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Power Day 2020: Celebrating the Accomplishments of the LA Regional Energy Innovation Ecosystem

On October 1, the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) hosted its Second Annual LACI Power Day Conference, bringing together the clean energy ecosystem in California and celebrating accomplishments that have resulted from bold policy commitments. The event provided LACI Startups with the opportunity to showcase their technology to stakeholders in the region and broaden their potential customer and partner base. 

Opening Remarks 

LACI’s President and CEO, Matt Petersen, kicked off the event welcoming guests  and affirmed the importance of clean energy innovation and technology including LACI’s support of Governor Newsom’s commitment to accelerate the state’s decarbonization goals, including the goal of a clean energy grid by 2045.

After, California Energy Commission Vice-Chair Janea Scott provided opening remarks, spotlighting the renewal of the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) program through 2030 that will invest $1.5 billion in clean technology over the next 10 years. Commissioner Scott also emphasized the Empower Innovation Network Platform that enables users to find resources and funding opportunities and connects individuals and organizations to create a clean energy economy for all. 

Innovators Pitch Competition

In the first pitch session of the day, CAMUS Energy and Green Light Labs, graduates from LACIs Innovators Program, a light touch one-year program for cleantech startups in the pre seed stage, pitched their clean technology and how their solution provides benefits in a post-COVID Society. In order to select a winner from this pitch competition LACI invited venture capital partners from Tech Coast Angels, Element 8, and Pasadena Angels to judge the pitches, culminating with Green Light Labs as the winner.

Power Talk Panels

The second part of the half day event was filled with panels focused on two major industry topics: Transportation and Battery Circularity. 

The Transportation Panel focused on transportation needs in a post-COVID Society and how to make zero emission and clean mobility accessible to all. The panel was moderated by Aric Ohana, the CEO of Envoy There, who led the discussion with industry leaders including Phil Washington, CEO of LA Metro, Stephanie Wiggins, CEO of MetroLink, Tamika Butler, transportation advocate and Principal of Tamika L. Butler Consulting, and Peter Lee, CEO of URB-E. Their discussion touched on how the COVID-19 Pandemic affected transportation operations and ridership as well as what policies, investments and behavioral changes are needed to ensure equitable clean public transit. 

The battery circularity panel was led by LACI’s very own Alex Mitchell, Sr. Vice President of Unlocking Innovation. Alex navigated panelists through a discussion on the potential for developing a marketplace for second life batteries, the challenges and  opportunities that exist around battery recycling and how the clean energy ecosystem should capitalize on those opportunities. The panel consisted of Jeremie Papin, Vice Chairman of Nissan North America,  Teresa Bui, Special Advisor at Cal Recycle, Arcady Sosinov, CEO of FreeWire Technologies, and Vaughn Blake, General Partner of Blue Bear Capital.

 

Remarks from UCLA’s Provost 

In between the first and second half of the day, Dr. Emily A. Carter, UCLA’s Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost provided remarks on how Los Angeles is positioned to lead the state and the nation in the adoption and deployment of sustainable city practices. Dr. Carter highlighted the energy and climate research that has been produced by UCLA as a living lab and the critical collaboration between LACI and UCLA that leads to innovative technology solutions.

Incubation Pilot Pitch Showcase

Later in the day, we showcased LACI startup companies in our Incubator program through a pilot project showcase with technology solutions related to Clean Energy, Clean Mobility and Circular Economy Solutions. Pitches from the twelve LACI Incubation Cohort 1 startups companies focused on their Pilot Project funded by LACI’s Pilots Program under its Market Transformation Pillar.  Startups featured in the Showcase included:  Alumina, ChargerHelp Inc., ePave, JumpWatts, Maxwell Vehicles, Neocharge, Noria Water Technologies, SEED, Sparkcharge, Substance Power and Mobility, TBM Designs , Xeal

Keynote Speaker Address from Board Chair of the Energy Foundation

Lastly, the day concluded with a speech from our Keynote Speaker, Rose McKinney-James, Board Chair of the Energy Foundation. She discussed the urgent need for climate change mitigation action, additional collaboration, and the intersection of clean energy and social justice. She spotlighted the important role that innovation plays in addressing challenges and advancing advocacy to support economic, environmental and social issues.   

