Bay Area Regional Energy Innovation Cluster

Providing Bay Area energy entrepreneurs with services and resources to further their innovations

Activate Global, Inc

Recipient

Berkeley, CA

Recipient Location

9th

Senate District

15th

Assembly District

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$6,151,299

Amount Spent

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Active

Project Status

Project Update

In 2021, Activate received a follow-on award from the CEC to continue providing it's two-year fellowship program providing clean energy entrepreneurs access to world-class research facilities, a startup curriculum, and rigorous mentorship, and an extensive network of industry, investors, philanthropists, and government partners. Since then, Activate has brought on even more cohorts of innovators to its Berkeley community - including fellows developing affordable grid batteries, zero-carbon heating for industrial applications, and advancing sensing technology. The companies that have been supported through the Berkeley fellowship (over 70 as of Cohort 2023) are working on breakthrough in critical areas such as battery chemistries, next-gen semiconductors, industrial decarbonization, and recovery of rare earth elements. The fellows continue to break technology and funding records in the clean energy space.

The Issue

Clean energy startups face difficulties in making use of the existing programs and resources available in the area, and accessing technology validation facilities, business training, market intelligence, and more. In particular, venture capital investment, the main source of private sector support for early stage technology companies, has declined sharply for hard energy technology in the past several years. Unfortunately, no reliable, alternate source of private capital has emerged, due to the high risks associated with early stage energy technology development.

Project Innovation

This project established the Bay Area Regional Energy Innovation Cluster by scaling the Activate Fellowship to provide commercialization support services to Bay Area entrepreneurs developing breakthrough materials and hardware devices in energy efficiency, energy storage, distribution, grid management, and power generation. Activate Berkeley provides entrepreneurs access to world-class laboratory facilities at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, and key services, such as business model development, customer discovery, and intellectual property protection to enable energy entrepreneurs in the Bay Area region.

Project Benefits

This project will help advance the goals of Senate Bill 350 (De Leon, 2015) by accelerating the commercialization of clean energy technologies, including energy efficiency, demand response, renewable generation, energy storage, and smart-grid integration. This project will increase the probability of commercialization and deployment of a portfolio of technologies that can reduce electricity costs, decrease peak demand, and improve system reliability and safety. Intangible benefits to California ratepayers will result from broader, indirect, and multiplicative economic effects that occur from the successful establishment of California-based technology companies.

Lower Costs

Affordability

This project will decrease the time and costs for new technology development by providing entrepreneurs with the services and facilities they need to commercialize their technology.

Economic Development

Economic Development

This project will help facilitate successful clean energy entrepreneurship, leading to increased private sector investment and local job creation. As of Cohort 2023, over 70 companies have been accepted into the program.

Key Project Members

Project Member

Jill Fuss

Managing Director, Activate Berkeley
Project Member

Katie Sharp

Senior Fellowship Manager, Activate Berkeley

Subrecipients

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Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.

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The Regents of the University of California, Davis

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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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Match Partners

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Autodesk, Inc.

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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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Activate Global, Inc

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DLA Piper LLP

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Contact the Team

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