Category: News Featured

WHY THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY? AN OPPORTUNITY FOR INNOVATION AND KEY SOLUTION FOR SUSTAINABLE CITIES

By Matt Petersen, LACI President and CEO

When we launched LACI’s updated three-pronged holistic, cross-cutting strategy (see below) in 2018 to create an inclusive green economy in Los Angeles and beyond, we set a thesis to focus on transportation electrification, clean energy, and sustainable cities. We quickly saw a surge of EV related and clean energy startups apply and join our incubation program, like ChargerHelp!, Bluedot, Stak Mobility, Evolectric and many others. This was a natural progression given our long-standing partnership with LADWP through our campus and work regionally with Southern California Edison, but was also driven by the launch in 2018 of our unprecedented Transportation Electrification Partnership and the market discovery we did in the run up to the launch of our Clean Energy Partnership in 2023.

In parallel, we took the time to look at what other aspects of creating sustainable cities–and the innovation needed–that we should prioritize. Through our California Energy Commission-funded annual gaps and opportunities report as well as our cleantech market landscape analysis, along with a deep dive with support of a consultant, we identified that circular economy should be our initial focus for our sustainable cities priority area.  

Over the last couple years, we started to see nearly ⅓ or more of the startups that apply being a circular economy company like Dyrt, Rewilder, Olokun Minerals and others. Soon we will launch our first circular economy-focused workforce training program, building on our similar training programs inspired by our transportation electrification and clean energy partnerships and related startup needs. 

As part of our discovery process, we engaged with experts and given the concentration of fashion and textile related businesses in LA along with the overall municipal waste stream, we saw a need to focus on textile waste. In deeper discussions with City of LA officials, our eyes widened as we saw not just old clothes–exploding in volume due to fast fashion unfortunately–but waste from cut and sew operations and unsold inventories that were all going to the landfill, or worse.  

That’s why LACI is shaping a new textile recycling pilot in Los Angeles. Working alongside LA Sanitation and Environment (LASAN), we are bringing together a diverse group of industry leaders, local government officials, and small business founders to reimagine the possibilities of textile recycling.

Starting in the early 1990’s when I chaired the green team committee–a committee of one it turns out–for Habitat for Humanity LA’s Jimmy Carter Work Project in Watts/Willowbrook scheduled for 1995, I have looked at how to reduce waste, to reuse materials, and recycle whatever possible. Later, I helped convene and lead a multi-stakeholder coalition of businesses and environmentalists allied around beverage container recycling that produced what was known as the BEAR report. That worked continued when I got to City Hall in 2013, and set about to create LA’s first comprehensive sustainable city plan–in the pLAn as we called it, we included not only a waste diversion target to get to zero waste, but a remanufacturing target to take materials and put them back to use. 

From these experiences and many others, I have come to recognize the need for strong, coordinated partnerships that bring together the key voices necessary to drive progress on the issues that matter most in our communities while ensuring we protect our most vulnerable by prioritizing equity and environmental justice.

Fortunately, many businesses in the textile industry today are eager to incorporate more recycled materials into their products, but the volume of textile waste currently generated in the region significantly exceeds the amount that businesses can process under current conditions without proper infrastructure, and gainful supply chain models. Without these comprehensive systems to keep discarded textiles from ending up in the landfill, textile waste will continue to increase. This is where LACI, LASAN, and stakeholders of a burgeoning textile recycling pilot are crafting solutions. 

LACI and LASAN hosted a charrette on February 1st at the La Kretz Innovation Campus to begin laying the groundwork for a Sustainable Cities Partnership on the circular economy. The room swelled with energy and enthusiasm as key stakeholders envisioned a resurgence in LA’s massive manufacturing operations with an expanded focus on recycling and upcycling discarded textiles.

We were proud to co-host the event with Barbara Romero, director and general manager of LASAN, and Susana Reyes, commissioner at the LA Board of Public Works, to help frame a vision to the stakeholders in the room. Together, we discussed the contours of a pilot that will test business models to repurpose, reuse, and recycle textile waste. 

I am particularly excited about the ambitious plans to establish a multi-resource textile recycling pilot in the heart of Los Angeles. While the details of the pilot are still being designed, the proposed pilot with the City of LA would hold the capacity to recycle at least 1000 pounds of commercial textile waste daily. In addition to saving used-yet-usable textiles from the landfill, a textile recycling hub could lead to opportunities for entrepreneurs and the workforce. An undertaking of this scale would require innovation from startups as well as trained employees to facilitate collection and material identification. Emerging technologies to identify fibers could speed up the process of textile sorting, thereby diverting more materials from the landfill to the recycling hub and eventually to manufacturing facilities to be made into new products. 

After establishing the textile recycling pilot, LACI, LASAN and partners will seek to continue scaling through a materials marketplace pilot model capable of diverting over 250,000 tons of pre-consumer textile waste from landfills per year by 2028. This achievement, if realized, could serve as a template for cities around the world to replicate, and the model will be on full display when the world arrives in Los Angeles for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

The bold plan that partners outlined during the recent charrette marks the first major step in a series of necessary milestones to establish Los Angeles as the sustainable manufacturing hub of the western hemisphere. And if the momentum generated by these initial discussions are any indication of the possibilities that lie ahead, then the prospect of a more sustainable, economically prosperous future is indeed very bright. 

