow's green careers, today.”
LACI works closely with the Mayor's office to identify, attract, and accelerate the growth of businesses with clean technologies that will support the city in meeting its environmental, renewable energy, energy efficiency and related goals.
In addition, LACI holds a close strategic relationship with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, acting as a scout in the region to identify and accelerate technology that supports their pursuit of innovative clean technologies for water conservation and renewable power.
“We're thrilled to have a true partner in JPMorgan Chase, whose global reach, deep capability, and strong corporate responsibility will help strengthen and extend our efforts in the Los Angeles region and beyond,” said Fred Walti II, Executive Director of LACI. “The substantial support of one of the world's leading financial institutions is symbolic of the effectiveness of our programs and confirms that we're collectively headed in the right direction.”
The JPMorgan grant will enable LACI to expand its core training and educational programs and launch a feasibility study on establishing an Innovation Fund to provide early-stage funding to start-ups.
Construction of LACI's permanent home – the La Kretz Innovation Campus – is now underway in downtown Los Angeles' Arts District. Once the campus opens in 2015, LACI is expected to accelerate the growth of dozens more promising companies and entrepreneurs in world-class facilities that include wet labs, dry labs, prototype manufacturing space, workforce training and strategically aligned partners, all in one location.
Major move forward for UK’s nascent marine energy sector
Although the industry is small and the technologies are limited, marine-based energy systems look to be taking off as “the world’s most powerful tidal turbine” begins grid-connected power generation at the European Marine Energy Centre.
At around 74 metres long, the turbine single-handedly holds the potential to supply the annual electricity demand to approximately 2,000 homes within the UK and offset 2,200 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Orbital Marine Power, a privately held Scottish-based company, announced the turbine is set to operate for around 15 years in the waters surrounding Orkney, Scotland, where the 2-megawatt O2 turbine weighing around 680 metric tons will be linked to a local on-land electricity network via a subsea cable.
How optimistic is the outlook for the UK’s turbine bid?
Described as a “major milestone for O2” by CEO of Orbital Marine Power Andrew Scott, the turbine will also supply additional power to generate ‘green hydrogen’ through the use of a land-based electrolyser in the hopes it will demonstrate the “decarbonisation of wider energy requirements.”
“Our vision is that this project is the trigger to the harnessing of tidal stream resources around the world to play a role in tackling climate change whilst creating a new, low-carbon industrial sector,” says Scott in a statement.
The Scottish Government has awarded £3.4 million through the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund to support the project’s construction, while public lenders also contributed to the financial requirements of the tidal turbine through the ethical investment platform Abundance Investment.
“The deployment of Orbital Marine Power’s O2, the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, is a proud moment for Scotland and a significant milestone in our journey to net zero,” says Michael Matheson, the Cabinet Secretary for Net-Zero, Energy and Transport for the Scottish Government.
“With our abundant natural resources, expertise and ambition, Scotland is ideally placed to harness the enormous global market for marine energy whilst helping deliver a net-zero economy.
“That’s why the Scottish Government has consistently supported the marine energy sector for over 10 years.”
However, Orbital Marine CEO Scott believes there’s potential to commercialise the technology being used in the project with the prospect of working towards more efficient and advanced marine energy projects in the future.
“We believe pioneering our vision in the UK can deliver on a broad spectrum of political initiatives across net-zero, levelling up and building back better at the same time as demonstrating global leadership in the area of low carbon innovation that is essential to creating a more sustainable future for the generations to come.”
The UK’s growing marine energy endeavours
This latest tidal turbine project isn’t a first for marine energy in the UK. The Port of London Authority permitted the River Thames to become a temporary home for trials into tidal energy technology and, more recently, a research project spanning the course of a year is set to focus on the potential tidal, wave, and floating wind technology holds for the future efficiency of renewable energy. The research is due to take place off of the Southwest coast of England on the Isles of Scilly