Delivering the future: Innovation, entrepreneurship, sustainability

Artist's rendering of the education and research community envisioned for the NASA Research Park

UCSC and the Foothill-De Anza Community College District have formed a partnership and signed a lease with NASA Ames Research Center to establish a sustainable community for education and research at the NASA Research Park at Moffett Field.

The goal of the partnership is to create a prototype for an environmentally sustainable community and contribute to the economic vitality of the region, while providing a unique collaborative environment in which to deliver innovative education and research.

A March event at NASA Ames Research Park announcing the partnership was attended by university officials, scientists, engineers and Silicon Valley company leaders, in addition to Democratic Reps. Anna Eshoo of Palo Alto and Mike Honda and Zoe Lofgren, both of San Jose.

The project, which is to be developed on 75 acres of land in the NASA Research Park, will create jobs and drive private industry, said Eshoo.

"This partnership is important for our entire nation and will help to make this century an American century," Eshoo said.

This vision includes an integrated community featuring state-of-the-art research and teaching laboratories, shared classrooms, housing, accommodations for industrial partners, and modern infrastructure. Work on the site could begin as early as 2013, with initial occupancy as early as 2015.

"Our vision is to seed innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainability through the creative reuse of an important public asset for regional benefit," said UCSC chancellor George Blumenthal. "We aim to establish world-class programs and facilities dedicated to preparing the workforce of the future and to conducting research at the forefront of science and technology."

Designed to have a minimal carbon footprint, the community will serve as a model site to deploy and validate new renewable energy and resource conservation systems.

"Researchers, working together, will expedite development of emerging green technologies," Blumenthal said. "We will create knowledge, apply it to real-world challenges, and equip students to deliver results in the valley's burgeoning green-tech sector."

Carnegie Mellon University, Santa Clara University, and San Jose State University have also been involved in the early planning and may eventually join the partnership, said Joseph Miller, UCSC's vice provost for Silicon Valley Initiatives.

Development of the site, which is expected to cost more than $1 billion, would be undertaken through a public-private partnership.