The Port of Los Angeles’ (LA) marine research centre AltaSea has heralded the start of construction of the La Kretz Blue Economy Incubator, a facility forming a key part of its campus.

The beginning of construction of the facility, which seeks to track down and support marine businesses, was celebrated at an event in December whose attendees included mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti, executives from the Port of LA and other community leaders and supporters.

“Sustainable business incubation is crucial to our vision for creating the ocean-focused research, education and jobs that we need to evolve the Port of LA and neighbouring communities for the economy of the future,” said Jenny Krusoe, executive director of Altasea.

“Today we celebrate the start of work on the La Kretz Blue Economy Incubator, which will find and nurture those sustainable, ocean-focused businesses.”

The incubator will form part of the 35-acre ocean innovation campus that AltaSea is creating at the Port of LA, which will bring people together to increase science-based ocean understanding, to incubate and sustain ocean-related business and to pioneer new ocean-related educational programmes.

“This new campus will be a place where scientists, educators, policy makers, and entrepreneurs can work together to accelerate marine research that will set an example for the world to follow,” Mayor Garcetti said.

Morton La Kretz, entrepreneur and philanthropist, is substantially funding the incubator, having previously lent support to the La Kretz Innovation Campus in downtown LA.

The campus’ LA Cleantech Incubator is another partner in running the Blue Economy Incubator.

“The La Kretz Blue Economy Incubator will find and support entrepreneurs developing aquaculture, undersea mapping and other businesses vital to understanding the largely-unexplored frontier at our doorstep,” Mr La Kretz said.

Partners of AltaSea include the Boys & Girls Clubs of LA Harbor, the Ocean Exploration Trust, Braid Theory, the Southern California Marine Institute, the City of LA and the Port of LA. 

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