New climate science innovation center opens downtown

Asheville may be earning the new title of "climate city," with the launch of a new Climate Science Center. Photo credit WLOS Staffllider Grand Opening.JPG

ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- Asheville may be earning the new title of Climate City with the launch of a new climate science center.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx was the keynote speaker at the grand opening Friday morning.

Secretary Foxx said Asheville is the right place for this type of facility because of the many dedicated people in our area working to find solutions for the impacts of climate change.

"It's a place where you've got so many great people. So many very fired up people around climate change who want to see something good happen and to mitigate the impacts of climate change, and you're doing some great things with building your trail network out here, building a 21st century infrastructure," said Foxx. "This 'Super Collider' is just another piece of the puzzle for Asheville."

The hope is that this facility will bring about a storm of opportunity. "This is also a marker for our country," Foxx said.

Secretary Foxx addressed a crowd of more than a hundred people gathered for a sneak peek of the facility this morning.

Just down the street from The Collider is the National Center for Environmental Information, a division of what many know as NOAA.

Some say this new space answers President Obama's call for private investment in climate action. Representatives say it will impact future generations by driving innovation and creating jobs.

"We have so many great scientists who live in the area and can interpret data and climate information, and we can turn that into products and services that meet the global need," said Bill Dean, Collider CEO.

William Clark, a UNC Asheville, Atmospheric Science student said The Collider provides him "with the people who know the skills to teach me the skills, and then the data that's here always."

Scientists as well as inventors, entrepreneurs, businesses and even students can use this facility by becoming members. UNC Asheville's National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center (NEMAC) is one of the first to move into in The Collider.

In total, the space of the facility is half an acre, located the top floor of the Wells Fargo building downtown.

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