The POC initiative, launched by the UC Office of the President, will help some of the most promising new technologies developed at UC find a commercial market. Thirteen UC research projects were named this week as winners of one-year POC grants, totaling $2.7 million. They span a variety of fields, including medicine and medical devices, biotechnology, agriculture and the environment, communications and electronics.
The initiative aims to bridge the gap from research to commercialization in what is sometimes called in academia and industry as "the valley of death." It is the absence of an industry sponsor and the lack of funding to build a prototype of a technology that then could be used to solicit investment for a new company or license a new product.
"UC faculty and researchers are leaders in invention, and it's central to the mission of our public university system to help ensure their innovations make a difference to society and the economy," said Steven Beckwith, UC vice president for research and graduate studies. "Helping bridge the gap from the lab to real life is a critical investment we can make not only on behalf of our leading innovators and UC, but for the benefit of California."
The following are the 13 POC grant winners and titles of their research projects.
Dimitry Budker, "Next Generation of Ultra-precise Magnetic Sensors"
James Evans, "Completely Printable Batteries for Energy Storage"
Peter Belafsky, "Swallow Expansion Device: Phase I Clinical Trial"
Jeffrey Stott, "Epizootic Bovine Abortion Experimental Vaccine"
Daniele Piomelli, "A Novel Treatment for Chronic Pain"
Bruce Tromberg, "A Handheld Tomographic Laser Breast Scanner (t-LBS)"
Chi On Chui, "In Vitro Diagnostic Sensors for Cardiovascular Disease"
Yoram Cohen, "Continuous Process for High Recovery Inland Desalination"
Lei He, "Soft Error Mitigation for FPGA Based Systems"
Devin Binder, "Early Optical Detection of Cerebral Edema"
UC San Diego
Nikola Alic, "Severely Bandwith Constrained Efficient Communication"
UC Santa Barbara
Walter Kohn, "Macular Degeneration Diagnosis and Correction Devices"
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Gao Liu, "Conductive Polymer Binder and Silicon Composite Electrode"
The above winners were selected from 126 applicants, and each proposal underwent a rigorous evaluation by scientific peers and private investors. Each was judged to be highly innovative, commercially exciting and likely to benefit Californians.
The POC grants program is only one of several UC efforts in recent years to speed discoveries from the lab to the market.
UC has more than 3,802 active patents (as of 2010), and for 18 straight years, UC has topped all other universities in producing patents. In 2010 alone, UC research produced 1,565 inventions - an average of more than four a day. Last year, UC discoveries spawned 75 new startup companies. Since 1976, UC research has led to more than 500 startup companies.
About the University of California
Founded in 1868, the University of California opened in 1869 with 10 faculty members and 38 students. Today, UC has 10 campuses: Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz. Also, UC has five medical centers, 16 health professional schools, six business schools and five law schools, plus professional and enrichment courses and agricultural and natural resources programs that extend learning throughout California. Additionally, UC manages Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and is a partner in limited liability corporations that manage Livermore and Los Alamos national laboratories. The UC system includes nearly 235,000 students, more than 190,000 employees, 55,000 retirees and 1.6 million living alumni. www.universityofcalifornia.edu/