East Bay Innovation Center
Photo of scientists at East Bay Innovation Center by Julio Cesar Martinez

East Bay Innovation Cluster

The East Bay Innovation Cluster (EBiC) brings together a coalition of experts in transportation, life sciences, technology and education to develop four complementary projects that strategically position the East Bay as an innovation hub in Life Sciences, Technology, Mobility/Smart City Infrastructure and Artificial Intelligence. All of the proposed projects will strategically leverage BART’s infrastructure and developable land, as well as support BART’s core mission as the region’s premiere public transit agency.

The EBiC will provide economic opportunities for a historically under-invested and overlooked community in Northern California. The EBiC’s vision is to create workforce development programs in Life Sciences, Technology and Smart City Technologies and attract and upskill the latent talent of under-represented social and racial groups (e.g., foster youth, high school drop-outs, previously incarcerated, immigrants, single parents, older residents).

Acumen Building Enterprise, Inc. (Acumen) strongly supports the East Bay Innovation Cluster coalition to create a knowledge-based economy grounded in life sciences, technology and smart city mobility innovation and discovery in the San Francisco East Bay. While the East Bay is home to 3 million people and spans across two counties, it faces long-standing challenges in educational attainment, racial income disparities and middle-wage job opportunities and, by extension, access to stable, high-quality jobs. According to the East Bay Community Foundation, the Bay Area is ranked third nationally in economic inequality. One in two households in the East Bay struggle financially and are considered to be house burdened (i.e., they pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing), and one in four contribute more than 50 percent of their take-home pay to pay for housing expenses. Compounding this already difficult situation, the COVID pandemic has had a severe impact on East Bay businesses and industries with a total loss of 112,000 jobs (~9 percent of total jobs).

Acumen has participated in early brainstorming sessions and has committed to interface with Oakland Unified School District and the Peralta Community College District to create job opportunities and mentoring and coaching programs.

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