SANTA CLARA, Calif., Feb. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- CalCharge, an energy storage innovation accelerator, and San Jose State University, the number one supplier of graduates to Silicon Valley, are teaming up to launch a "battery university" in the high-tech capital of the world.
"As an institution of higher education we know the challenges in meeting the workplace demand for trained personnel in this rapidly growing and changing field," said Rebecca Dukes, Vice President for Advancement for SJSU. "For this reason, we are very pleased to be partnering with LBNL and CalCharge to meet this critical need of California's clean energy ecosystem."
Battery university courses—to be offered through SJSU's professional education program—will educate a specialty workforce needed now for the rapidly growing battery industry. Classes are expected to start this summer in partnership with SJSU's engineering college, which produces more engineering professionals to Silicon Valley than any other university.
Leading scientists, entrepreneurs, industry, and policy experts are meeting tonight at SJSU to provide feedback on the vision and proposed curriculum."The fast-emerging energy storage industry is key to the continuing success of the multi-billion dollar global clean energy economy," said Jeffrey Anderson, interim executive director of CalCharge. "Ceding this important sector to another country would be a tragic and short sighted mistake." Currently, most battery manufacturing takes place in China. However, there are roughly 40 battery-related companies in California—working to solve energy storage challenges, which are critical to the electric vehicle sector, the solar sector, the wind sector, consumer electronics, and more. " California is both a patent and a venture capital leader in the battery sector in the United States, but we cannot rest on our laurels," said Venkat Srinivasan, head of the Energy Storage and Distributed Resources groups at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "Our sector is developing at such a rapid clip that if we want to maintain our leadership position, we must constantly innovate—and we need the top minds to do so." Today's battery university launch event and briefing on the state of the California energy storage industry starts tonight at 6:30 PM at SJSU Network Meeting Center, 5201 Great America Parkway in Santa Clara. Doors open at 6:00 PM for a special State of the Union watch party before the official event begins. Highlighting the importance of tonight's event, former Sen. Jeff Bingaman, the longtime chair of the Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee and a major champion of clean energy, will be on hand in one of his first appearances since leaving office a few weeks ago. The event is open to the press and public and free of change.