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Three ways for growing California's Economy: Research  |  Education  |  Leadership

Basic research at the Governor Gray Davis Institutes for Science and Innovation lays the foundation for future economic opportunities through new commercial products and technologies and markets.

Academic research is important to the economy. In major commercial sectors, including biomedical and information technologies, 19-31 percent of the new products and 11-20 percent of new processes introduced from 1986-1994 could not have been developed so quickly without the aid of recent academic research. (Research Policy, 1998, V26(N7-8): 773-776)

At the Governor Gray Davis Institutes for Science and Innovation, basic research activities create new knowledge and forge new frontiers in science and engineering. These discoveries open new commercial opportunities for existing California industries, strengthening their competitiveness in worldwide markets and stimulating the creation of entirely new markets.

These opportunities catalyze the development of new companies and attract new cycles of private investment in California’s promising, young entrepreneurial firms. Companies will undertake needed subsequent R&D in their own laboratories to transform the new knowledge into viable commercial products and technologies.

By encouraging company scientists and engineers to participate in and support institute research programs, an accelerated path will be created for transferring knowledge and putting it to work in the private sector to produce tangible public benefits.

UC policies enable a full spectrum of California businesses to access intellectual property rights to institute research discoveries. Intellectual property provides market protection for participating companies and leverages their R&D investment. R&D investments provide society with a rate of return that economists have shown averages roughly 50 percent.

Multidisciplinary education at the Governor Gray Davis Institutes for Science and Innovation produces California’s future leaders and workforce in the high-tech and bioscience fields.

California gained more than 210,000 new jobs in high-tech and biotechnology between 1993 and 1998 (Based on data from American Electronics Association Ernst and Young Biotechnology Industry Annual Report), more than making up the 200,000 jobs lost to defense cuts, banking consolidation and reduced mining activities. These areas accounted for 77 percent of the state’s job losses in that period, according to the state Department of Employment Development. Total employment in the high-tech and biotech sectors is more than 885,000, and average incomes exceed $60,000. Most of these new jobs were created by small companies, many of which did not even exist 10 years earlier.

Through their multidisciplinary educational activities, institute faculty and participating industry scientists create entirely new curricula and research opportunities for students.

Students are educated in broadly multidisciplinary courses that prepare them for working in California’s rapidly evolving high-tech and bioscience industries. They also participate in basic research projects that explore critical problems in science and engineering as well as through internships created by participating companies.

Instructors include scientists and engineers drawn from California industry, who provide perspective on critical technology challenges and how companies undertake R&D to create new products and enter new markets.

The institutes strengthen scientific leadership for California’s knowledge-driven economy.

UC has been a substantial contributor to California’s high-tech and biotech economy. For example, 1 in 4 California biotech firms were founded by UC scientists, including three of the world’s top five (Amgen, Genentech and Chiron). At the same time, UC graduates hold executive positions at least 1 in 3 California venture-backed high-tech firms.

The Governor Gray Davis Institutes for Science and Innovation are playing a key role in the next wave of technological innovations and economic growth. Its faculty consult with California’s entrepreneurial businesses and extend their scientific and engineering expertise to young, entrepreneurial companies, for example, through service on scientific advisory boards. Access to UC’s scientific leadership strengthens the firms’ R&D plans and helps them attracts investors.

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