From Mercury News | June 10, 2021

East Bay’s Tri-Valley region hopes to be long term home for advanced technology companies

PLEASANTON — The Tri-Valley is poised to become a long-term hub for an array of innovative and advanced technology companies — but the East Bay region’s leaders have plenty of work ahead to realize this dream.

The work that’s needed is embodied in what’s being called “Tri-Valley Vision 2040,” a wide-ranging proposal that aims to dramatically transform the current East Bay bedroom community whose principal cities are Livermore, Pleasanton, San Ramon, Dublin, and Danville.

Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group is leading the charge to create an advanced technology-oriented economy that can be sustainable for decades to come, according to the group’s chief executive officer Lynn Naylor.

“The 2040 plan sets a strategic direction for the future that positions the Tri-Valley as a center for innovation,” Naylor said in an interview. “We are excited to create an innovation ecosystem here.”

The innovation catalysts fall into a diverse group, Naylor said.

“Life sciences, advanced manufacturing, software are all here,” Naylor said. “The region is really thriving.”

The area is bolstered by huge commerce hubs such as Bishop Ranch Business Park in San Ramon and Hacienda Business Park in Pleasanton, as well as legendary magnets for innovation such as the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Sandia National Laboratories, both based in Livermore.

The challenges for the region are clear-cut yet the solutions could be complex.“You have to have an economic playbook that includes how you are going to do a better job to attract businesses, create better infrastructure, and improve education,” Naylor said. “We also have to address housing and ways to create more walkable communities.”

The Tri-Valley 2040 plan has five key goals:

  • Innovation involving businesses, transportation, new homes, and education.
  • Affordable housing and inclusive and equitable transportation, education and health care systems.
  • Private and public sector collaboration.
  • A mix of suburban living and vibrant downtown districts.
  • A sustainable and resilient economy.

“In the past, the Tri-Valley was known for its wineries, parks and trails,” said Rich Rankin, director of the innovation and partnership office at the Livermore Laboratory. “Today the Tri-Valley has emerged as a region known for ground-breaking scientific discoveries, startups and a thriving innovation economy.”

The economic devastation unleashed by the coronavirus outbreak might also serve to create new catalysts for innovation in the Tri-Valley.

“The region is emerging from the pandemic with new insights and fresh ideas that will drive solutions in clean energy, education, equity and inclusion, and integration of work and life,” said Stephanie Beasly of the Sandia National Lab in Livermore.

The operations of numerous tech companies, some of them true titans, dot the Tri-Valley landscape. Some are household names and others bear more obscure titles. “We looked at the entire Bay Area to determine where to have our headquarters and selected Pleasanton due to its pristine location and affordability for families,” said Ben Hindson, co-founder and chief science officer at 10x Genomics.

10x Genomics has purchased a site for a big new campus near its headquarters next to Stoneridge Shopping Center.

“The area gives us the ability to recruit top talent with its proximity to San Francisco and Silicon Valley,” Hindson said.

The main objectives of the 2040 Vision plan are to create a starting point for discussion as well as goals to accomplish over a period of nearly two decades.

“The plan is really a glimpse over the horizon to give us real insight on what radical change could look like in the Tri-Valley,” Naylor said.

“The Tri-Valley region has become a geographically strategic location for businesses to relocate and grow,” said Mark Triska, an executive vice president with Colliers, a commercial real estate firm.

Google and Lam Research operate Livermore facilities. Workday and 10x Genomics have established their headquarters and are expanding in Pleasanton. Snowflake and Callidus Cloud are located in Dublin. GE Digital and SAP have big operations in San Ramon.

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