UC Riverside gets a grant of $450K from SCEIN

By: Sharjeel Sohaib


Aug 19, 2021


UC Riverside

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The University of California Riverside, also called UC Riverside, won a $450,000 grant from the Southern California Energy Innovation Network. UCR will use the grant to fund Inland Empire’s (IE) startups in energy efficiency, renewable energy generation, energy storage, smart grid, and clean transportation. 

Startempire Wire reported that infrastructure improvement and demographic shifts are helping the Inland Empire attract more startups.

UC Riverside Office of Technology Partnerships, OTP

UC Riverside’s Office of Technology Partnerships, or OTP, also extended its leadership of the Inland Empire in SCEIN for five years. “This new five-year commitment, in partnership with Cleantech San Diego and as an integral part of UCR’s OASIS sustainability initiative, will enable us to support the growth of dozens of young clean-tech companies, which will be addressing the clean energy challenges faced right here in the Inland Empire,” said project co-leader Rosibel Ochoa, UCR’s associate vice chancellor for Technology Partnerships. 

What is Solar Value Deflation? 

The grant by SCEIN comes on the heels of a new report which found that California, a world leader in solar generation,  is experiencing solar value deflation. This happens when ‘the electricity generated by solar panels gets less and less valuable as more panels come online. This makes it even more important to commercialize clean energy technologies and fund energy startups. 

As a key player in IE’s startup and technology commercialization economy, UC Riverside is expanding SCEIN’s network in the Inland Empire. As a result, the university’s OTP entrepreneurs-in-residence have roped in 30+ organizations to become part of the new Inland Empire Energy Innovation Council. 

A new generation of energy-tech entrepreneurs

The grant and UC Riverside’s role in SCEIN will help build a new generation of energy entrepreneurs trying to bring their technologies to market faster. Therefore, clean energy startups based in Riverside and San Bernardino counties can pitch their early-stage innovation and cutting-edge ideas to OTP of UC Riverside to take advantage of the new grant.  

Energy organizations and players in the startup ecosystem of Inland Empire 

  • CalSEED, a $24m grant program for early-stage California clean energy startups
  • Cal Test Bed: An program and an initiative to provide $8M in testing vouchers for clean energy innovators, providing them access to 60 world-class testing facilities throughout California.
  • RAMP: The Realizing Accelerated Manufacturing and Production initiative
  • UC Riverside’s Office of Technology Partnerships (OTP)
  • Southern California Energy Innovation Network, or SCEIN
  • UCR’s OASIS initiative (The Opportunities to Advance Sustainability, Innovation, and Social Inclusion) 
  • California Energy Innovation Ecosystem 
  • BRIDGE: The Bridging Rapid Innovation Development to Green Energy initiative


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