As part of the Clean Tech Innovation Challenge, each researcher nets $50,000, plus business advisory services from the von Liebig Center's consultants. In addition, a team of MBA students from the University of San Diego or Alliant International University will work with each professor in order to conduct market research and create a business plan around the technology. The professors can continue working with their advisor in developing a commercialization plan for the technology and to introduce them to potential funders.
Each grant will support the development of prototypes or the generation of key data that is needed to demonstrate the commercial viability of the technology. The expected timeline for the completion of this program is 12 months. In addition, the awardees have access to other programs like CONNECT's Springboard and the Tech Coast Angeles' Seed track program. They can also seek partnerships with corporations to further develop their technologies.
Ochoa said programs like the von Liebig Center and the Clean Tech Initiative are critical to creating and growing nascent industries. Many researchers, she said, desire to move their inventions into the marketplace but often times lack the resources and funding to make that a reality. This so-called "Valley of Death" is created when federal funding runs out and venture capitalists see the science as too risky to put money into.
"Many of these technologies are so early stage that many investors don't fund them," Ochoa said. "The importance of a program like the Clean Tech Initiative is it allows these researchers to move their technologies further up the value chain so they become attractive to investors or a company to help move them forward.
"UC San Diego is becoming an experimental laboratory for clean technology," she added. "The von Liebig Center is a platform that can be used to demonstrate
|Contact: Andrea Siedsma|
University of California - San Diego