University of California, Berkeley
Berkelely Space Center 6531ae7d126d6

UC Berkeley and NASA plan space research center in Silicon Valley

Oct. 19, 2023
Plans call for the Berkeley Space Center to accommodate up to 1.4 million square feet of research space on 36 acres in Mountain View, California.

The University of California, Berkeley, and NASA's Ames Research Center have announced plans to create research space for companies interested in generating futuristic innovations in aviation and space exploration.

The university says in a news release that the Berkeley Space Center aims to accommodate up to 1.4 million square feet of research space on 36 acres of land at NASA Ames' Moffett Field in Mountain View, California.

The new buildings, some of which could be ready for move-in as early as 2027, will house not only research and development laboratories for companies and university researchers, but also classrooms for students. These students will benefit from immersion in the Silicon Valley start-up culture and proximity to the nation's top aeronautical, space and artificial intelligence scientists and engineers at Ames.

Ever since Naval Air Station Moffett Field was decommissioned in 1994 and NASA Ames acquired an additional 1,200 acres, the space agency has been focused on developing a world-class research hub and start-up accelerator. NASA Research Park now has some 25 companies on site, including Google's Bay View campus.

UC Berkeley hopes eventually to establish housing at Moffett Field to make working at the innovation center easier for students — without a 47-mile commute each way.

Carnegie Mellon University already occupies a teaching building at Moffett Field. With the addition of UC Berkeley and the proximity of Stanford University, officials expect the intensity of academic activities in the area, both instructional and research, to increase immensely.

SKS Partners, a San Francisco-based investor and developer of commercial real estate properties, will lead the venture. The planning team for the Berkeley Space Center will pursue LEED certification for its buildings — a mark of sustainability — by using solar power, blackwater and stormwater treatment and reuse, and emphasizing non-polluting transportation.

Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in 2026, subject to environmental approvals.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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