Turning research ideas into new products and services is integral to the University of California’s mission to help keep the state competitive in the global high-tech economy. At the Samueli School of Engineering, we support our researchers with strategies for commercialization that help them bridge the gap from the lab to the marketplace.
In collaboration with UCI’s Office of Technology Alliances, engineering school researchers can transfer technology to market in several ways. OTA manages the patent application process, arranges for licensing or options to license the technology, markets the intellectual property and helps the inventors obtain funding. For more information, www.ota.uci.edu
The strategy is working. From 2012-14, the Samueli school had 93 invention disclosures, 55 patents and 17 licenses issued, an impressive record for a program of our size.
We’re also launching an Innovation Initiative that will further advance our quest to fast-track research products into the commercial market. This initiative includes establishing a school-wide “innovation caucus” to help researchers better understand the pathways to commercialization. We are establishing a support network of non-governmental organizations, venture capital companies and private corporations to assist faculty with generating ideas, IP placement and research development. Lastly, we are expanding our existing infrastructure to help faculty take their ideas from concept to product, and help industry find a one-stop shop for small-scale manufacturing needs.
The school’s RapidTech advanced manufacturing facility is undergoing renovation, and a new FabWorks maker space has opened; both are available by recharge to the campus and corporate communities. RapidTech and FabWorks offer training; equipment, including 3D printing, electronic fabrication and laser scanning, as well other tools; and assistance for those looking to prototype their ideas.
Research is most valuable when it translates into products and services that enrich and improve our society, and the Samueli School is committed to helping more inventions reach the marketplace where they can benefit California and the nation.