 

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LACI ANNOUNCES LOS ANGELES, NEW YORK & SEVEN OTHER CITIES REPRESENTING 55 MILLION AMERICANS TO JOIN INAUGURAL CITY CLIMATE INNOVATION CHALLENGE TO ADVANCE ZERO EMISSIONS DELIVERY; PARTNERS INCLUDE C40 & CLIMATE MAYORS

 

First of its Kind City Challenge is Designed to Help Cities Pilot and Scale Innovation to Reduce Congestion & Emissions from Exploding E-Commerce and Goods Movement

 

Los Angeles, January 9, 2024 – The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI)–in partnership with Climate Mayors and C40–announced the selected cities for the inaugural City Climate Innovation Challenge for Zero Emissions Delivery (ZED Challenge). Joining the anchor partners of Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Santa Monica are: Louisville, KY; Miami-Dade County, FL; New York City, NY; Oakland, CA; Portland, OR; and Washington D.C. The cities’ combined metropolitan populations represent 55 million people–one in every six Americans–representing a bold market signal for zero emissions delivery. Wells Fargo was announced as the first ZED Challenge corporate funder, providing support to launch the inaugural cohort nationwide.

LACI’s ZED Challenge aims to accelerate the move to zero emissions delivery to reduce emissions from predominantly dirty, diesel trucks moving goods for the first mile (e.g., class 8 drayage trucks) to last mile (e.g., medium duty delivery trucks) predominantly impacting low income, disadvantaged communities with disproportionate pollution and congestion. LACI will work with cities to identify startup and corporate solutions to be piloted in innovation “sandboxes” along with access to pilot funding for select startup solutions, technical support, data analysis, peer-to-peer learnings, & convenings with existing private sector delivery companies. Once successful solutions are identified, LACI will work with the cities to scale the policy and business model innovations while providing access to debt and venture funding for startups. The ZED Challenge will build on LACI’s unique model for piloting and scaling solutions with cities, including zero emissions delivery, EV car share for low income communities, and other innovations.

“We are confident the LACI model can help cities better invite innovation, and in turn scale what works to reduce congestion and improve air quality through zero emissions delivery,” said Matt Petersen, LACI President and CEO. “That is why we launched this national Challenge: to help cities accelerate equitable climate action & address local needs.”

“Los Angeles will continue to take urgent action to protect our environment. The Zero Emissions Delivery City Challenge presents an opportunity for cities to engage deeply with experts and city leaders from across the country while developing innovative solutions on the road to zero-emissions goods movement,” said Mayor Karen Bass. “As a leading hub for cleantech innovation we are very excited to collaborate with LACI and the cohort participants while continuing our work to build more equitable, sustainable communities here in Los Angeles.”

“Cities are leading the nation in cutting emissions and adapting to a green future, and we’re proud to be a part of this new cohort of cities driving towards a zero-emissions delivery future,” said Rohit T Aggarwala, New York City Chief Climate Officer. “We’ll work together to accelerate our transition away from fossil fuels, to promote cargo bikes, electric delivery vehicles, and new technologies to manage delivery systems better. I’m grateful to our peer cities, as well as to LACI, C40, and Climate Mayors, for our shared commitment to combat climate change.”

“I am thrilled that Oakland has been selected by the LA Cleantech Incubator to work with other cities leading the fight against climate change to pilot innovative zero emission delivery solutions,” said Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao. “Working together with LACI’s cohort, we will strive to find solutions that improve air quality and reduce emissions and traffic congestion brought on by the explosion in last mile deliveries. This collaboration will help us not only to meet Oakland’s own Equitable Climate Action Plan goals, but to develop innovative strategies to address this same challenge faced by cities around the world.”

“DDOT is honored to join the LACI challenge. With the support of this cohort, we plan to create a delivery microhub to support more sustainable last-mile delivery modes, such as e-cargo bikes,” said Sharon Kershbaum, Interim Director, District Department of Transportation (Washington, D.C.). “Not only will this mode-shift opportunity help the city meet its emission reduction goals, it will also encourage better curbside usage and traffic safety.”

“I am thrilled to see such an amazing group of leading Climate Mayors cities join the National Zero Emissions Delivery City Climate Innovation Cohort, each bringing its own unique expertise, ambitions, and solutions,” said Kate Wright, Executive Director at Climate Mayors. “We at Climate Mayors look forward to supporting the cohort in its plans to deliver zero-emissions innovations at scale – a necessary step in securing more sustainable and healthier communities across the country.”

“Cities are leaders and innovators on climate, including creating better ways to manage local deliveries that cut fossil fuel use and reduce emissions,” said Laura Jay, Regional Director for North America at C40 Cities. “Changing the way goods are moved and delivered will yield meaningful benefits for urban residents, from improved air quality to safer streets, as well as contribute to the green economy. The Zero Emission Delivery City Challenge is an exciting new initiative to help American cities tackle the thorny problem of reducing pollution from urban logistics. C40 is delighted to support this effort, which will bring different perspectives together to help build healthier, more efficient cities.”

“Cities across the nation are leading the way in developing solutions that will advance resilient, equitable, and cleaner futures,” said Robyn Luhning, Chief Sustainability Officer for Wells Fargo. “Wells Fargo is proud to support LACI’s push for innovation to advance clean transportation while delivering long-term benefit for communities.”

