Published on January 25th, 2012 | by Susanna Schick0
Los Angeles: Clean Tech Capital of America? | Verdexchange Conference
If Mayor Villaraigosa gets his way, you betcha. Interestingly enough, the artist’s studio where this piece resides (under the Main St bridge) is right along the Clean Tech corridor being planned. Clean Tech Los Angeles is all about making LA a desirable place to start and grow clean tech businesses. The real growth in manufacturing and engineering jobs is in this sector, and LA wants to be sure to catch the wave. Also frequently mentioned throughout the conference were our top three research universities— UCLA, USC, and (of course) Cal Tech. At the Verdexchange conference I saw a broad range of presentations highlighting what’s being done in Los Angeles. You’ve already read here how California is the US leader in the Electric Vehicle industry. Now, see what’s happening in other clean tech sectors….
Mike Swords, Board President of Clean Tech LA told us about their growth plans. This was one of the most exciting things I saw at the conference. The clean tech incubator was mentioned a number of times throughout the conference, and has some very exciting member companies. Proving the Clean tech LA is serious about job creation, it’s hosting a career fair on February 1st. Swords also reminded us of the EB-5 visa for migrant entrepreneurs who can create at least 10 jobs, by stating that the city of Los Angeles was trying to facilitate that process.
Jeff Milanette, Executive Director of PortTech LA, told us about its cleantech incubator, which focuses on port technology. Most of the imports Americans consume come through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. This article from the Infrastructurist shows the world’s busiest ports. If LA & Long Beach were counted as one port, they’d be the 5th busiest port in the world. Not bad considering LA is also the cleanest port in the world, as claimed by Mayor Villaraigosa at the conference.
The other major threads I saw throughout the conference were utility-scale renewable energy, water management, and waste-to-energy conversion. All of which can benefit from the sort of companies that would operate in this clean tech business hub. There was also a lot of talk about California’s new carbon market, but it seemed to center around offsets. I’m going to try to give those topics the attention they deserves in later posts.