Space agency's partnership with colleges calls for 75-acre research and development park.
NASA will host a center for education and R&D at its Ames Research Center in California.
University of California at Santa Cruz and Foothill-De Anza Community College District said Friday that they will partner to form University Associates -- Silicon Valley LLC to lease 75 acres of land for a collaborative research center at Ames.
"Today's announcement marks the launch of an exciting new collaboration that brings together some of the world's leading educators and scientists to create a world-class community for future research and development," Pete Worden, director of NASA Ames Research Center, said in a statement.
UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal said the groups will create a prototype for an environmentally sustainable community and boost the region's economy, while collaborating through education and research.
"Our vision is to seed innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainability through the creative reuse of an important public asset for regional benefit," he said. "We aim to establish world-class programs and facilities dedicated to preparing the workforce of the future and to conducting research at the forefront of science and technology."
Martha Kanter, chancellor of Foothill-De Anza, said the move would help prepare students for Silicon Valley's clean-tech green-tech workforce or allow them to study science, technology, engineering, and emerging career fields.
Carnegie Mellon University, Santa Clara University, and San Jose State University have been involved in the planning and may join the partnership. The research park will include research and teaching laboratories, shared classrooms, housing, and accommodations for industrial partners.
The community will use renewable energy and resource-conservation systems to minimize its carbon footprint.
University Associates will choose a "master developer" to attract investors for the project, which is expected to cost more than $1 billion.
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