Moving forward

The half-day event brought together 288 stakeholders from diverse backgrounds and sectors – Including 197 unique organizations such as corporate business, utilities, investors, government agencies, non-profits, startups, other accelerators, national labs and universities. The connections established through this event by LACI enable best practices and new technology trends to be shared throughout the ecosystem strengthening our collective efforts to combat climate change and create an inclusive green economy. We look forward to next year’s Power Day and celebrating the continued efforts and achievements of the clean energy ecosystem.

Watch portions of LACI Power Day 2020 below via our Power Day 2020 YouTube playlist.

To learn more about LACI’s Pilots Programs email Pilots@LACI.org or visit our website. For more information on how to invest in a LACI Startup email Taj@LACI.org.

Power Day 2020 YouTube Playlist

Statement from LACI CEO and Transportation Electrification Partnership Chair Matt Petersen

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Statement from LACI CEO and Transportation Electrification Partnership Chair Matt Petersen

LOS ANGELES, CA – After today’s announcements from California Governor Gavin Newsom on climate initiatives, Matt Petersen, CEO of Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) and Chair of the Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP), released the following statement:

“On behalf of LACI and our unprecedented Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP), we applaud Governor Newsom’s ambitious yet needed targets to only sell zero emission passenger cars and trucks by 2035 and have all medium- and heavy-duty trucks be zero emissions by 2045, with a 2035 goal for drayage trucks. We also applaud the Governor’s commitment to advancing equity by increasing access to zero emissions solutions, including used EVs and micromobility options such as electric bikes. Governor Newsom’s leadership shows that, in the face of the worst climate crisis with wildfires and extreme heat ravaging our state, California will continue to lead.

“Through our collaboration with California Air Resources Board, regional utilities, Mayor Garcetti, Los Angeles County, LA Metro, labor, and industry, LACI and our partners set bold transportation electrification targets for light duty cars, mode shift, and goods movement for the LA region to advance climate equity, reduce air pollution, and more by the time the world arrives for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

To help achieve our targets and the state to lead, we are calling for the creation of a California electric vehicle authority to enhance the coordination needed and create additional financing tools for vehicles and charging infrastructure while boosting equity, job creation, workforce training, and economic development. Given the economic recovery needed due to COVID, we also convened a national coalition of over 80 companies, business organizations, and labor groups to push for comprehensive stimulus measures to support not just California’s zero emissions transportation efforts, but to grow this critical sector at the national level.

“California is building the future here now to clear the smoke and pollution from our air so all our state’s residents and future generations can breathe freely. LACI and TEP look forward to working with the Governor and the legislature to ensure all of our communities benefit from these policies.”

 

ABOUT LACI

Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) is creating an inclusive green economy for the people of Los Angeles by: unlocking innovation by working with startups to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies; transforming markets through partnerships with policymakers, innovators, and market 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 is recognized as one of the most innovative business incubators in the world by UBI. In the past ten years, LACI has helped 236 portfolio companies raise $508 million in funding, $272 million in revenue, and create over 2,100 jobs in the Los Angeles region. Learn more at laci.org.

LACI Welcomes Cohort 5 of Innovators

LACI recently welcomed its fifth cohort of LACI Innovators—16 startup businesses seeking to change the world for the better. This year’s cohort includes companies that are innovating to make the power grid cleaner and work better; to move LA toward an electric transportation future; and to reduce waste in our environment.

Through Cohort 5 and those that came before, LACI empowers a new generation of entrepreneurs  to lead the 21st century cleantech economy. Through the LACI Innovators program, startup founders receive a free 12-month network access program for early-stage cleantech companies. Designed for companies based in Southern California, this program helps startups become more competitive, resilient, and environmentally sustainable.

The work of our startups is more important than ever in the face of a pandemic and climate crisis. These companies are on the front lines, implementing solutions that will improve public health and environmental outcomes while also creating new wealth in California communities.  

The cleantech innovation ecosystem in California is growing thanks in large part to the dedication of the California Energy Commission (CEC)  which has funded programs to nurture cleantech like the LACI Innovators Program over the past several years. This year we received 36 applications in total for the Innovators Program.

