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Solar Energy Center Gets Award

UCR Solar Energy Center to be Recognized by Sister City Group

The city of Riverside will receive a sustainable energy award for helping establish the Southern California Research Initiative for Solar Energy

(June 23, 2010)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( -- The Southern California Research Initiative for Solar Energy (SC-RISE) at UC Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering has been recognized as a leading example of international collaboration for sustainable energy by Sister Cities International.

The city of Riverside will receive an award next month from Sister Cities International for helping to launch SC-RISE, a collaboration of industry, academia and other interested parties to advance the science and application of solar energy throughout Southern California.

The city will receive the "Innovation: Sustainable Development-Energy" award in the category for cities with a population of 100,001-500,000 on July 31 during Sister Cities International's 54th Annual Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The award will be given to the International Relations Council of Riverside, the nonprofit organization that administers Riverside's sister city program.

"We are pleased to recognize the International Relations Council of Riverside, Inc. for its outstanding achievements in citizen diplomacy in 2009," said Patrick Madden, president and CEO of Sister Cities International. "Our awardee programs demonstrate real impact in their own city and around the world."

SC-RISE, which is housed at UCR's College of Engineering-Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT), is the result of a four-party agreement signed in 2007 by Reza Abbaschian, dean of UCR's Bourns College of Engineering, Ron Loveridge, mayor of Riverside, and representatives from the city of Sendai, Japan and Sendai's Tohoku University.

That agreement was signed during a celebration of the 50th anniversary sister city relationship between Riverside and Sendai. During the celebration, officials decided the next 50 years of this relationship, and Riverside's relationships with six other sister cities, would focus on strong and collaborative university-to-university relationships.

“We are very pleased to be among the forward-thinking cities and organizations receiving this award,” Abbaschian said. “We owe a debt of gratitude to Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge, who challenged and inspired us to create a plan for the next 50 years of sister city relations. Our collaboration is bearing fruit in ways that will improve the lives of the people of Riverside and Sendai, and it demonstrates that our vision to create SC-RISE was timely and judicious.”

Loveridge, a longtime UCR professor, said he takes pride that Sister Cities International selected Riverside to receive the award.

"We are a city of arts and innovation. By making cutting-edge solar science and technology possible on an international scale, SC-RISE is good for UCR and CE-CERT, it is good for Riverside, and it is good for energy and the environment. SC-RISE is exactly what I challenged UCR, Tohoku University, Sendai and Riverside to make happen when we signed the four-party agreement in Sendai in 2007."

Matthew Barth, faculty director of SC-RISE and CE-CERT, said the sister city relationship has provided momentum for long overdue sustainability goals.

"I can't imagine a more productive city/university relationship in one hemisphere, let alone two," Barth said.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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