Getting connected with government officials, potential partners, investors, and technical resources isn’t generally an easy task for start-up companies. But for clients of the i-GATE (Innovation for Green Advanced Transportation Excellence) innovation hub, there is a mechanism in place to provide a wide range of business support.

California Energy Commissioner Carla Peterman and James Bartridge (CEC) discuss electric vehicle technologies with Fraser Murison Smith (right) of i-GATE NEST client, ElectraDrive.

The collaborative effort is administered by the City of Livermore in close partnership with Sandia National Laboratories/California (SNL/CA) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). The public-private partnership extends throughout the region with over 40 government, industry, research organization, venture capital, and academic partners, including two University of California campuses. Chevron is the latest industry partner to join.

In June 2011, the i-GATE National Energy Systems Technology (NEST) incubator opened. It acts as a small business support system to accelerate the commercialization of innovative technologies related to green transportation and clean energy. There are now eight i-GATE clients developing fuel cell, electric vehicle, battery, and ultra-light rail technologies. i-GATE continues accepting applications.

Some of the Livermore resources, such as the Combustion Research Facility at SNL/CA, and the High Performance Computing Innovation Center at LLNL, can provide major advantages to companies wishing to avail themselves of cutting-edge research tools and ready access to skilled researchers.

The collaborative i-GATE program is not only working on connecting businesses to the national laboratories, but also on helping to move SNL and LLNL technologies out of the labs.

Read more about the Sandia/i-GATE partnership.