Port of LA, AltaSea announce grant for new start-up in research center

October 12, 2017

AltaSea campus design. credit Gensler

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The Port of Los Angeles has signed a grant agreement with well-known developer and philanthropist Morton La Kretz for partnership space at AltaSea, the marine science, technology and business incubater being pieced together in San Pedro.

The agreement will create and fund the La Kretz Blue Economy Incubator that will focus on technology companies creating new business models that have connections to the ocean.

It’s the latest partnership announcement for AltaSea, which is attracting some major players, including the Ocean Exploration Trust led by Robert Ballard, the aquaculture company Catalina Sea Ranch and an underwater robot maker, Blue Roboics. There are ongoing talks with Boeing to join in the center as well.

La Kretz provided major funding for the headquarters for the LA Cleantech Incubator, which opened last year in downtown Los Angeles.

Both nonprofit incubators — LA Cleantech and Blue Economy — are designed to nurture promising start-ups with office space, consulting support, business connections and financial assistance.

“The Blue Economy Incubator is a crucial part of our broader vision to turn aging wharfs in the Port of Los Angeles into a vibrant, cutting-edge center for ocean-based science research, STEM education and sustainable business creation,” said AltaSea Executive Director Jenny Krusoe in a written statement.

La Kretz said the new incubator will be helped by AltaSea’s 4,100 linear feet of pier access to deep water as well as access to the other partners.

The Southern California Marine Institute alone represents 23 Southern California oceanographic labs, aquaria and research universities.

AltaSea also is a major supporter of The Longest Swim, a planned 5,500-mile research swim across the Pacific Ocean by record-holder Ben Lecomte to highlight the problem of plastics pollution.

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