Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin Applauds Passage of Job-Creation Bill That Will Bring UC Research and Innovations to Market

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

SACRAMENTO – A far-reaching bill, authored by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), aimed at creating jobs and helping to reverse the recent decline of successful start-up companies in California, has been passed by the Legislature and now awaits Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature to become law. Assembly Bill 2664 provides $22 million to the University of California system that will help convert research and science done at the UCs to products that benefit society.  The California Chamber of Commerce has labeled this bill as a “job creator.” 

“The UC system has long been a source of amazing ideas and processes, which often don’t find their way out of the classroom,” said Irwin. “These funds will be used to help transition these innovations into start-ups in the private sector.”  The UC system is now the world’s academic leader in the number of research inventions, with 1,700 reported in 2014 alone. At the same time, the number of new entrepreneurs in California has dropped by about 10 percent since 2012.  “We can help turn that trend around by expanding the transformative power of the UC’s innovation engine to the private sector,” said Irwin. “It’s a sensible move that has a big upside for the California economy.”

The bill calls for each of the ten UC campuses to receive $2.2 million annually to create these business incubators. “These investments benefit the state economy by leveraging UC research with the tools necessary to turn ideas into job-providing companies,” said Irwin. Much of the funding will be used to provide incubator space, legal services, entrepreneur training and other practical elements necessary to attract the private sector. Two of examples of research that have already taken advantage of existing business incubators within the UC system include the development of an artificial human kidney and the commercial production of a spider silk, which is as strong as kevlar. “It’s going to be exciting to see what develops when we combine the best of the public and private sectors,” said Irwin.

**Assemblymember Irwin’s website: http://asmdc.org/irwin