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UC San Diego Catalyzes Formation of Regional Group to Promote Innovative Technologies

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UC San Diego is playing a key role in bringing together the region’s premier research institutions with other innovation-related organizations to form the San Diego Innovation Council, a new group designed to promote commercialization of local innovations, investment and new company formation in the region.

“The council provides a unique forum for academic researchers and others to regularly meet with investors and companies to bring their inventions to commercial development,” said Paul Roben, Associate Vice Chancellor for the Office of Innovation and Commercialization, a part of the Office of Research Affairs. “Those interactions should accelerate the flow of inventions to local companies and keep our regional economy strong.”

The council’s first partnering event, an annual Innovation Showcase, takes place on Oct. 26 at the Torrey Pines Hilton. It will bring representatives from 39 companies in San Diego and other parts of the United States together with scientists from eight major research institutions who have early-stage commercial concepts and are looking for investors and business partners.

“The council will help research institutions in San Diego work more closely with industry in the region to improve the pipeline of innovations from the laboratory to commercial development,” said Rubén Flores, director of commercialization for UC San Diego’s Office of Innovation and Commercialization, who was intimately involved in the formation of the San Diego Innovation Council.

Flores said the council grew from discussions last year with the commercialization directors at local research institutions and universities, but quickly grew to encompass other organizations that have a role in promoting innovation and commercialization activities in the San Diego region.

In addition to the council’s seven local research institutions—UC San Diego, San Diego State University, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, SpaWar and the J. Craig Venter Institute—member organizations include BIOCOM, CleanTeach San Diego, Tech Coast Angels, San Diego Venture Group, Port of San Diego and EvoNexus.

“The San Diego Innovation Council is greater than the sum of its parts and UC San Diego is proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with other similar organizations in the region,” said Flores. “By promoting academic innovations from San Diego’s research institutions, the council aims to elevate the profile of our region to the world to attract investors and entrepreneurs to help fully realize the social and economic growth derived from basic research.”

Next week’s Innovation Showcase will not only showcase discoveries at local research institutions, but those from scientists at UC Irvine and University of Arizona who wanted to participate. The researchers will discuss early-stage technologies arising from their inventions in four different areas: healthcare/diagnostics, software/electronics, materials/engineering and cleantech.