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
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
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
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.