Prior to launching the Challenge, LACI created the nation’s first Zero Emissions Delivery Zone with the City of Santa Monica within a one square mile innovation zone or ‘sandbox’, dedicating curb space for zero emissions vehicles only with signage, painting of curbs, and access to light poles for camera and software technology from the startup Automotus, which was selected through a technology RFI. LACI then subsequently partnered with the Cities of Santa Monica, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh to secure a $3.7 million engagement grant through the Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office to expand curb access initiatives.

The City Climate Innovation Challenge also builds on research jointly conducted by LACI, C40 and PwC entitled Cleantech Cities: Accelerating Climate Action Through Startups and Corporate Innovation. Originally unveiled at the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Madrid, the research estimated the potential of new technologies and disruptive innovation in cities by 2030 could surpass 1.3 GtCO2e in greenhouse gas reductions from buildings, transport and waste each year. Urban climate innovation is estimated to create just over $5 trillion in new global investment opportunities by 2030, plus inclusive opportunities for job growth, public health improvements, and other co-benefits. The ZED City Challenge represents a manifestation of initiatives called for by the report.

In September 2022 at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City, LACI announced its Commitment to Action to expand the Zero Emission Delivery work that LACI developed in the cities of Santa Monica and Los Angeles—with funding and support from C40 and Ingka—to an additional five to seven U.S. metropolitan areas by 2025.

 

About LACI:
Established in 2011 as an economic development initiative of the City of Los Angeles and LA Department of Water and Power (LADWP), LACI is creating an inclusive green economy by unlocking innovation through startup incubation, transforming markets through catalytic partnerships, pilots and policies, and enhancing communities through green job training.  Solutions are focused on zero emissions transportation, clean energy, and sustainable cities. LACI’s startup incubation programs provide curriculum, coaching, pilot funding, access to venture and debt funds, additional resources for underrepresented founders, paid interns, and other resources to scale emerging cleantech companies.

About Climate Mayors:
Founded in 2014, Climate Mayors is a bipartisan, peer-to-peer network that has mobilized more than 750 U.S. mayors who demonstrate climate leadership through meaningful actions in their communities. Representing 48 states and nearly 60 million Americans, the Climate Mayors coalition reflects U.S. cities’ commitment to climate progress.

About C40:
C40 is a global network of nearly 100 mayors of the world’s leading cities that are united in action to confront the climate crisis. Mayors of C40 cities are committed to using an inclusive, science-based and collaborative approach to cut their fair share of emissions in half by 2030, help the world limit global heating to 1.5°C, and build healthy, equitable and resilient communities.

 

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LACI CEO STATEMENT ON COP28 AGREEMENT

Los Angeles, December 14, 2023 – Following the unanimous approval of a declaration by COP28 diplomats that included calls for the phase out of fossil fuels and the tripling of renewable energy capacity, Matt Petersen, LACI’s President and CEO, issued the following statement:

“While not adequate in meeting the magnitude of the climate crisis, it is historic that the ‘phasing out’ of fossil fuels—along with the funding of loss and damages, albeit modest, and commitments for the tripling of renewable energy capacity—was included in the final COP28 declaration unanimously approved in Dubai yesterday. In attending COP28 to share LACI’s unique green economic development model to deploy equitable climate solutions at speed and scale, I was also pleased to be amongst hundreds of startup founders and fellow California leaders showing how the world’s 4th largest economy is helping lead the way.

“Along with 2000 others, I signed the letter challenging COP28 President Sultan Al-Jaber and all delegates to ensure the final declaration committed to ‘phasing out’ fossil fuels along with commitments for climate finance and biodiversity. The unanimous agreement codifies for the first time in the history of the world’s largest climate conference what we have known all along: that we must end our reliance on fossil fuels to ensure, as I often say, humanity doesn’t just survive but also thrives on this planet.”

LACI’S PUBLIC-PRIVATE CLEAN ENERGY PARTNERSHIP RELEASES CLEAN ENERGY 2028 ROADMAP TO ACCELERATE REDUCTION OF GHGs BY 15% ACROSS GREATER LOS ANGELES BY 2028 OLYMPICS

Roadmap Sets Targets for Creating a Virtual Power Plant, Installing Heat Pumps, Vehicle to Grid Charging, Green Jobs, Equitable Access to Solar, and Other Targets to Advance Building Electrification, Clean Distributed Generation, Energy-Transportation Nexus, and Grid Efficiency and Resiliency

Partnership Leadership Group Includes the California Energy Commission, Office of Mayor Karen Bass, Southern California Edison, LA Department of Water and Power, Los Angeles County, Clean Power Alliance, and California Independent System Operator (ISO)

 

Los Angeles, CA, October 25, 2023 – Today, the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator’s Clean Energy Partnership (Partnership) released the Clean Energy 2028 Roadmap (Roadmap) to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the Greater Los Angeles region by an additional 15% across the electricity, building, and transportation sectors by the time Los Angeles welcomes the world for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

During a launch event at the La Kretz Innovation Campus, LACI CEO Matt Petersen, LA City Council President Paul Krekorian, and fellow Partnership leaders cited the importance of the Roadmap’s ambitious targets for Greater LA in further reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, achieving 100% clean energy, and ensuring equitable access to clean energy solutions across the region. The Roadmap targets include creating a Virtual Power Plant and accelerating deployment of distributed energy resources, such as heat pumps, solar and storage systems, battery integrated electric vehicle charging stations, community solar, and other solutions, all of which are eligible for Inflation Reduction Act incentives. 

