We facilitate the development and commercialization of ideas emanating from UCR and the community for the benefit of society.
Reporting to the Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development, the Office of technology partnerships encompasses Technology Commercialization, Corporate & Strategic Partnerships, and Innovation & Entrepreneurship. The mission of the Office is to catalyze the translation of University research and discoveries to the private sector and to provide opportunities for the faculty, students and community at large to explore entrepreneurial endeavors. The structure of the Office as one integrated unit, allows it to be highly effective in interacting with the private sector and the internal stakeholders as they aim at seeking collaborations with the private sector.
Our vision is to establish UC Riverside as the partner of choice connecting the university, industry and the community. To accomplish this we have built the framework to support the growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at UC Riverside and have worked to integrate the operation of our corporate and strategic partners and technology commercialization teams.
2016-2017 Initiatives and Annual Report
With the support from internal funds and grants from the Economic Development Administration and State Funds through the AB 2664 allocation, we have launched a regional Entrepreneurial Proof of Concept Center (EPIC), partnered with the UCR Library to launch a maker space for our students (Creat’R Lab) and supported the launch of the Center for Molecular and Translational Medicine (MolMed). One million dollars have been allocated to support a wet lab incubator at the MRB1 building and $600,000 have been secured from federal and state funds to support our citrus research capabilities.
To support our entrepreneurship activities, we launched the Startups for Innovators Workshops and have already recruited 11 Entrepreneurs in Residence and mentors for our classes. Our Economic Development mission is reflected through our support of the region in the form of entrepreneurship workshops for the community, the revamping of the ExCITE incubator in partnership with the city and the county and the launch of the first regional early stage venture capital fund in Riverside County. The Highlander Venture Fund will provide early stage financing to qualified startups affiliated with UC Riverside and the region. The enthusiasm and participation of UC Riverside and the community are reflected in the active participation in these programs. Over 46 teams have been trained through our workshops, 100 opportunities are being reviewed by our EPIC program and 12 startups have been recruited at ExCITE.
In the upcoming year, our efforts will be devoted to strengthening these nascent organizations, increase our communication and transparency with our stakeholders and achieve sustainability of these programs. Faculty, students and staff now have access to the resources needed to receive individualized support to accomplish their goals, whether it be to protect their discoveries, partner with a company to support advancement of their research, or start their own company.
2017-2018 Initiatives and Annual Report
Our focus was on growing and strengthening our network of collaborators and supporters within UCR and in the region. Our team has been actively working to increase engagement of OTP’s services and resources across campus and in the community. To increase transparency and communication with faculty, we are in the process of implementing an online platform that will provide real-time information on patent and agreement statuses as well as the ability to submit online disclosures.
Building from the key pillars identified in the UCR attraction plan, we identified areas of research excellence that give UCR unique advantages and have been reaching out to potential sponsors, partners and funders who would be interested in working with the university. This led to the establishment of important initiatives with corporate partners that will focus on pursuing the development and commercialization of UCR’s intellectual property. Some successes that we will be highlighting in this report are the initiation of AVIP and the signing of two multi-million dollar agreements for battery technology developed at UCR.
Leveraging the entrepreneurial infrastructure we built over the past 2 years, we focused on the creationand funding of entrepreneurial support programs to expand the number of resources that UCR and community innovators have access to as they grow their companies by becoming an NSF I-Corps Site and an SBDC. Through our programs, we delivered over 20 workshops, coached over 150 entrepreneurs, and supported over 130 companies in the pipeline. We have been fortunate to recruit over 14 industry experts who have joined our EPIC program as Entrepreneurs in Residence to help support our innovators’ journey from having idea all the way to the launch of a company.We continue to support the region’s growth in the innovation ecosystem through our activities with the Riverside County Innovation Month, IE Startup Week and active participation in the IE-GO, Workforce Development Board and the Inland Empire Latina Women Association.
In 2018-2019, our goals are to continue diversifying sources of funding, increase outreach and engagement with faculty and students, alumni and community members, implement tools that allow for better communication with our faculty and stakeholders, and strengthen areas of collaboration with our corporate partners.
2018-2019 Initiatives and Annual Report
Over the past three years, our office has been actively engaged in building the infrastructure needed to support UCR and community innovators accelerate the translation of their ideas into products and services for the benefit of society.
Through its strong partnership with local and regional organizations that has led to securing over $17 million in funding, OTP has taught 15 Innovat’R workshops to 127 teams, delivered almost $1 million in proof of concept funds to over 30 faculty projects and mentored over 200 projects and companies through its EPIC SBDC and SBIR/STTR resource centers. We are fortunate to have engaged 15 expert Entrepreneurs-in-Residence and instructors who provide specialized commercialization assistance to our region’s entrepreneurs.
We are also taking a proactive role in building bridges with our corporate partners both local, nationally and internationally. This past year we welcomed 18 industry partners on campus and signed a 5-year strategic agreement with our long time licensee Eurosemillas. This includes securing worldwide industry partners to help us commercialize the avocado and rootstock varieties from our renown breeding program. The expanded partnership will focus on increasing research and development collaboration, and accelerate transfer of UCR Intellectual Property.
We are very excited about our partnership with the Western Growers Association to explore areas to bring advanced technology to support our California farmers. Our partnership with Clean Tech San Diego and the University of San Diego will help clean energy entrepreneurs have access to specialized mentorship from these organizations through the recently expanded Southern California Regional Energy Innovation Network (SCEIN) program.
Lastly, we are also proud of our international partnerships. Our strategic collaboration with Know Hub Chile and the Organization of American States will not only help UCR expand its presence in Latin America but also build bridges between universities and research institutions, bringing technology into the marketplace through capacity building, mentoring, technology assistance and training programs.