Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined local university presidents and business leaders to announce CleanTech Los Angeles, a partnership between the City of Los Angeles, local world class academic and research institutions, and the business community last Wednesday. CleanTech Los Angeles is a multi-agency collaboration between the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA), California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP), NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), UCLA, and USC to establish Los Angeles as the global leader in research, commercialization, and deployment of clean technologies. It brings together groups like the city’s power and water utility, the chamber of commerce, and the universally recognized scientific research heavyweights UCLA, USC and CalTech with the aim to help LA region become a global center of green technology, green jobs and green manufacturing, officials explained. The ultimate goal is a lofty one: to become the global capital of clean technology.
Why L.A. — one might ask? In the popular mind it seems more synonymous with millions of cars, massive traffic jams and huge freeways than with clean tech. However L.A. has several distinct advantages that make it a viable candidate for aspiring to become a clean tech capital. L.A. has the lowest carbon footprint of any large metropolis in the continental United States. It is a global center of world trade with over 4,500 foreign companies doing business in the region and a very large diplomatic (consular) presence. It is the largest manufacturing center in the United States with a trained and varied workforce of 482,000. It is one of the nation’s most important transportation and telecommunications hubs. L.A. is also a major center of research and development enriched by major institutions such as UCLA, CalTech, USC and the JPL.
CleanTech Los Angeles states that the region “is home to the largest port complex in the nation, the world’s fifth busiest airport, the country’s largest municipal utillity, world-class research universities, an unparalleled workforce, and the largest manufacturing center in the nation. From pipe-fitters and electricians to engineering PhDs and Nobel Laureates, the business and labor communities are teaming up to make Los Angeles the most productive place in the nation for cleantech. The City is building on these assets with billions of dollars of investment and attractive incentives to make Los Angeles the destination for the cleantech industry.”
“We want to build a future in which clean technology is as synonymous with Los Angeles as motion pictures or aerospace,” said Mayor Villaraigosa of L.A., speaking recently at the Balqon Corp., a manufacturer of zero-emission electric trucks.
One of the centerpieces of this effort to turn L.A. into a clean tech capital was announced yesterday by the mayor in his state of the city speech, in which he said that he will focus his economic development strategy for the remainder of his term on the green technology sector. Central to this effort will be the creating a “clean tech corridor” near downtown Los Angeles to attract companies and researchers focusing on renewable energy resources, water conservation technologies and green building techniques to the area.
© 2009, Chris de Morsella. All rights reserved. Do not republish.