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Campuswide Innovation at UC San Diego Gets $2.2 Million Boost from Elected Officials, UC System

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Aerial View of UC San Diego toward west

Thanks to local and regional elected officials who helped assure passage of Assembly Bill 2664, the University of California San Diego has received $2.2 million from the UC system to help spur innovation and entrepreneurship on campus.

“Our UC schools are on the front lines of innovation and entrepreneurship, and I am grateful to my Assembly colleagues, particularly Assemblymember Irwin, for having the vision and willingness to invest in our universities,” said Assemblymember Todd Gloria. “As San Diegans, we know that innovation and entrepreneurship have driven UC San Diego since its inception, creating powerful economic growth in our region and across California. It is my hope that this funding will boost that creative spirit and help UC San Diego continue to transform ideas into solutions.”

UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla thanked the members of the Assembly for their support. “Our elected officials well understand the proven and impressive return on investment that California’s public research universities have always provided,” he said. “The citizens of California are the true beneficiaries of this forward-looking investment in scientific, medical and social innovation.”

The $22-million investment from the state is propelling new innovation and entrepreneurship efforts across the 10 UC campuses through investments in infrastructure, incubators and entrepreneurship education programs.

Sandra A. Brown, UC San Diego’s Vice Chancellor for Research, said the funding would help strengthen the institution’s role as a University of the Future. “We are reaching out in new ways to a diverse community of problem-solvers, not only on campus but across our region,” she said. “This recent investment helps give those creative people the resources they need to move good ideas to market.”

Each of the campuses received $2.2 million in one-time funding from Assembly Bill 2664, the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Expansion authored by Assembly member Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks, and signed last fall by Gov. Brown.

“The possibilities these funds bring have injected a great sense of excitement and energy within each UC campus,” said Christine Gulbranson, UC’s senior vice president for innovation and entrepreneurship. “The new infrastructure and programs to support student and faculty innovation and entrepreneurship made possible through Assemblywoman Irwin’s vision, the Legislature’s support, and the governor’s backing will pay educational and economic dividends to California for decades to come.”

Said Irwin, “The UC system is the gold standard for research and innovation. That’s why I’m proud to have authored AB 2664. The bill’s funding will help convert UC research into products that benefit society. It will lead to more startup businesses and local economic growth. Whether it’s an artificial kidney or water conservation tool, I look forward to seeing how each campus will tailor these grants to bolster its most promising research.”

Leveraging private sector partnerships, each campus is executing long-term plans suited to its strengths and the needs of local and regional communities. Various programs include:

  • Amplified outreach to underrepresented groups that include women, minorities and veterans.
  • Increased seed and proof-of-concept funding to bridge the gap between innovation-based research and market-driven products.
  • Expanded lab and incubator capacity.
  • Enhanced deployment of successful programs across campuses and among research labs
  • Accelerated startup launch and growth.
  • Increased networking, mentoring, internship and entrepreneurship education opportunities.

At UC San Diego, a diverse and energetic network of institutions, divisions, and offices encourage and support the creative and problem-solving efforts of faculty, staff, students and the San Diego community.

The university is an intellectual and economic powerhouse, not only in California but throughout the world. UC generates five inventions per day and more patents than any other university in the country. UC graduate students found a new startup every two weeks. UC-affiliated companies employ more than 38,000 workers across a wide range of industries, adding over $20 billion in value to the state economy.