Get Involved: Corporate Partnerships

Technology Business Incubation

Turning research ideas into new products and services is integral to Calit2's mission to help keep California competitive in the global high-tech economy. Working with the venture-capital community, local business groups such as OCTANe, and UCI's Office of Technology Alliances (OTA), Calit2 has supported efforts by its affiliated faculty and staff researchers to commercialize technologies developed in the course of the institute's wide-ranging research agenda.
 
Strategies for commercialization include technology options or licenses that can be linked to sponsored and collaborative research agreements. Virtual incubation – a cost-effective approach to launching a startup company – is another alternative, one that OTA chose for commercializing the synthetic gene technology developed by Calit2-affiliated researchers Wes Hatfield and Rick Lathrop.
 
Virtual spinoff companies, after all patent and licensing issues are resolved, become California corporations, but without manufacturing facilities, research staff or equipment. Agreements with the university – including those for sponsored research, and sales and service – allow the new company to collaborate with UCI faculty, and use university facilities and equipment through a recharge arrangement. The process enables companies just starting out to utilize the university’s expertise, equipment and facilities that might otherwise be unattainable.
 
Virtual incubation is a step in the technology-transfer process, not a final destination. Once a spinoff company has gained its footing, it moves out of the virtual phase, into TechPortal (Calit2's technology business incubator) or into its own facilities. Like CODA Genomics Inc., these companies are the success stories. 

The OTA assists faculty researchers in transferring technology to market in several ways. The office manages the patent application, arranges for licensing or options to license the technology, markets the intellectual property and helps the inventors obtain funding. For more information, www.ota.uci.edu