Campus: CSU, Hayward -- October 21, 1999

French Government Wants Partnership With University's Environmental Technology Incubator in Alameda

A delegation representing the Alameda Center for Environmental Technologies will travel to France on Oct. 31 to discuss creating a partnership that could result in the sharing of educators, researchers and office space.

The French have developed a former military helicopter base in Savoie into an industrial park similar to the "incubator" for environmental businesses at the former Alameda Naval Air Station, according to California State University, Hayward professor Sam Doctors, who directs ACET.

"We have had more than 300 foreign visitors from 11 countries visit ACET in the last year, but the French have been particularly interested," Doctors said. "More than a dozen French officials have toured our facilities. Even though ACET has only been in operation for 15 months, they concluded that we were the best high-tech incubator in the U.S., and they want to know how we did it."

Doctors said during the 10-day visit to France the ACET delegation and French officials will discuss creating formal links between the two facilities. These could include setting up offices at each other's facilities, technology transfer agreements, research partnerships and cooperation with each country's national laboratories.

"The French were also impressed with the ACET connection to Cal State Hayward," Doctors said. "The fact that a major California university with an international reputation directs operations at ACET gives them assurance that we understand global partnerships."

Cal State Hayward offers graduate programs in business administration in Beijing, Hong Kong, Vienna and Moscow and is a partner in an international MBA program through a university in Paris.

Doctors said officials at the University of Savoie have asked to meet with him to explore the possibility of developing a graduate program in business with CSUH that would include a component on "ecotechnologies." The university has a technology center with 13 laboratories performing research on environmental issues such as air filtration and pollution monitoring.

Since the ACET laboratory opened 15 months ago, 11 environmental technology companies have moved into the Alameda Point facility, including Electrox Environmental, Inc., Chelatech Corp., Baffin and Renovare International, firms that focus on water quality improvement.

The center also houses companies that integrate biotechnology and environmental technology, including Guava Technologies, Inc., Biometrology, Inc., Investigen and Biotica Research Corp. These businesses are involved in such efforts as micro-organism identification, the study of tissue explants and gene expression, scanning probe microscope analytical services, and development of inexpensive instruments for the speedy detection of bio-particles.

The ACET facility also houses Ocellus, Inc., an innovative energy enterprise that is developing new generation power devices.

According to Doctors, in its next phase of development, ACET will continue to seek and support new high-tech startup environmental businesses, including those which use technology developed in local federal research laboratories.

This stage also will emphasize implementing a mentor support program, initial planning for a foreign trade assistance program at Alameda Point, advanced planning for the creation of an environmental business cluster, as well as establishing a private sector advisory group.

The ACET facility has received more than $1.3 million in grants from the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Commerce Department.

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