To better spur innovation, advance equity, and accelerate implementation, the Roadmap lays out three solutions-oriented pathways along with recommended policies, pilots, and other initiatives to achieve the targets: 1) electrification of buildings; 2) meeting new building and transportation electric load with clean distributed generation and energy-transportation nexus technologies; and 3) bolstering grid resiliency while improving affordability, equity, jobs, and health risks. 

“LACI’s Clean Energy Partnership establishes potential pathways to reduce our carbon emissions and improve the lives of Angelenos,” said Mayor Karen Bass. “I applaud this partnership’s goals to ensure reliable, clean, and affordable energy powers our city. I encourage others in the region to engage in this vital Clean Energy Partnership to work together with government leaders, utilities, state regulators, energy solutions providers and other stakeholders to create a lasting impact.”

“As the City moves toward 100% clean energy, we need solutions to help advance the transition while boosting affordability and reliability,” said Paul Krekorian, LA City Council President (CD2). “Through this roadmap, the Clean Energy Partnership has set forth actionable targets and goals to accelerate progress toward a clean energy future for the people of Los Angeles. I am proud to support LACI and this effort.”

“To accelerate the electrification of Greater LA’s buildings and transportation while ensuring grid resilience and equity, we need unparalleled regional collaboration and innovation,” said Matt Petersen, LACI CEO and co-chair of the Clean Energy Partnership. “Thanks to the political will demonstrated by the Partnership and the bold Roadmap targets we set together, we can advance initiatives like creating a Virtual Power Plant to better improve our air quality and health while creating good paying green jobs that will uplift individuals and economy by the time the world arrives in Los Angeles for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

“California is a leader in climate action that inspires the rest of the nation and the world to follow suit,” said David Hochschild, chair of the California Energy Commission and co-chair of the Clean Energy Partnership. “To continue to lead on climate action and improve public health, we need to tackle the emissions from our buildings and  while continuing to decarbonize the grid. These shared commitments to action and the goals to decarbonize our buildings and grid are why I am proud to co-chair the Clean Energy Partnership.”

“As California moves at an impressive pace toward its clean energy goals, CAISO is pleased to support the Clean Energy Partnership as it will drive the innovation that is needed to build a more resilient grid,” said Mary Leslie, chair of Board of Governors, California Independent System Operator (CAISO). “For the state to continue to transform its grid to zero-carbon, a diverse set of clean energy solutions are needed, including smaller energy resources that make regions like Los Angeles more resilient in the face of escalating climate and extreme weather risks.” 

“Southern California Edison has been a longstanding partner and supporter of LACI and its mission to create an inclusive green economy. We share the vision of a clean energy future that benefits all Californians, especially those who are most impacted by climate change and pollution,” said Steven Powell, president and CEO of SCE. “We look forward to collaborating with LACI and the other members of the Clean Energy Partnership to make this vision a reality while ensuring the grid is reliable, resilient and ready to provide the energy for what’s ahead.”

The Partnership has identified three calls to action for the region for the initial implementation of the Roadmap. These include: 

  1. Accelerating the electrification of buildings by reducing an additional 29% of GHG emissions in buildings in LA County by 2028;
  2. Deploying 1298 MW of clean, responsive distributed generation to power the electrification of our homes and transportation, including developing a virtual power plant that provides needed increased, responsive distributive energy by the time of the Olympic Opening Ceremonies in 2028; and
  3. Developing a smart, modernized local distribution grid to increase community resiliency and enable innovative clean technologies.

Through these efforts, the Partnership also aims to minimize power outages—particularly for those most at risk—increase energy affordability, and increase equitable access to clean technologies and jobs.

The full Roadmap, complete with the Clean Energy Partnership’s recommended goals, targets, and key takeaways can be found here.

ABOUT LACI:
The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) is creating an inclusive green economy by unlocking innovation through scaling cleantech startups, transforming markets through catalytic partnerships with policymakers, innovators, and market leaders in transportation, energy, and sustainable cities, like the Transportation Electrification Partnership, and enhancing communities through green jobs workforce training, pilots and other programs. Founded as an economic development initiative by the City of Los Angeles and its Department of Water & Power (LADWP) in 2011, LACI is recognized as one of the top 10 innovative business incubators in the world by UBI. LACI has helped 375 portfolio companies raise over $1 billion in funding, generated $335 million in revenue, and created 2,626 jobs throughout the Los Angeles region, with a long term economic impact of more than $587 million.

ABOUT THE LACI CLEAN ENERGY PARTNERSHIP:
LACI launched the Clean Energy Partnership to accelerate the move to 100% clean energy while meeting the needs of transportation electrification, building decarbonization, and grid resiliency in the Greater Los Angeles Region by the time of the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Partnership is Co-chaired by LACI CEO Matt Petersen and California Energy Commission Chair David Hochschild. Members include Los Angeles City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, LA Department of Water and Power (LADWP), LA County’s Sustainability Office, Southern California Edison (SCE), Clean Power Alliance, California Independent System Operator (CAISO), Sunrun, Swell Energy, and Wells Fargo.

