September 16th, 2014
The University of California is planning a $250 million venture-capital fund to finance startup companies stemming from research conducted by its faculty and students.
The fund, seeded with money from the UC endowment, would be one of the largest of its kind, targeting work done at the university's 10 campuses, five medical centers and three national laboratories. A proposal to establish the fund is set to be presented to the governing UC Board of Regents on Wednesday. The plan was posted online Monday.
Academic research is becoming increasingly entrepreneurial. The number of university-launched startup companies topped 800 nationally in 2013, up from just under 600 in 2008, according to a survey by the Association of University Technology Managers, a group that tracks the licensing of research discoveries and innovations.
Most major research universities, including Stanford University, New York University and the University of Texas, have created incubators and accelerators to explore commercial uses of research conducted on campus. Several institutions have launched independent funds to invest in their innovations developed on their campuses—though most are smaller than the pool proposed by UC.