Please join us in welcoming LACI’s Innovators Program Cohort 5!

The full cohort is listed below: 

Advanced Energy Analytics

Advanced Energy Analytics have developed a software platform for utility companies, Interconnection Qualifier (IQ), that streamlines and automates the approval process that new technologies need to undergo to be used by utilities. The software reduces the processing time, provides cohesion among all utilities, and removes uncertainty associated with the process. 

BioZen Batteries, Inc.

BioZen Batteries develops advanced organic electrolytes for organic redox flow batteries (O-RBFs). Our technology is a key component in stationary battery storage that helps meet immediate needs in (1) modernizing the electric grid, (2) providing emergency back-up systems in the form of community micro-grids, and (3) various applications in off-grid storage.

ChargeNet

ChargeNet’s cloud-based Energy-as-a-Service platform integrates EV Fast Chargers, Solar, Energy Storage and Restaurant/Retail Point-of-Sale systems to stack value streams into one consolidated solution, built to scale for the EV and clean energy revolution. We use point-of-sale and other valuable data that provides highly accurate forecasting to optimize charging arrays, solar, and energy storage resulting in maximized returns for customers, partners and investors.

EV Life, LLC

EV Life is a web platform that makes it easier for people to drive an electric car than gas. It offers car shopping tools, charging & range calculators, and an EV Climate Loan that can save drivers $200 per month on financing.

Fil₂R

Fil₂R sells plastic reducing and sustainable water filtration devices for at home use. Their  first product is a Fil2R case reusable water filters compatible with existing water filter pitchers (BRITA and PUR).

GreenTek Packaging

Hemptensils(tm) is Greentek’s line of first-in-kind compostable plasticwares made from industrial hemp and corn byproducts. Designed to offset the 40 billion plastic utensils used annually in the US that is increasing due to the pandemic, it offers a solution for the millions of pounds of stalks being wasted in the recently federally legalized industrial hemp industry.

The Hurd Co

The Hurd Co produces Agrilose™, a cost-competitive, sustainable, fiber feedstock pulp made entirely from agricultural waste. This material can be used to make sustainable fabric.

TransforMAX by hybriData

hybriData addresses potential power losses and electrical faults caused by manual evaluation of power transformers by intelligently and actively monitoring the transformer. 

Lamar IoT Inc.

LAMAR is a cold chain logistics innovator that provides a hardware-software platform that leverages flexible electronic sensors and predictive analytics to identify and mitigate temperature condition excursion damages, increase supply chain efficiency, and decreasing costs due to supply chain waste processes in real-time.

MeterLeader

MeterLeader helps curb carbon emissions from electricity use and heating by leveraging real-time data and proven social science principles to motivate people to adopt energy efficient equipment and behaviors in their homes and buildings. Users can easily create and participate in customizable energy saving challenges that are integrated with real-time energy data.

Newbury Power Solutions LLC (note: website is not yet live)

Newbury Power Solutions’ FESS (Flywheel Energy Storage System/Solution) product aims to compete against residential and small commercial Li-ion battery storage products. Flywheels do not pose a risk of fire and are not adversely affected by temperature changes. They can operate at much wider temperature ranges and are not subject to limited cycling or power degradation over time.

ONYX POWER LLC

ONYX POWER builds rugged, portable, clean, and quiet power systems that act as substitutes and replacements for gas and diesel generators.

Rewilder

Rewilder is a consumer goods company that specializes in products made out of post-industrial high-tech materials. Rewilder is building a platform for distribution called Rewilder ReSupply. The platform will give corporations, institutions, and independent businesses and designers access to upcycled high tech materials, creating a circular solution that decreases landfilled waste by introducing viable resources back into the supply chain.

Rhoman Aerospace

Rhoman Aerospace builds drone control systems that allow current electric vertical take-off and landing drones to fly farther with a single charge, and allow for new use cases to enable the commercial UAV of the future.

Rivieh

Rivieh is a smart living platform specifically designed for rental businesses. Their solution enables these businesses to offer tenants all the appeal of smart home tech minus the complexity and confusion.

