In a move to power the engines of innovation and entrepreneurship across the University of California, UC President Michael V. Drake, M.D., today (June 2) convened the President’s Entrepreneurship Network Council to support entrepreneurial activity across the University’s 10 campuses, from invention to commercialization.
“Sharing and applying UC-created knowledge across the globe is central to the University’s mission of teaching, research and public service. Some of California’s largest and most important industry sectors have emerged from discoveries made on UC campuses,” said President Drake. “This council will help us expand our entrepreneurship ecosystem to further support California’s economic growth and innovation efforts.”
The council will serve as advisers to President Drake and the UC Office of the President, UC chancellors, and UC campuses. Members will include UC innovation leaders as well as external advisers with deep experience in innovation programs and initiatives. UC Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs Katherine S. Newman will serve as the executive sponsor of the council. The council will be chaired by Richard K. Lyons, associate vice chancellor for innovation and entrepreneurship at UC Berkeley.
The group will explore new strategies to materially advance the UC system’s capacity for innovation and entrepreneurship by focusing on mentorship, funding opportunities, and collaboration on and across UC campuses.
“The University of California has long been a source of creativity in biotech, smart agriculture, data science, and countless other fields,” noted Provost Newman. “By focusing on the connections and resources that today’s entrepreneurs need, this council is well-positioned to help UC inventors turn their ideas into reality and generate new opportunities and economic benefits for communities across the state.”
The mission of the UC system is to provide “long-term societal benefits” through teaching, research and public service. Impact from all three of these pillars is amplified by strong commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship that creates economic opportunities and paves the way to a better and more sustainable future.
“What excites me most about serving the system in this way is the council’s commitment to get a few, very concrete advances completed over the next two years,” said Lyons. “This isn’t a discussion forum, it’s an action forum. For example, we are considering building a platform for faculty mentoring around the nuts and bolts of how commercialization happens, i.e., changing people’s lives through applications of their research.”
The first meeting of the council will be held this summer. Council members will be appointed by President Drake.