Founded in 1931, the world-renowned Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory just had its 90th Anniversary last year, the same year that East Bay EDA fittingly named them the 2021 Legacy Awardee for the East Bay Innovation Awards. Its tremendous impact and reach across our region and globe – from hosting and supporting Nobel Prize winners to helping support and sustain an active pipeline of startup companies in life sciences and other sectors – speaks for itself.

In July 2022, more than 20 regional business leaders and other stakeholders involved with East Bay EDA’s Resilient East Bay project visited Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and were welcomed by Berkeley Lab Director Mike Witherell. After providing an overview of the Lab’s operations, the group heard from Todd Pray, Chief Strategic Partnerships Officer of the Strategic Partnerships Office (SPO), which focuses on building connections between external partners with research happening at the Lab, which currently has teams working on some of the most pressing issues of our times, including water quality and supply, converting forest biomass to carbon-negative products and biofuels, and more.

With a focus on enhancing and expanding public-private partnerships, the tour focused on opportunities and research happening at two of its major user facilities – the Advanced Light Source (ALS) and the Molecular Foundry. Both facilities are incredible assets here in our region offering world-class equipment and expertise, providing tremendous power to entrepreneurs and innovators who are looking to develop, test, and scale new nanoscience and other technologies including energy, electronics, materials science, and biology.

It is not an exaggeration to say that our region is on the forefront of scientific discovery and innovation: the East Bay is extremely fortunate to be the home of not just one, but three national labs, including Lawrence Livermore National Lab and Sandia National Lab, both in Livermore. Like Berkeley Lab, they are vital partners that offer an incredible array of resources that support our region’s business climate and innovation ecosystem. We invite you to get more involved with East Bay EDA by becoming a member or reaching out to us to get more information about some of the initiatives that we are leading as we work to implement some of the actions and strategies outlined in our blueprint for regional economic recovery, East Bay Forward.

Photo credit: Berkeley Lab