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UC San Diego and UCLA Led UC System in Commercializing Inventions

Erik Jepsen, UC San Diego

UC San Diego and UCLA led the University of California system during the 2017 fiscal year in the number of commercial startups based on campus inventions, according to a report released this week by the University of California’s Office of the President.

The University of California’s Technology Commercialization Report noted that innovations in the 10-campus UC system led to a “banner year” of 96 commercial startups for the 2017 fiscal year, which ended last June, or about eight new companies each month.

UC San Diego and UCLA each produced 20 new companies each, the UC President’s Office said, “sharing the first-place position for startup formation across the entire system.”   

Among the new companies started from licensed UC San Diego inventions during the past year are Neuralace Medical, which plans to deliver sustainable chronic pain relief to patients non-invasively, and Neurgain Technologies, which is developing technologies focused on the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases of the spinal cord including chronic spasticity and neuropathic pain.

In addition to the 20 startups from licensed technology cited in the UC report, UC San Diego had 23 other commercial startups created during the 2017 fiscal year, 21 of which were based on unlicensed inventions from students.

“The formation of new startups is a major contributor to the economic development and growth of the San Diego region, as well as improving our community and quality of life,” said Paul Roben, Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Commercialization at UC San Diego. “Startups create new jobs and attract money to the region via their financing activities and ultimately provide an important commercial product or service.”

Inventions at UC San Diego have led to the creation of more than 770 companies, generated more than 860 U.S. patents and 1,010 foreign patents, and produced more than 400 active commercial licenses.

These innovations have helped to create some 29,200 jobs and generated $32.4 billion in economic impact to the San Diego region, based on the estimated annual sales of active UC San Diego-related companies.


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