San Jose plans to open a non-profit center next summer for entrepreneurs and startups to bring in and test prototypes of new innovations in clean technology, according to a center spokesman.
The San Jose Demonstration Center will be open for potential inventors of practical ways to make buildings, vehicles and energy systems more efficient, according to Doug Davenport, executive director of Prospect Silicon Valley, the non-profit group to run the center.
Mayor Chuck Reed, City Council members Sam Liccardo, Rose Herrera and Johnny Khamis and people representing private sponsors gathered at an event today at City Hall to celebrate the official launch of Prospect Silicon Valley.
The goal of the center, set to open next summer, is to give support to entrepreneurs in perfecting technologies for buildings and vehicles that burn less energy and emit fewer greenhouse gases, Davenport said.
"It's all the kinds of technology that you'd want in a city that
makes it more green, makes it less carbon intensive and better for the environment," Davenport said.
"These are very important technologies and it's very hard for these companies to move these products to market, so we are trying to facilitate that," Davenport said.
"It's going to allow those companies to put a lot of eyes on their idea and give them a chance to launch their idea in an environment that is really supportive," he said.
The aim is also to further job growth in the "cleantech" industry in San Jose, where there are more than 100 cleantech-related companies, according to Davenport.
The demonstration center is to be built inside the planned $13 million, 50,000-square-foot Environmental Innovation Center at 1608 Las Plumas Ave. near King Road in San Jose, the city's Assistant Director of Public Works Harry Frietas said.
The innovation center building, which has experienced delays in its construction, is scheduled for completion by March, Frietas said.
Prospect Silicon Valley's section of the main building would cover 22,500 square feet, with exhibition and conference space, a laboratory and facilities to test new clean technologies for vehicles and buildings,
People wanting to develop and showcase their cleantech inventions at the center first much approach Prospect Silicon Valley with a working prototype for review, Davenport said.
"There would be an application process that would allow people to profile their idea, their stage in technology and what they would need for support," Davenport said.
"We have a team of experts that will work with us to basically just assure that we are working with technology that will work safely and effectively," he said.
The center would not be involved in investing funds or taking equity shares in the companies using it, Davenport said.
Support for the project is coming from the city and sponsors such as Wells Fargo Bank, BMW Group, Applied Materials, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Stanford University Office of Technology Licensing, according to Davenport.