Sandia LabNews

California selects Livermore Valley's i-GATE as state innovation hub

The city of Livermore has moved one step closer toward its goal of establishing the Livermore Valley as a high-tech anchor for the region. Recently California’s Business, Transportation and Housing Agency selected the city’s i-GATE (Innovation for Green Advanced Transportation Excellence) as an inaugural member of the California iHub demonstration program.

The mission of i-GATE is to maximize the economic impact of green transportation and clean energy technologies through expedited technology transfer, entrepreneurial assistance, collaboration opportunities, academic alliances, and a technology incubator for the development of high-growth green businesses. The city of Livermore is the iHub coordinator and Sandia is the program lead.

Partners include Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), two University of California campuses (Davis and Berkeley), Cal State East Bay, Las Positas College, the LivermoreChamber of Commerce, and four nearby cities (Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon, and Tracy), among others.

 “This represents an exciting opportunity to both advance technology in the transportation arena and to increase our partnerships with the city of Livermore and local businesses,” says Rick Stulen, Div. 8000 vice president.

The i-GATE hub will be leveraged by the Livermore Valley Open Campus (LVOC), a joint venture between Sandia and LLNL to promote greater collaboration between the world-class scientists at the labs and their partners in industry and academia. According to Energy Secretary Steven Chu in a press release last year, the LVOC will maximize the return on the nation’s investment in nuclear security.

“By leveraging the groundbreaking research of our nuclear security labs through private sector collaborations, we will bring breakthroughs to the market faster and find new solutions to the energy problem,” says Chu.

The i-GATE effort is designed to drive the Livermore Valley as the core of an energy research cluster that will rapidly expand to benefit the regional economy and the state of California, create jobs, mitigate climate change, increase energy security, educate the future technical workforce, and form an interlocking innovation web. In addition to the LVOC, the i-GATE plan leverages several current initiatives, including the National Energy Systems Technology (NEST) incubator and the i-GATE Academic Alliance.

The state’s iHub program is designed to spur economic recovery and growth by showcasing and supporting California’s most promising hubs of innovation. Six applicants were selected, including hubs in Orange County, Sacramento, the Coachella Valley, and San Francisco’s North Bay (Sonoma) and Greater Mission Bay regions.

The state is now working to secure seed funding, funding grants, and other resources for the iHub program with entities such as the US Department of Commerce.

Following is the complete list of confirmed i-GATE partners:

  • City of Livermore (iHub Coordinator)
  • Sandia National Laboratories (i-GATE program lead)
  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • Joint BioEnergy Institute (DOE) 
  • Scion Group (New Zealand Crown Research Institute)
  • California Fuel Cell Partnership 
  • East Bay Economic Development Alliance
  • University of Michigan
  • University of California, Berkeley, CITRIS (UC Institute for Science & Innovation)
  • University of California, Davis 
  • California State University, East Bay
  • Las Positas Community College 
  • Small Business Development Center
  • NewLine Ventures, LLC 
  • Livermore Chamber of Commerce
  • City of Pleasanton
  • City of Dublin
  • City of Tracy 
  • City of San Ramon
  • City of West Sacramento 
  • Tri-Valley Business Council
  • Workforce Incubator 
  • Alameda County One Stop (job training)
  • Alameda County Workforce Investment 
  • Bridgelux, Inc.