San Jose—In order to continue and accelerate its leadership in clean technology, the city of San Jose announced the launch of Prospect Silicon Valley, (ProspectSV), which will soon open the Environmental Innovation Center (EIC), a technology demonstration center. The EIC will open in spring, 2014, and be fully operational by summer.
The demonstration center will become a hub for clean-tech innovators in Silicon Valley and around the world. It will provide technical space and conference facilities and include state-of-the-art labs, vehicle lift, and shop equipment in order to provide commercial trials for clean-tech companies. The companies will test and present their technology solutions and help attract private capital investment.
The EIC will be operated by ProspectSV, a nonprofit organization working hand-in-hand with the city of San Jose, along with a wide range of corporations and research institutions, such as Wells Fargo, Applied Materials, the Lawrence Berkeley lab, BMW, and more. Its mission is to support entrepreneurs, startups, and other companies that demonstrate innovations in transportation and mobility, energy systems, and the environment.
The center will facilitate smaller clean-tech companies, and at the same time, attract innovators from around the world. “We are developing a network of small-business-incubator partners and other organizations that are supporting innovators all around the world. We are asking those partners to bring their best technology to Silicon Valley,” said Douglas Davenport, the executive director of ProspectSV. “Those companies can take space in the demonstration center and conduct field trials in partnership with us—to show potential partners, investors, and customers what their technology can do.”
As for who would be potential tenants, Davenport said they are looking for clean-technology solutions, innovators who are working on transportation, building technology, energy-efficient technology, or related fields.
The city of San Jose is committed to being the world center of clean innovation. Its green vision aims at achieving 10 optimistic goals, which include receiving 100 percent of electrical power from clean, renewable sources and creating 25,000 clean tech jobs by 2020. Davenport believes this project will bring more clean energy solutions to the city’s leaders.
“When a city is trying to go after big goals such as really transforming its developments, there’s a lot of solutions you need. And no one group really understands all the solutions that are possible. We have an opportunity to bring new ideas and new solutions in front of a group of very committed city leaders and help them understand what they can do with technology today.”
One of ProspectSV’s strategic partners, BMW, has had an office in Silicon Valley for 15 years. Dirk Rossberg, head of the BMW Group Technology Offices said that this office covers the topic of sustainability, which is important for BMW.
Rossberg expressed that being in Silicon Valley allows BMW to recognize trends in the early stages. “We are convinced that Silicon Valley is center of the future topics—opens the window to the future. Silicon Valley is always ahead of everyone else. It’s ahead of California; California is ahead of the USA; and the USA is ahead of everyone else in the world.” He also highly recognized Silicon Valley’s established ecosystem for technology. “[We chose] Silicon Valley for the whole ecosystem. Silicon Valley does not only have talent; it’s about venture capital, it’s about universities, business partners, talents and so on.”