Veloce Energy

Veloce Energy is developing technology to create intelligent, flexible, scalable grid edge energy networks. This IP creates solutions that address key barriers in EV charging infrastructure, distribution grid upgrades, and distributed generation connection. The first focused application is cost reduction in EV charging stations, by combining energy storage, intelligence, and streamlined installation systems with existing charger products. The second application focus is deferral or elimination of distribution grid upgrades.

Burbank, Glendale, and Pasadena Utilities Join the Transportation Electrification Partnership

LACI is pleased to announce that the local utilities for the cities of Burbank, Glendale, and Pasadena have joined the Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP) as part of the Advisory Group. The Partnership now includes over 30 members who have committed to working individually and collectively to achieve an additional 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution by the time Los Angeles welcomes the 2028 Olympics.

“We appreciate LACI’s interest in involving local electric utilities, like Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena Water and Power,” said Pasadena Water and Power Electrification Program Manager Mauricio Mejia. “No doubt this partnership will help to advance the adoption of transportation electrification and zero emission good movements in the Los Angeles region.”

Burbank Water and Power (BWP) electrical engineering associate Drew Kidd stated, “BWP is excited to join LACI’s Transportation Electrification Partnership and champion the adoption of electric vehicles and help clean the air in the Greater LA region. The City of Burbank is committed to reducing greenhouse gases and improving the air quality for Burbank and surrounding communities.”

“BWP’s transportation electrification program team looks forward to engaging with the innovative members of the Partnership to make a tangible difference in the quality of our environment,” Kidd said.

Glendale is looking forward to being involved with LACI’s Transportation Electrification Partnership’s advisory group,” said Glendale Water & Power General Manager Stephen M. Zurn.

“Our involvement will offer an opportunity for our City to demonstrate government leadership toward advancing EV infrastructure and increased EV integration in our surrounding communities. Glendale recognizes that the electrification of transportation is a crucial strategy towards achieving improved air quality and climate goals both locally and statewide. Glendale is eager to collaborate with the advisory team in achieving air quality and climate goals.”

The Partnership, alongside a coalition of 50 other organizations from 15 states, recently sent a letter to Congressional leaders asking for commitment to federal transportation electrification stimulus funding. The federal stimulus proposal of $150 billion would invest in zero emissions infrastructure that could create 2.3 million new jobs across the U.S., restart the economy, and ensure cleaner air.

“LACI is excited to work with these municipal utilities to advance the Partnership’s transportation electrification and zero emissions goods movement goals, as outlined in TEP’s Zero Emissions 2028 Roadmap,” said Matt Petersen, chair of TEP and CEO of LACI. 

LACI Produces 30,000 Face Shields for Essential Workers across Los Angeles

LACI Produces 30,000 Face Shields for Essential Workers across Los Angeles
Advanced Prototyping Center Supported With Key Partners to Increase Production

To help alleviate the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) Los Angeles area hospitals are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) has partnered with the Los Angeles Public Library’s Octavia Lab to prototype and produce face shields for essential healthcare workers.

Members of the public now have the opportunity to donate directly to LACI’s PPE efforts. Water and Power Community Credit Union (WPCCU) has generously created a public campaign in support of LACI’s efforts, and has offered to match the first $1,000 raised. All donations will directly cover the cost of materials and the manufacturing process. No amount is too small. Make a difference and donate now.

APC employees Lauritz David Jr. (left) and Nick Albert (right) inside the shop where they have produced over 30,000 face shields so far.

During the first phase of production, the innovative PPE was field-tested by doctors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and, with the generous support of Metabolic Studio and Snap Inc., over 10,000 reusable face shields were produced and distributed to Los Angeles County hospitals.

Support from the Octavia E. Butler Estate and Tieks allows LACI to significantly increase reusable face-shield production capacity in the Advanced Prototyping Center (APC), a $10M+ prototyping facility housed at LADWP’s La Kretz Innovation Campus in DTLA. Shields are distributed to LA County hospitals via Los Angeles Public Library and Greater Los Angeles Hospital Registry. This expanded program will generate an additional 20,000 face shields to be donated to Los Angeles County frontline medical workers fighting the resurgent COVID-19 pandemic


In collaboration with Los Angeles Public Library, the City of Baldwin Park, Goodwill of Southern California and Los Angeles County’s Youth@Work Program, youth aged 14 – 24 will assemble face shields produced by LACI. A program of LA County Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS), Youth@Work places LA County youth in a paid job that leads to a long-term career pathway in high-growth, in-demand industries. To accompany shield production, LACI has designed an educational and colloquial series introducing youth to career opportunities in cleantech, including project management, industrial manufacturing and industrial design. 