 

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National Coalition of Clean Energy Incubators – Led by the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator – Adopt Principles to Advance & Support Biden Administration’s Commitment to Justice40

The Coalition’s Justice40 Principles Commits Incubators to Prioritizing

Opportunities for Underrepresented Cleantech Entrepreneurs, Investing in

Disadvantaged Communities & Ensuring the Clean Energy Economy

Benefits All Americans

 

Los Angeles, CA, September 20, 2023 – Leaders of the nation’s most innovative clean

technology incubators–via the National Coalition of Clean Energy Incubators (NCCEI) led by

the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI)–adopted a new joint Statement of Principles to

advance President Biden’s environmental justice goals, promising to prioritize investments

and initiatives that “increase support and enhance opportunities for diverse

underrepresented cleantech entrepreneurs, provide job training for at-risk communities and

scale deployment of clean energy solutions in disadvantaged communities that will provide

increased benefits from the clean energy economy for all Americans.”

 

“Thanks to President Biden and the U.S. Congress, federal agencies are making historic levels

of investment to advance environmental justice as we respond to the climate crisis,” said

Matt Petersen, CEO of LACI. “That is why clean technology incubators like those represented in

the NCCEI understand that we need to help advance the President’s equity priorities–as

represented by Justice40–as we play our individual and collective roles in building an

inclusive green economy, creating good-paying, green jobs while deploying equitable

climate solutions in disadvantaged communities, and supporting underrepresented founders

to scale their game changing solutions.”

 

The NCCEI promotes robust growth of regional energy innovation ecosystems across the

nation by providing support for startups and entrepreneurs whose businesses focus on clean

energy-related technologies. In addition to Petersen, those signing the Statement of

Principles include Danny Kennedy, Chief Energy Officer of New Energy Nexus, Kate Frucher of

The Clean Fight, Rick Stockburger of BRITE Energy Innovators, Nina Axelson of Grid Catalyst,

Cortney Piper of Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC), Isaac Vanderburg of

Launch Alaska, Dawn Lippert of Elemental Excelerator, Pamela Fann of Impact Energy, Erik

Birkerts of Evergreen Climate Innovations and Felicia Davis, HBCU Green Fund Inc, Laura

Teicher of FORGE, Aina Abiodun of VertueLab, Doug Davenport of Prospect Silicon Valley, Kevin

Knobloch of Greentown Labs, Rebecca Taylor of the Austin Technology Incubator, and

Kenneth B. Hayes of Cleantech Open.

 

“The policy vision behind Justice40 is that when all communities can access the benefits of

our new energy future, our entire economy and society will thrive,” said Cortney Piper,

Executive Director of The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council and a member of

NCCEI. “I am proud to be part of a community of clean energy incubators around the nation

that are making the connection between innovation and inclusion in order to create a

national advanced energy economy.”

 

The NCCEI’s Statement of Principles on the Biden Administration’s Justice40 initiative were

transmitted today to President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Congressional leaders. The

Principles include commitments to support underrepresented founders, deliver innovative

cleantech solutions in disadvantaged communities–including green workforce training–and

expand access to dedicated funding resources for women, Black, Latinx and Indigenous

founders who are chronically underrepresented as recipients of traditional venture capital

funding.

 

About the National Coalition of Clean Energy Incubators (NCCEI)

The NCCEI represents some of the most innovative clean technology incubators in the U.S., promoting

robust growth of regional energy innovation ecosystems across the nation by providing support for

startups and entrepreneurs whose businesses focus on clean energy-related technologies. LACI began

convening the NCCEI early in 2020 to advocate for increased federal funding for cleantech incubators

across the country. The NCCEI also championed the Transportation Electrification Partnership’s $150

billion federal stimulus proposal. The NCCEI worked with Rep. Tim Ryan to secure funding for the U.S. DOE

Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) and also championed the creation of the National Clean Energy

Incubator Program, which was authorized in the CHIPS and Science Act which was signed into law by

President Biden in August of 2022. NCCEI has hosted nearly two dozen roundtables and two national

advocacy events with federal policymakers in Washington, D.C.

 

About The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator

The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) is creating an inclusive green economy for Greater Los

Angeles and beyond through: unlocking innovation by incubating cleantech startups to scale their

climate solutions, and helping support underrepresented founders in particular; transforming markets

through catalytic partnerships with policymakers, innovators, and private sector leaders in

transportation, energy, and sustainable cities; and enhancing communities through workforce

development, pilots, and other programs. Founded as an economic development initiative by the City of

Los Angeles and Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP), LACI has been recognized as one

of the most innovative business incubators in the world by UBI Global. LACI has helped 375 portfolio

companies raise over $1 billion in funding, generated $335 million in revenue, and created 2,626 jobs

throughout the Los Angeles region, with a long term economic impact of more than $587 million. Learn

more at www.laci.org.

 

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Congresswoman Nanette Barragán (CA-44) Presents Check to Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) for $1.5M in Federal Funding for First of A Kind Truck Charging Infrastructure Project

LACI Will Seed First Public Depot Charging Infrastructure on Port of Los Angeles Property, Helping Meet the 2028 Transportation Electrification Partnership’s Zero Emissions Target and State 2035 Deadline

 

Los Angeles, CA, August 23, 2023 –  Thanks to a $1.5 million Community Project Funding (CPF) grant secured by Congresswoman Nanette Barragán (CA-44), and awarded to the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD),  LACI will help install public charging infrastructure dedicated for use by electric heavy-duty trucks that transport freight between the Port of Los Angeles and nearby distribution centers, a major step towards replacing the current fleet of highly-polluting diesel drayage trucks.

During a news conference at the Wilmington site of the future charging station, Rep. Barragán presented LACI’s President and CEO Matt Petersen with a check representing the investment, and together, they shared plans and renderings for the Port’s first-ever public EV truck fast-charging station. 

