Sonora, CA — A Grand Opening Celebration was held for the new Innovation Lab, a space for makers and tinkerers to collaborate and invent. The location, the third floor of the former Tuolumne General Hospital facility, was packed for the ribbon cutting. Several dignitaries were on hand for the 12:15pm ribbon cutting, including Tuolumne County Supervisors and Sonora City Council members. Speakers included Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority Director Larry Cope, Board of Supervisors Chair Evan Royce, EDA Board Chair John Gray and Mother Lode Internet owner Ben Hulet.
The UC Merced Blum Center will be utilizing space at the facility which will be rented out to individuals who want to use the equipment and space for personal, or class projects. Interim Director, Stergios Roussos says, “It is an amazing opportunity both for the region and also for our university in terms of what we can do to create jobs and create wealth for the region. In terms of the university we want to make sure our students and faculty are here in person and also virtually working with businesses, industry, and non profits to solve problems that can create new jobs.”
Economic Development Authority Director Larry Cope noted that this is the type of thing you may see in Silicon Valley, or Los Angeles, but never before in a rural area.
The Innovation Lab is will be a central location for makers in the community, looking to design a product and take it to market.
The Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority’s Innovation Lab is a project supported by the Sonora Area Foundation, Kinematic Automation and Mother Lode Internet.
The Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority is a joint effort between the City of Sonora and Tuolumne County.