The financial support comes from a $22 million investment in the University of California from Assembly Bill 2664, the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Expansion. It has been divided equally among the UC’s 10 campuses.
“This funding will truly accelerate UCLA’s fulfilling of one of its key missions: the translation of fundamental research to benefit society,” said Ann Karagozian, UCLA’s interim vice chancellor for research. “These funds will have a powerful impact on optimizing discoveries and inventions developed through our world-class UCLA research.”
Specifically, UCLA will direct much of its share toward helping turn grant-funded research into market-ready technology by demonstrating that ideas work as proofs of concept.
“Our group will use these funds to remove risk from and create value for early-stage projects,” said Amir Naiberg, associate vice chancellor and CEO and president of the UCLA Technology Development Group, formerly the UCLA Office of Intellectual Property and Industry-Sponsored Research. “This will allow us to have an even more meaningful impact in our ecosystem and bring more UCLA innovation to the marketplace”.
Funds will also be used for the Technology Development Group’s entrepreneurs-in-residence program, as well as educational and outreach programs, staffing and startup services, said Thomas Lipkin, head of new ventures in TDG.
UCLA has received more than $1 billion per year in research funding from outside sources in five of the past seven years and is among the nation’s leading universities in the field of technology transfer. In the last fiscal year alone, the Technology Development Group has helped UCLA researchers launch 21 startup companies, disclose 412 inventions and license 114 inventions to companies.
More than 150 startup companies have been created in the past seven years as a result of groundbreaking UCLA discoveries and innovations. These companies not only provide products that benefit the public, they also create jobs and contribute to the local economy. A 2013 economic impact study produced by UCLA found that UCLA startups created more than 4,400 jobs, $295 million in employee compensation and $108 million in federal, state and local tax revenue annually, and contribute a total of $1.1 billion to the economy each year.