“The success of our clean energy future requires investments in charging infrastructure today. LACI has the vision and capacity to accelerate the adoption of EV heavy-duty drayage trucks in support of decarbonization goals and to improve the health and welfare of our frontline communities,” said Rep. Barragán.

“The Los Angeles economy depends on trade and goods movement, but we also depend on healthy families and communities. That’s what today’s announcement is really about,” said Mayor Karen Bass. “I am proud to support the installation of electric charging at the Port of Los Angeles, and I’m grateful to Congresswoman Barragán, Port of Los Angeles staff and LACI for their leadership in making this possible.”  

“We are deeply grateful for Congresswoman Barragán, who is an incredible advocate for reducing air pollution and protecting those communities that suffer the most: Black, brown, and low income neighborhoods near ports, freeways, and warehouses,” said Matt Petersen, LACI CEO of co-chair of the Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP). “As LACI stressed in our clean trucks for clean air campaign last year, goods movement is critical to California’s prosperity, but is also the single largest source of air pollution in Greater LA—thanks to Representative Barragán, this initiative will bring to fruition years of work to advance zero emissions solutions to replace dirty diesel drayage trucks.”

 


“Today’s announcement is further proof of our commitment to achieving zero-emissions operations,” said Los Angeles Harbor Commission President Lucille Roybal-Allard. “With strong partnerships – like those with Congressmember Barrag
án and the LA Cleantech Incubator – we will accelerate deployment of zero-emission trucks to do what’s right for the environment, right for the truckers, and right for our port communities.”

“While the Port of Los Angeles moves more containers than any other in the Western Hemisphere, our Harbor communities feel that impact daily by the emissions from the trucks going to and from,” said Councilmember Tim McOsker (CD15). “As we work towards a goal of 100% clean energy trucks by 2035, with this charging station, we are one, important step closer.”

Given that goods movement is the single largest source of air pollution in Greater Los Angeles, LACI’s Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP) set a target for 40% of all short haul drayage trucks to be zero emissions and 60% of all medium-duty delivery trucks to be electric by the time of the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Further, the Ports of LA and Long Beach’s Joint Clean Air Action Plan—as does an executive order from Governor Newsom—requires 100% of the drayage trucks registered and serving the ports be zero emissions by 2035. This award to LACI will fund the first public depot charging infrastructure on Port of Los Angeles property that lays the groundwork for achievement of those goals. 

The new chargers will be capable of providing electric drayage trucks with a full charge in half an hour. Drayage is a category of heavy-duty trucks designed to move containers and bulk freight short distances. Drayage trucks are constantly in motion at the Port and on surrounding roads and freeways. Their emissions are a major source of air pollution in the frontline communities adjacent to the Port and freeways, including along the I-710 and I-110.  

To support the electrification of drayage and delivery trucks, LACI and the Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP) are creating a detailed regional investment plan for innovative infrastructure solutions at industrial facilities and commercial zones along critical freight arteries feeding into I-710 freeway. This  plan will leverage existing goods movement real estate assets (e.g. ports, warehouses, distribution centers, retail locations) to provide charging for different supply chain fleets.

“WIth the critical support of the DOE, LACI and TEP are adding to our blueprint for charging infrastructure along the 710 by looking at other freight corridors in the region to meet the needs of heavy-duty truck drivers and operators while meeting critical equity and environmental justice priorities,” Petersen concluded. 


About The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator 

The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) is creating an inclusive green economy for Greater Los Angeles and beyond through: unlocking innovation by incubating cleantech startups to scale their climate solutions, and helping support underrepresented founders in particular;  transforming markets through catalytic partnerships with policymakers, innovators, and private sector leaders in transportation, energy, and sustainable cities; and enhancing communities through workforce development, pilots, and other programs. Founded as an economic development initiative by the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP), LACI has been recognized as one of the most innovative business incubators in the world by UBI Global. LACI has helped 375 portfolio companies raise over $1 billion in funding, generated $335 million in revenue, and created 2,626 jobs throughout the Los Angeles region, with a long term economic impact of more than $587 million. Learn more at www.laci.org.

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NOTE: The Port of Los Angeles has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the development and operation of the charging facility. The RFP can be found at the Port of Los Angeles website. Proposals are due Tuesday, September 12, 2023 at 3pm Pacific.

LACI Launches Zero Emissions Delivery City Challenge in Partnership with C40, Climate Mayors; $1 Million Initially Made Available for Selected Cities to Pilot Innovations

Founding Cohort Members Cities of Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Santa Monica to Be Joined by 5 to 7 Additional Cities

LACI’s Inaugural City Climate Innovation Challenge Helps Local Municipalities Accelerate Emission & Congestion Reduction Through Policy & Innovation Sandboxes, Funding & Other Resources

Los Angeles, CA – August 1, 2023 – The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), in partnership with Climate Mayors and C40, has launched the Zero Emissions Delivery (ZED) City Challenge to reduce emissions and congestion from the exploding e-commerce and goods movement sectors. 

LACI’s inaugural City Climate Challenge will help the inaugural cohort of selected municipalities develop innovation sandboxes and select, deploy and scale zero emissions delivery technological, policy, and business model innovations.

