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June 2, 2003

Awards and Honors

UC MBEST Center earns Collaborative Excellence Award

By Tim Stephens

Monterey County has presented a Collaborative Excellence Award to the UC Monterey Bay Education, Science, and Technology (MBEST) Center and the City of Marina for their partnership on an enterprise development initiative. The county's Overall Economic Development Commission presented the award at an economic development forum in Monterey last month.

The UC MBEST Center, a cornerstone of the Fort Ord redevelopment effort, has been working on economic development initiatives with the City of Marina, which manages a small business incubator located at the center.

The Marina Small Business Incubator and MBEST are working together to assist new businesses through the difficult "start-up" phase through joint programs such as the Monterey Bay V3 Entrepreneur Training Program. The incubator and V3 programs are designed to provide businesses with a suite of targeted forums, training, services, and related activities that will support start-up businesses towards achieving profitability.

"These programs function as a catalyst for growth, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and the opportunity to network with peers," said MBEST Center director Lora Lee Martin.

MBEST's entrepreneurship programs are also getting national and international recognition. In May, Martin was invited to speak at the Economic Development Administration's national conference in Washington, D.C. And this week she is traveling to Montreal, Canada, where she has been invited to speak at the Global Alliances conference organized by the International Economic Development Council.

The UC MBEST Center aims to foster regional economic development and job creation by establishing a community of high-technology businesses. There are currently 9 businesses based at the center, including companies working in the areas of environmental technology, biomedical and information technology, and education.

"The success of high-growth industries has a ripple effect on the community that supports them," Martin said.

The collaborative efforts of the City of Marina and the MBEST Center will encourage economic diversification and the attainment of a more sustainable economic base in Monterey County and the tri-county region, she said.
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