As LACI CEO Matt Petersen shared earlier this year in an interview about the initiative, “our team was looking at things that we could help in the COVID crisis (given) we have $15 million dollars of equipment and software on the campus which normally cleantech entrepreneurs would be working on to figure out the (next) solution to the climate crisis.”

This initiative – convened and led by LACI – models how the  organization endeavors to forge collaborations between entrepreneurs, artists, philanthropy, government, and community leaders coming together for community action to tackle daunting challenges, whether it be the pandemic or the climate crisis. Going forward, it will serve as a model for effective community action and innovation in the face of daunting challenges, including climate change.

With special thanks to the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Economic Development Administration (EDA).

LACI Expression of Interest: Voluntary Neighborhood Zero Emissions Delivery Zone

LOS ANGELES CLEANTECH INCUBATOR (LACI)

EXPRESSION OF INTEREST

VOLUNTARY NEIGHBORHOOD ZERO EMISSIONS DELIVERY ZONE

RESPONSES DUE by 5:00 PM Pacific Time on April 8, 2020

LACI is seeking partners to host the County’s first-ever zero-emissions delivery zone! Read on and apply if you’re interested in reducing air pollution, noise pollution, and congestion in your urban community.

GENERAL REQUEST

The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) is seeking expressions of interest from qualified applicants to deploy a neighborhood-based voluntary zero emissions delivery zone focused on utilizing zero emissions goods movement solutions in a specific zone within the County of Los Angeles.

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

LA is one of the most traffic-choked cities in America, and suffers from some of the worst air pollution in the nation. This has been exacerbated by a recent threefold rise in e-commerce deliveries, with diesel-powered delivery trucks exacerbating both congestion and pollution. 

LACI and many other organizations are working on revolutionizing transportation and mobility in LA—and one of the major steps they have taken together is to create the Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP).  In order to meet the aggressive targets of the partnership, TEP released its Roadmap 2.0 report in November 2019, articulating how to achieve an additional 25% reduction in GHG emissions and air pollution in the LA region by 2028.  In particular, the Roadmap calls for 60% of medium-duty delivery trucks in LA County to be electric by 2028.

To help Los Angeles achieve this target, LACI has proposed to pilot a voluntary zero emissions delivery zone, the first of its kind in the US.  A pilot of this nature should jumpstart progress towards the TEP 2028 goal. Intended outcomes are focused on:

  • Reduction in air pollution
  • Reduction in traffic congestion via smaller footprint vehicles (e.g., e-cargo bikes)
  • Reduction in noise
  • A source for cities in Southern California to develop policies on zero emissions goods deliveries

LACI has secured $350,000 in funding for this pilot and is pursuing additional funding sources that will support technology procurement, deployment, and operations; zone enforcement; local outreach; and project management led by LACI.   

Communities, particularly business improvement districts (BIDs), in the County of Los Angeles are eligible to apply along with two co-applicants representing a Community Based Organization (CBO) and a Real Estate Partner. All submissions must be submitted here in the platform by 5pm Pacific Time on April 8, 2020.

*REQUESTS FOR CLARIFICATION OF THE EXPRESSION OF INTEREST

If any respondent has questions regarding the meaning of any part of this expression of interest, the respondent shall submit a written request to pilots@laincubator.org

LACI will also provide in-person opportunities to pose questions and seek out further information through scoping workshops with the TEP partners hosted at LACI on March 18 & 19.  Please email pilots@laincubator.org to schedule a session.

FAQ

Is there a specific type of geography that is preferred over others for a last-mile zero emissions delivery zone?  What are the requirements for minimum and maximum radius of the zone?

Likely a 1-3 mile radius, depending on density of neighborhood and amount of deliveries.  