Through targeted resources, collaboration and knowledge-sharing, this initiative aims to accelerate the move to zero emissions delivery to reduce emissions from the first mile (e.g., class 8 diesel drayage trucks) to last mile (e.g., medium duty delivery trucks) which predominantly impact low income, disadvantaged communities with disproportionate pollution and congestion. The rise of e-commerce has led to a significant increase in package deliveries in recent years, and is on track to increase by 36% by 2030, according to a report by the World Economic Forum. As a result, greenhouse gas emissions in urban areas are likely to increase by 32% and traffic congestion by 21%.

The ZED City Challenge invites expressions of interest from cities across the United States to join a facilitated multi-city cohort whose members will benefit from an impactful spectrum of services and support to advance zero emissions goods movement solutions within their cities, including staff and consultant guidance, crafting ‘sandboxes’ tailored to local context, selecting, deploying and scaling local ZED technology and policy priorities, participation in high level national and regional dialogue with related private and public sector leaders and partners, and eligibility for a portion of an initial $750,000 in pilot funding. This sandbox will serve as a testing ground for various methods of zero emissions delivery, including the deployment of e-cargo bikes for last-mile delivery, electric cars and vans, and medium, and heavy-duty electric drayage trucks; as well as implementation of zero emission curb management systems, and other innovative approaches. By embracing these alternatives, cities can not only mitigate the environmental impact of goods movement but also enhance public health and quality of life for their residents.

LACI has successfully launched a unique model for piloting and scaling startup solutions within cities, on multiple occasions, creating the nation’s first Zero Emissions Delivery Zone with the City of Santa Monica, and subsequently partnering with the Cities of Santa Monica, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh to secure a $3.7 million engagement DOE VTO grant to expand curb access initiatives. LACI has also led a series of initiatives, studies, and successful budget requests to accelerate the transition to zero emissions heavy-duty drayage trucks at the Ports of LA and Long Beach, with the region’s first public depot charging stations, with federal funding secured by LACI. 

“Through the Zero Emissions Delivery City Challenge, we are taking LACI’s proven model and putting it forward to help cities innovate, deploy, and scale what works,” said Matt Petersen, CEO of LACI. “By working with cities to accelerate the move to zero emissions delivery vehicles and technologies, we can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, reduce traffic congestion, and enhance the overall livability of urban environments.”

To kick-start the ZED City Challenge, LACI has released a Request for Information (RFI) to invite cities to express their interest in joining the pilot. Cities that are eager to become pioneers in sustainable transportation and delivery systems are strongly encouraged to apply and contribute to this groundbreaking initiative. The deadline for submissions is September 4, 2023.

Furthermore, cohort members will join a national network of city challenge participants, facilitating the sharing of insights, learnings, and innovative ideas. Regular convenings with key corporate and government stakeholders will stimulate collaborative problem-solving, leading to scalable solutions that can be implemented in various urban contexts.

The ZED City Challenge also provides participating cities with access to direct and shared resources. These resources include assistance in attracting funding, pilot grants for startup innovation, technical support, travel allowances for convenings, policy advocacy to scale solutions, scalable startup innovations, deployment support, data collection and management tools, and more. This comprehensive support system ensures that cities have the necessary tools and expertise to drive meaningful change.

For more information about the ZED City Challenge and to submit an expression of interest, please visit https://laci.smapply.org/prog/zed_citychallenge. To watch a recording of the ZED City Challenge informational webinar, please visit http://laci.la/zedrfi-webinar

About LACI

Established in 2011 as an economic development initiative of the City of Los Angeles and LA Department of Water and Power (LADWP), LACI is creating an inclusive green economy by unlocking innovation through startup incubation, transforming markets through catalytic partnerships, pilots and policies, and enhancing communities through green job training.  Solutions are focused on zero emissions transportation, clean energy, and sustainable cities. LACI’s startup incubation programs provide curriculum, coaching, pilot funding, access to venture and debt funds, additional resources for underrepresented founders, paid interns, and other resources to scale emerging cleantech companies.

About Climate Mayors

Founded in 2014, Climate Mayors is a bipartisan, peer-to-peer network that has mobilized more than 750 U.S. mayors who demonstrate climate leadership through meaningful actions in their communities. Representing 48 states and nearly 60 million Americans, the Climate Mayors coalition reflects U.S. cities’ commitment to climate progress.

About C40

C40 is a global network of nearly 100 mayors of the world’s leading cities that are united in action to confront the climate crisis. Mayors of C40 cities are committed to using an inclusive, science-based and collaborative approach to cut their fair share of emissions in half by 2030, help the world limit global heating to 1.5°C, and build healthy, equitable and resilient communities.

LACI’s Incubation Program Welcomes 12 New Startups to the Forefront of Sustainability

LACI recently welcomed its 6th Incubation Program cohort—12 startup businesses that are transforming the landscape of zero emissions transportation, clean energy and sustainable cities.

By empowering Cohort 6 and their predecessors, LACI helps grow a new generation of entrepreneurs to lead the 21st century cleantech economy. Admission into LACI’s Incubation Program unlocks a 2-year program for startups in Southern California, offering 4 months of acceleration through workshops and peer learning, diverse funding opportunities and access to LACI’s state of the art campus, $150K+ worth of perks and platforms, and joining a cleantech ecosystem of over 375 cleantech portfolio companies and alumni. LACI’s Incubation Program helps cleantech companies to become more competitive, resilient, environmentally sustainable, and scalable!

