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USC Viterbi Celebrates Launch of LA Cleantech Incubator

Organization will support the development of clean energy start-ups in Los Angeles

October 20, 2011 —

On Tuesday, Oct. 11, USC Viterbi School of Engineering joined the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation in celebrating the kick-off of the LA Cleantech Incubator (LACI). At the organization’s new Kretz Innovation Campus in Downtown Los Angeles, researchers, politicians, energy industry executives and others feted the LACI, which seeks to establish Los Angeles as a global leader in the research, commercialization and deployment of clean technologies.

Crouds gathered around USC's booth

USC Viterbi had a major presence during the evening, showcasing the school’s innovative work in clean energy. Professors Fred Aminzadeh, Fokion Egolfopoulos, Martin Gundersen, Viktor K. Prasanna, Chongwu Zhou and several graduate students were on-hand in USC’s booth to share their research. During the evening, event guests were able to learn about the USC Energy Institute, as well as the Center for Energy Informatics, the Center for Energy Nanoscience, the Center for Geothermal Studies, the Combustion and Fuels Research Group, and the Pulsed Power Research Group.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, City Council Member Jose Huizar, as well as representatives from the LA Department of Water & Power, the Community Redevelopment Agency and LACI all shared a few words to mark the occasion.

Villaraigosa, whose inaugural speech six years ago announced his goal of turning Los Angeles into the “cleanest, greenest city in America,” said LACI was especially close to his heart and a good example of how the city leads the nation in cleaner energy practices.

Through its new home, which will soon expand to a larger campus, LACI hopes to foster a clean tech culture and community by offering office space, business coaching, industry connections, and more to clean energy start-up companies.

USC will continue to collaborate with LACI in the future, per a Memorandum of Understanding. Professor Peter Beerel, Viterbi’s Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Ian Murphy, USC Stevens’ Director of Communication, organized the school’s participation in the event.