The University of California will showcase innovative research that has led to groundbreaking inventions and start-up companies over the past year when it stages its annual Technology Commercialization Forum on Thursday, May 8.

UC President Janet Napolitano will give welcoming remarks, followed by keynote speaker Corey Goodman, chair of the California Council on Science and Technology, an adjunct professor at UC San Francisco, and co-founder of several companies.

“The University of California plays a critical role in the state’s economic growth, and steering UC’s cutting-edge discoveries through our labs and into the world economy is central to our mission as a public university,” Napolitano said. “We are committed to supporting our faculty and students with a strong, nimble infrastructure that will help them pursue patents and develop start-up companies, and we will continue to develop partnerships with industry and investors.”

The day-long event is open to news media and will include discussion panels with business experts on developing new products and building companies. The forum will showcase the emerging work of UC researchers, focusing on 20 inventions in their pre-startup phase and their potential for commercial application.

Featured speakers will include:

  • Michelle Brown, vice president and chief scientist at Olfactor Laboratories, a UC start-up. Brown leads the development of products that affect mosquitoes’ ability to find humans.
  • Ashok Gadgil of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, whose work has focused on low-cost arsenic removal from groundwater.
  • Stephen Jenks, chief scientist and co-founder at Hiperwall. Jenks founded the company, a UC Irvine start-up, which has commercialized video wall display technology.
  • Shuvo Roy, a UC San Francisco professor who will discuss a high-efficiency silicon dialyzer for the home treatment of kidney failure.
  • Xavier Soler, a UC San Diego researcher who will talk about an oxygen conserver for the treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
  • Frederic Theunissen, a UC Berkeley professor who has researched noise reduction for hearing aids.
  • Bassam Younis, a UC Davis professor who will discuss his work with water disinfection using UV light.

University of California researchers reported more than 1,700 new inventions and launched 71 new start-up companies based on UC inventions in 2013 alone, with $106 million in royalty and fee income brought in to the university that same year. UC has more than 1,800 U.S. patents based on university inventions, and 719 start-ups have been founded on UC patents since 1976.

Among past UC inventions are a pilot system developed by a UCLA professor and his student that cleans “gray water” from showers, sinks and washing machines so that it may be reused to irrigate trees and gardens; new varieties of cowpeas, a protein-rich legume vital to the diet and economy of millions in drought-prone regions of Africa, developed by UC Riverside researchers; the white LED and blue laser diodes used in Blu-ray discs and HD DVD’s, developed by a UC Santa Barbara researcher who later founded a company in Fremont, Calif.; and a mechanical exoskeleton, used by people with various levels of paralysis, developed by a UC Berkeley researcher and his team.


What: University of California Technology Commercialization Forum: Opportunities for Transfer and Translation
When: 8:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. May 8. Registration and breakfast begin at 8 a.m., and a networking reception will follow the forum from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Where: The Westin San Francisco Airport, 1 Old Bayshore Highway, Millbrae, Calif.