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Friday, Jan 27, 2023
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Senators Hold CSUN Cleantech Hearing

Two state lawmakers led a hearing on Thursday at Cal State Northridge aimed at boosting the cleantech industry in the San Fernando Valley. State Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Calabasas, and Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, D-Pacoima, heard comments from speakers at a hearing attended by about 40 industry representatives, entrepreneurs, educators and others. “It’s about time to make this a priority,” said Pavley. “There is no reason the Valley should not be competitive with Silicon Valley in cleantech.” Cleantech is a term that applies to a cluster of growing industries focused on producing sustainable forms of energy and making energy use more efficient. They include alternative-energy vehicles, smart grids, solar installations and the like. Jeff Joyner, co-chairman of the E4 Mobility Alliance, a task force of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp., outlined that challenges in establishing a cluster of cleantech companies in the Los Angeles area. He said they include access to capital, lack of land and a public perception of tough state regulations in the form of the California Environmental Quality Act. He also said the area needs to do better at promoting itself as a place where cleantech is welcome. “We need advocates to meet with companies to tell them to be here and to stay here,” Joyner said. Erik Steeb gave an overview of the new satellite office established at CSUN by the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, based just south of downtown. The recently opened office assists startup companies created by university students and faculty as well as community residents. “Innovations will come out universities and garages and not from large, incumbent companies,” Steeb said. The incubator has assisted 28 companies that generated $10 million in revenue last year and projected to do $30 million in revenue this year. Also speaking were Max Aram, a CSUN grad with a startup business at the incubator; Andrew McCallister, of the California Energy Commission; Doug Ito, of the California Air Resources Board; Bruno Osorno, a professor in the CSUN electrical and computer engineering department; and Jose Blanco, plant manager, at Chatsworth Products Inc., a Westlake Village data center equipment manufacturer.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
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