A New Joint Venture

October 16, 2023

Dear Campus Community,

I am cognizant that sending an update about a positive development—regardless of how good or important it might be for our university—will seem dissonant in the midst of a horrific human tragedy. So, please know that I am writing today not to celebrate, but to ensure you learn in a timely way about an announcement that has been a very long time in the making.

Today, at a 10am press conference, the campus will announce the formation of a joint venture to build a new 36-acre research and innovation hub at NASA Ames. Located at Moffett Field, in the heart of Silicon Valley, it will be called “Berkeley Space Center." This enterprise is the culmination of many years of extensive planning and negotiation.

This expansion of Berkeley’s physical footprint and academic reach represents an unprecedented opportunity for our students, faculty, and the public we serve. By combining our world-class research enterprise with NASA and the private sector, we will be able to speed the translation of discoveries across a wide range of disciplines into the inventions, technologies, and services that will advance the greater good. 

More information about the academic objectives and benefits of this project can be found here:


The joint venture is a partnership between the university and SKS Partnersa leading commercial real estate firm known for developing innovative, sustainable, and enduring properties in the Bay Area. The planned mixed-use development will accelerate and expand the Bay Area’s innovation ecosystem, catalyzing advancements across diverse sectors, including  aeronautics, quantum computing, climate studies, and the social sciences.

While we anticipate that the first buildings will not open for another four years, the campus is already expanding its collaboration with NASA at the site and on our campus. This includes new research grants, collaboration on research projects, research internships, joint symposia at Moffett Field and UC Berkeley, as well as classes that will be taught at UC Berkeley by NASA staff.

Financially, the university will receive a portion of the revenues the real estate development is projected to generate. We also anticipate additional financial benefits to be derived from the incubation and commercialization of emerging companies born from translational research and technology created at the site.

The priority for university revenues will be the funding of those expenditures needed to ensure Berkeley Space Center is self-sustaining, with remaining financial benefits flowing to the core campus, its departments and colleges, and faculty and students. 

There are additional benefits for the State of California: enhancing its innovation capabilities, strengthening its overall competitive posture, and creating new opportunities for its residents. We are honored that Governor Newsom asked to have this quote included in our press release: “California’s innovation and drive is not limited to Earth. Berkeley Space Center will help lead the state’s space tech development by bringing together top space leaders in academia, government, and industry to foster new technologies and breakthroughs.”

The announcement will take place at 10:00 am on October 16th, and we invite you to watch the livestream on ourYouTube channel

We also invite you to join an upcoming, online “Campus Conversation” that will delve into the details of what we plan and envision for the Berkeley Space Center at noon on Friday, Nov. 17th.

Thank you,

Ben Hermalin
Executive Vice Chancellor, Provost

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