A high density commercial and residential landscape with large B2B and B2C delivery drop volumes would be preferred in order to extract the most useful data. Additionally, this would have a larger impact on measurement of air quality due to larger volumes of diesel vans/trucks trips replaced by electric vans/trucks and e-cargo bikes.   E-cargo bikes have a 1-2 mile radius for daily deployment (~15 mile driven daily).

Will all transportation operating in the voluntary last-mile zero emissions delivery zone be required to be zero emissions?

No, only those from delivery companies who commit to engaging the pilot.  LACI will work to engage delivery companies in the pilot.

How will the impact of this pilot be measured?

LACI is targeting funding for measurement and verification, including air quality monitoring (general and hyper-local), noise levels and congestion.  Applicants are encouraged to articulate what impact measures should be tracked.

How will costs be covered?

LACI will manage issues relating to restrictions on the use of budget dollars, reimbursement, procurement rules, etc. directly with subcontractors on this project.  

NOTE: We do not expect to be able to support the procurement of medium-duty electric trucks for this pilot, as many leading parcel delivery companies have already started adopting electric trucks for delivery in various markets.

What does success look like for this pilot?

We expect a successful pilot will improve local air quality, and reduce noise pollution and congestion for communities. Furthermore, a successful pilot will provide best practices on policies, deployments, and enforcement for cities in Southern California and across the nation to develop the confidence to send market signals on zero-emissions goods deliveries. 

 

Confidentiality Statement:

In connection with the Pilot Project Engineering Services and Construction Management RFI (the “Purpose“), either Party (“Disclosing Party“) may disclose Confidential Information (as defined below) to the other Party (“Recipient“). Recipient shall use the Confidential Information solely for the Purpose, and shall not disclose such Confidential Information other than to its affiliates and its or their employees, officers, directors, members, managers, investment committee members, agents, attorneys, accountants, and financial advisors (collectively, “Representatives“) who: (a) need access to such Confidential Information for the Purpose; (b) are informed of its confidential nature; and (c) are bound by confidentiality obligations no less protective of the Confidential Information than the terms contained herein. Recipient shall safeguard the Confidential Information from unauthorized use, access, or disclosure using no less than a commercially reasonable degree of care. Recipient will be responsible for any breach of this Agreement caused by its Representatives. Recipient agrees to notify Disclosing Party in writing of any misuse or misappropriation of Confidential Information of Disclosing Party that may come to Recipient’s attention.

Confidential Information” means all non-public proprietary or confidential information relating to Disclosing Party and the Purpose, in oral, visual, written, electronic, or other tangible or intangible form, whether or not marked or designated as “confidential” and all notes, analyses, summaries, and other materials prepared by Recipient or any of its Representatives that contain, are based on, or otherwise reflect, to any degree, any of the foregoing (“Notes“); provided, however, that Confidential Information does not include any information that: (a) is or becomes generally available to the public other than as a result of Recipient’s or its Representatives’ breach of this Agreement; (b) is obtained by Recipient or its Representatives on a non-confidential basis from a third-party that was not legally or contractually restricted from disclosing such information; (c) was in Recipient’s or its Representatives’ possession prior to Disclosing Party’s disclosure hereunder; or (d) was or is independently developed by Recipient or its Representatives without using any Confidential Information. Confidential Information also includes (x) the facts that the Parties are in discussions regarding the Purpose (or, without limitation, any termination of such discussions) and that Confidential Information has been disclosed; and (y) any terms, conditions, or arrangements discussed.

Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator Announces the Launch of AIR: Artist-in-Residence Program with Grant from the Durfee Foundation

Call for Submissions Opens Today Inviting Diverse Artists to Apply for Residency and Access to New Tools, Technologies and Subject Matter Experts in Sustainability

 Los Angeles, CA – January 16, 2018 – The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), dedicated to creating an inclusive, green economy by unlocking innovation, transforming markets and enhancing community, today announced the launch of AIR: a first of its kind Artist-in-Residence program at the La Kretz Innovation Campus. The program was made possible in part through a generous $75,000 grant from the Durfee Foundation, a family foundation investing in extraordinary people and programs making a better Los Angeles.