As the climate crisis continues to escalate, the work of our Incubator startups is more important than ever. Our current startups offer a beacon of hope for a sustainable future by addressing pressing environmental challenges such as depleted resources, pollution, climate changes, and waste management. LACI startups in this cohort focus on new recycling methods, food waste management and compliance, EV charging, cooling systems, and new forms of electric vehicles to combat fossil fuel pollution. 

Cleantech startups like these not only mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions but are partners in building the green economy by fostering economic growth, creating green jobs, and cultivating a global ecosystem of sustainability. 

This year LACI received 66 applications in total for Cohort 6 of LACI’s Incubation program – a record breaking turnout. As we continue to look to the future, applications for Incubation Cohort 7 and Innovators Cohort 8 are now open – more info can be found on the Incubation and Innovators page.

Please join us in welcoming LACI’s Incubation Program Cohort 6!

The full cohort is listed below:

Zero Emissions Transportation

Batteryze

Website: www.batteryze.com/

Batteryze is a predictive maintenance and revenue optimization platform for distributed battery storage systems with a focus on the $30 billion second-life EV batteries. By leveraging their proprietary digital twin and active testing models, they focus on the bankability of second-life batteries by monitoring state of health and accelerating battery asset monetization.

EV Safe Charge Inc.

Website: www.evsafecharge.com/

EV Safe Charge is a leading provider of flexible electric vehicle (EV) charging technology, providing end-to-end charging solutions to support the demands of the rapidly growing EV market. Their newest technology, ZiGGY, is a mobile EV-charging robot that features interactive, digital advertising screens. This is a major breakthrough in EV charging as it allows facilities, shopping and entertainment centers, hotels, fleet operators, airports and property owners to overcome the limitations of stationary EV chargers. They can provide cost-effective on demand charging without the need for costly electrical infrastructure. ZiGGY’s digital ad server can generate advertising revenue for the facility and display customized information.

Kerb-e Inc.

Website: kerb-e.com/

At Kerb-e, the goal is to make EV charging equitable and ubiquitous within cities by developing scalable products that fit on any street.

Popion Mobility

Website: www.popionmobility.com/

Popion solves the range anxiety and infrastructure challenge for electric trucks. Popion solves the range and uptime dilemma for EV truck and bus fleets with battery swapping stations that are customized and optimized to each fleet. The outcome is a solution with radically improved utilization and total cost of operation (TCO) with limitless scalability.

Stak Mobility

Website: www.stakmobility.com/

Stak Mobility is scaling EV charging in cities to catalyze the transition to EV fleets and individual EV ownership. They combine vertical automation, mobile self-service, and EV charging to increase charging infrastructure while reducing the vehicle footprint and CO2 emissions.

XOTO

Website: xotoinc.com/

XOTO is an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of self-stabilizing electric vehicles for urban use. They have developed a new category of Light Urban Vehicle (LUV) that removes many of the barriers to entry for new riders. Their vehicles offer all the benefits of an electric motorcycle in a safer, more affordable, and easier to use format, and they do not require an M1 license to operate on public roads or specialized charging infrastructure. XOTO’s goal is to democratize the use of EVs by providing lighter, environmentally friendly, and sustainable alternatives to traditional, energy-demanding vehicles with 5 or more seats, which can be cumbersome and inconvenient to use in urban environments. They aim to make getting around in the city a more enjoyable and efficient experience for everyone.

Clean Energy

Molecule Systems

Website: www.moleculesystems.com/

Molecule Systems is an Energy Automation Platform that utilizes a revolutionary edge framework that combines No-Code and AI to eliminate the time, cost and risk associated with traditional software development – delivering project tailored software at scale. The platform is flexible and scalable, catering to both project-level and enterprise-scale requirements. Molecule Systems is committed to accelerating the energy transition through automation and providing an intuitive and powerful platform to drive innovation, efficiency, and cost savings

Wayside, Inc.

Website: waysideenergy.com/

Wayside, having graduated from a previous cohort of Innovators into this round of those accepted into Incubation, is giving communities the tools they need to build a future they’re proud of. We are doing this through our immersion cooling based energy storage systems that are safer, more reliable, recyclable, and highly manufacturable to meet the scale needed to reach a fully renewable energy sector. 

ThermoShade

Website: www.getthermoshade.com/

ThermoShade, also having moved from the Innovators program into Incubation, is an outdoor cooling company. They aim to make our public spaces more comfortable for people to work, learn, and play—and to make our cities more resilient to climate change. ThermoShade is developing a passive cooling panel that can be retrofitted to outdoor spaces, creating a shady environment that feels up to 20°F cooler than a basic awning, without using any electricity or water.

Sustainable Cities

Dyrt Labs, Inc.

Website: www.dyrt.co/

Dyrt is a food waste management platform that provides visibility and simplicity for large-scale producers of food waste while simultaneously bringing compliance to an evolving regulatory environment.

Encora

Website: www.encora.co/

Encora is a reusable container and inventory management technology for closed loop scenarios.  Our patent pending technology utilizes SaaS, smart collection bins and has advanced data reporting capabilities for reuse, environmental impact and customer ROI.

Lasso Loop

Website: www.lassoloop.com/

Lasso is a recycling system centered around a compact ‘recycling robot’ that recognizes, accepts or declines, cleans, and processes used recyclable materials into high-purity manufacture-ready products. This decentralized system substantially reduces emissions, increases efficiency, can financially benefit stakeholders (citizens and cities), and most importantly, ensures that 100% of materials are recycled.