State invests $22 million in UC entrepreneurship, innovation to drive California economy

The University of California will broaden its infrastructure for innovation and entrepreneurship thanks to a $22 million state investment approved today (Sept. 30) by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Assembly Bill 2664, the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative authored by Assembly member Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks, and sponsored by UC, will allow the university to expand resources for developing real-world applications and cutting-edge technology from its well-established research pipeline. 

“We are grateful to the Legislature for such strong support of the university, ensuring that our researchers, faculty and students – and California as a whole – remain at the forefront of game-changing innovation,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “We are excited to harness the power of UC research and make an even bigger impact on the California economy and the public good.”

Each of UC’s 10 campuses will receive $2.2 million in one-time state funds to further innovation and entrepreneurship efforts by providing incubator space, equipment, entrepreneurial training, legal services and other basics. UC will raise matching funds to maximize return on the state’s investment and drive long-term benefits for local and state economies.

“The UC system has long been a source of innovative ideas and groundbreaking research, which often don’t find their way out of the classroom,” said Irwin. “This funding will help bridge the gap and bring research innovations to the marketplace.”

This may include aspiring young companies working to develop critical health products such as artificial kidneys, or revolutionary commercial innovations such as a form of synthetic silk that launches multimillion dollar companies. It’s going to be exciting to see what develops when we combine the best of the public and private sectors.”

The university is an intellectual and economic powerhouse, not only in California but throughout the world. UC generates more patents than any other university in the country, averaging five inventions a day. 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, generating more than $20 billion in economic activity for California.

“UC is second to none in terms of the scope and scale of our innovative and entrepreneurial potential. This investment by the Legislature, and the private sector leverage it spurs, will ensure successful outcomes for years to come,” said Christine Gulbranson, UC senior vice president for research innovation and entrepreneurship.