Situated in the heart of DTLA’s Arts District, LACI’s new AIR program will introduce the culturally diverse creative community of Los Angeles to a thriving environment where entrepreneurs, engineers, policymakers and environmental organizations collaborate on making a positive impact.In addition to on-site resident artists, AIR will unite the creative and cleantech communities in the shared aim of addressing global environmental problems and empowering underrepresented communities through outreach and professional development programming.

“As the old axiom goes, art can lead politics,” stated Matt Petersen, President and CEO of LACI.“We are excited to see how artists-in-residence can collaborate with our entrepreneurs to find breakthrough solutions, while finding new ways for LACI to connect with students and residents from disadvantaged communities in Los Angeles.”

Joining the initial resident artist, Debra Scacco, will be two artists selected by a jury of interdisciplinary professionals, including Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate, Thom Mayne;Director of The Underground Museum and Independent Curator, Megan Steinman;Artist Sherin Guirguis; LACI President and CEO, Matt Petersen; and MOCA Director of Education and Public Programs, Amanda Hunt. The Artist Call for Submissions was announced today and circulated throughout the arts community. Please click here to apply.

LACI SVP Ben Stapleton, who was instrumental in the creation of the AIR program, stated, “Art has an incredible way of breaking through barriers to connect with people on complex issues. Our hope is that with this program we can build a portfolio of art focused on climate change to inspire people to take action.”

AIR incubates artists working with ideas of water, sustainability, transportation, energy and related themes. Artists will receive a $10,000 stipend, training and six-month access to the Advanced Prototyping Center (a $10M+ facility including machine shop and wet labs), and the opportunity to work side-by-side with LACI portfolio companies, including scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs working in related fields. Limited edition pieces and a work-in-progress exhibition will showcase how access to research, government, non-profits and start-ups in cleantech are embedded in the artists’ work. The artists will also take part in a culminating panel discussion to reflect, as a group, their learning and experiences over the six-month period.

“AIR humanizes complex environmental problems and shines a light on the vital work being done to address these critical issues,” stated Lead Artist and AIR Program Director, Debra Scacco. “The opportunity for parallel technical and intellectual growth is what makes AIR so special and is the reason our impact will be felt far beyond our Arts District homefor years to come.”

AIR has partnered with organizations such as Small Green Door in Commerce to build a collective network of skills and knowledge supporting environmental-based art projects. The program will also feature a series of free Artist Talks and Professional Development Workshops to help local artists create sustainable opportunities for their work.

Throughout the program development, respected professionals from varied disciplines have generously offered their time and knowledge to advise on the development of a truly dynamic program. Included on the AIR Advisory Committee are Pauline KanakoKamiyama (Deputy Director of Civic Art, Los Angeles County Arts Commission). Tracy Gray (The 22 Fund and LACI Executive-in-Residence) and Art Consultant John Wolf.

About AIR

AIR, LACI’s Artist-In-Residence program, is a unique program providing advanced equipment training and research opportunities for professional artists to create art focused on the impacts of climate change. AIR empowers innovation by uniting the creative and cleantech communities in the shared aim of addressing global environmental problems and programming that reflects the racial, ethnic and gender diversity of Los Angeles.

 About LACI

The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) is a private non-profit organization helping to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies and ensuring an inclusive green economy by unlocking innovation, transforming markets and enhancing community. Founded as a cluster-driven economic development initiative by the City of Los Angeles and its Department of Water & Power (LADWP), LACI is recognized as one of the most innovative business incubators in the world by UBI. In the past six years, LACI has helped 72 portfolio companies raise $159M in funding, $220M in revenue, create 1,695jobs, and deliver more than $379M in long term economic value. LACI recently acquired the Cleantech Open to amplify and expand their positive impact toward building an inclusive green global economy.

Artists in the program receive training and access to the Advanced Prototyping Center at the La Kretz Innovation Campus, owned by LADWP and managed by LACI. The Advanced Prototyping Center featuresan electronics lab, bio-chemistry lab, CNC center, water jet center, welding shop, 3D printing shop, use of premium CAD software, laser cutters, woodworking, sand-blasting, large scale printing, an industrial sew shop and more.

For more information, please visit http://laci.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook @LACIncubator.

 

# # #

MEDIA CONTACT:

Laurie Peters, LACI Communications Director

(818) 635-4101

lpeters@LACI.org