University of California, Riverside


Sister Cities Award

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Solar Initiative Recognized as Diplomacy with Real Impact


scrise interviewSC-RISE has been recognized as a leading example of international collaboration for sustainable energy by Sister Cities International.

The Southern California Research Initiative for Solar Energy is a collaboration of industry, academia and other interested parties to drive the adoption of solar energy throughout Southern California.

The Sister Cities Awards recognize outstanding achievements in citizen diplomacy which demonstrate real impact in their own city and around the world. The award will be presented at SCI’s 54th Annual Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico on July 31.

Photo: SC-RISE Managing Director Alfredo A. Martinez-Moralez (center left) and Research Faculty member Sadrul Ula (center right) are interviewed at Riverside Plaza June 19 as part of Riverside Public Utilities' Solar Day.

The 2010 Innovation Award for Sustainable Energy Development was announced for the City of Riverside’s Sister Cities Program which led to the establishment of SC-RISE. At a 2007 meeting between Riverside and its Japanese Sister City of Sendai, Riverside Mayor Ronald O. Loveridge also included the two cities’ major research universities – UC Riverside and Tohoku University.

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."

SC-RISE, launched in 2009 with major support from the City of Riverside, was the answer to that challenge.

"This sister city relationship has evoked momentum for critical goals in sustainability that were long overdue,” said Matthew Barth, faculty director of both SC-RISE and the College of Engineering-Center for Environmental Research and Technology. “I can't imagine a more productive town-gown relationship in one hemisphere, let alone two."

SC-RISE, and the concept behind it, has become an important element in Riverside’s (and its International Relations Council which administers the Sister City program for the city) strategy for developing new Sister City relationships, according to the IRC’s entry for the Innovation Award. For instance the city and UCR are already exploring additional sustainable energy partnerships in Europe and in Asia.

“This would indicate that Riverside may have captured an important way of leveraging and optimizing Sister City relationships in a world already without borders,” the award document concluded.

For more information about SCI, visit

For more information about Riverside’s International Relations Council, visit


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University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Southern California Research Initiative for Solar Energy
1084 Columbia Ave.
Riverside, CA 92507

Tel: (951) 781-5652
Fax: (951) 781-5790