In an effort to speed commercialization of university-generated inventions in a moribund economy, UC Irvine is opening a new technology business incubator at the campus’s California Institute for Telecommunications & Information Technology (Calit2).
TechPortal will provide affordable space, support services, technical assistance, mentoring opportunities and networking prospects to new university-based businesses struggling to gain traction in the marketplace. Calit2 will showcase the incubator – the third in the University of California system – Thursday, May 20, during its semiannual “Igniting Technology” event.
Calit2 is one of four Gray Davis Institutes for Science & Innovation created by the former governor in 2000 to spur innovation and accelerate technology applications. TechPortal will help fulfill that mission, speeding the transfer of academic research and ideas into the marketplace and stimulating California’s economy.
“The financial contribution of the University of California to the state’s economy is enormous,” said UCI Chancellor Michael Drake. “Research is most valuable when it translates into products and services that enrich and improve our society. The new Calit2 incubator will help more UCI inventions reach the marketplace, where they can benefit California and the nation.”
Modeled after successful incubators at UC San Francisco and UCLA, TechPortal will serve as a gateway to commercial viability for UCI inventions and spinoff companies. It will house as many as eight businesses in its 1,460 square feet and offer wet and dry lab space, access to campus facilities, a variety of programs, one-on-one mentoring and interaction with university faculty.
Fledgling companies will be able to lease as little as 150 square feet of affordable space to help control costs.
The Paul Merage School of Business, the Don Beall Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, the Office of Technology Alliances, OCTANe, and the Orange County Business Incubation Network will offer classes, workshops, lectures, networking opportunities and personalized advice to guide entrepreneurs as they build connections, develop business plans and market their technology to investors.
Calit2 Irvine director G.P. Li called TechPortal “a commercialization corridor.”
“It has the infrastructure to support new enterprises and is the gateway to other shared resources on campus,” he said. “To have access to so many entrepreneurial resources in one place is going to maximize the chance of success for these businesses.”
Technology transfer is an integral component of the UC mission. University inventions have formed the foundation for 461 startup companies since 1976, including 47 in fiscal 2009. The UC has received more U.S. patents than any other university in the world. Even during last year’s economic downturn, it increased its portfolio of active inventions and UC-owned patents.
“This incubator will go a long way toward more successfully transforming promising research into marketable products,” said Susan V. Bryant, UCI vice chancellor for research. “It will keep the pipeline of useful innovations moving to the public.”
About Calit2: The California Institute for Telecommunications & Information Technology is a two-campus multidisciplinary research institute. In collaboration with its sister division at UC San Diego, Calit2 at UCI develops innovative projects that integrate university expertise with industry experience, resulting in IT-based tools that benefit society and ignite economic development. For more Calit2 news, visit www.calit2.uci.edu.
About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County’s largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $3.9 billion. For more UCI news, visit www.today.uci.edu.
News Radio:UCI maintains on campus an ISDN line for conducting interviews with its faculty and experts. Use of this line is available for a fee to radio news programs/stations that wish to interview UCI faculty and experts. Use of the ISDN line is subject to availability and approval by the university.