The University of California, Riverside (UCR) is getting $900,000 CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). This EDA grant will be matched with $416,461 in local investment.
EDA’s grant came from the $1.5 billion that EDA got under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136 PDF) for economic assistance programs.
UCR’s Office of Technology Partnerships
The EDA issued the grant to UCR’s Office of Technology Partnerships (OTP) that facilitates the development and commercialization of ideas emanating from UCR.
The office reports that “since 2016, the EDA has awarded $3.8 million dollars to UC Riverside’s Office of Research and Economic Development“. The funding was used to build initiatives like Citrus Research, Entrepreneurial Proof of Concept (EPIC), and UCR’s entrepreneurial life sciences incubator.
Since the pandemic halted in-person gatherings and events, the OTP shifted part of its focus towards building new corporate partnerships through its Corporate and Strategic Partnerships (CSP) team with the aim to provide industry connection points to students/startups wanting to commercialize their inventions.
The CSP team initiated 50+ corporate relations engagements out of which seven have become expanded partnerships netting the OTP with $2.73 Million sponsored research agreement funding.
UCR’s OTP Helped 1K Pandemic-impacted Small Businesses
Circling back to the EDA’s funding for the Office of Technology Partnerships, it was OTP’s support it gave to 1,000 pandemic-impacted small businesses that won it the grant.
‘President Biden is committed to bringing back and strengthening our small businesses,’.Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo.
Governor Gavin Newsom commented as well on EDA’s grant to OTP.
‘This new EDA grant for the University of California, Riverside will help pandemic-impacted small businesses in the region get the supports they need to succeed, giving a boost to our efforts to ensure an equitable recovery and foster long-term growth in communities across the state.’Governor Gavin Newsom
OTP Helping Companies Across the Border
The role that UCR’s OTP plays in fostering innovation across the region of Inland Empire has many sides to it. For instance, apart from helping students and local entrepreneurs to commercialize their inventions, the office also helps Scandinavian companies to enter the US market.
It entered into partnership with GotoMarketUSA, an organization that supports companies in establishing and growing sustainable business in the U.S.
Besides, the OTP frequently participates in innovation events and conferences to promote entrepreneurial spirit and strengthen its partnership network. At Peru’s “National Innovation Week” that took place in August this year, the OTP launched Communitt, an online platform for technology transfer and entrepreneurship in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Due to its important role in commercializing inventions coming out of the UCR, and its vital role in the local startup ecosystem, Startempire Wire will soon publish a deep dive into inner workings of the Office of Technology Partnerships.
Not only the office helps bring new technologies to the market, it is helping to shape up the core computing field as well.