With a turn of a pump powered by sunlight, the new Water and Energy Technology building officially opened its doors today in a ceremony at California State University, Fresno.

The key component of the new facility is the Claude Laval Water and Energy Technology (WET) Incubator, named for the Fresno water technology industry leader. It is expected to be at the international forefront of developing water, energy and other environmental technologies.

The WET Incubator is a joint partnership between Fresno State’s International Center for Water Technology (ICWT) and Central Valley Business Incubator (CVBI).

The WET Incubator is a specialty business incubator that combines the entrepreneurial leadership and training experience of CVBI with the research and testing expertise of Fresno State’s ICWT. It will be home to five early-stage businesses specializing in water or energy technology.

In addition, the university building itself is a model of environmental technology. Its solar panels will generate 50 kilowatts of power, more than enough for its own needs. Excess power will be returned to the university’s grid for use campuswide.

The opening of the new building comes just days before the inaugural International Water Technology Conference 2007 and Ozone V, a technical conference focusing on current and advanced technologies intended to address world water issues. More than 350 participants, 50 exhibitors, and attendees from eight countries will be at Fresno State for the sessions Sunday through Wednesday.

The first five businesses selected for the WET Incubator are PureSense Environmental, Inc., WorldWater & Power Corp., Full Circle Energy, Inc., Golden-State Enviro-Pure Water and OXYPRO. The businesses will be part of the incubator for six to 24 months, with new companies rotating in as they exit.

CVBI will operate the WET Incubator, along with its other efforts to foster economic development through entrepreneurship. In addition to supporting the five on-site members at the WET Incubator, CVBI provides business development training and houses five on-site members at its mixed-use facility recently relocated to Cedar and Shaw Avenues.

The ICWT will provide the technical review and evaluation of emerging water and clean energy technologies for the incubator. This will include technology development assistance, research, development, industry testing, certification, education and training.

In addition to serving the needs of the region’s growing water technology industry, the WET Incubator will provide Fresno State students studying water hydraulics the opportunity to learn about solar power generated by photovoltaic panels, which are on the roof of the incubator to fully power its daily operation.

The WET Incubator has received overwhelming support from elected officials and dignitaries, many of whom attended or sent representatives to the grand opening. They heard speakers Dr. John Welty, president of California State University, Fresno; Dr. David Zoldoske, director of ICWT; and Craig Scharton, chief executive officer of CVBI outline the incubator’s partnership, purpose and future in the Central Valley.

About International Center for Water and Technology

The International Center for Water and Technology (ICWT) is a public-private partnership dedicated to the development and application of advanced technologies that enhance water use for urban, environmental and agricultural purposes. Fresno State, in collaboration with a growing consortium of members in the water technology industry, joined together to form the ICWT in 2001 with the goal of providing efficient first use and effective reuse of water supplies worldwide. The WET Incubator will enable ICWT to serve the region’s growing water technology industry with testing and certification, resulting in better products with increased water and energy efficiency.

About Central Valley Business Incubator

The Central Valley Business Incubator (CVBI) is an independent non-profit created to stimulate economic development through entrepreneurship by offering business development services and training. The goal of business incubation is to graduate successful, financially viable businesses capable of operating independently from the incubator. Since its inception more than 10 years ago, CVBI has supported 3,000 entrepreneurs, who have raised over $12.5 million in capital and created over 1,900 verifiable new jobs for our local community.