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New Regional Partnership to Spur Economic Growth in Valley

October 11, 2010

UC Merced partners with Central Valley Business Incubator,
Merced County, Fresno State

and Small Business Development Center in state-approved
Innovation Hub

Quick Facts
  • The state announced the designation of three new Innovation Hub
    (iHub) projects, including the Central San Joaquin Valley iHub.
  • The Central Valley Business Incubator and Merced County
    Department of Commerce, Aviation and Economic Development are the
    iHub’s lead agencies, with UC Merced, Fresno State and the Small
    Business Development Center as partners.
  • UC Merced will lend expertise in technology transfer and
    intellectual property management to the iHub, while its faculty and
    students will receive assistance in starting up their own businesses.

MERCED — The University of California, Merced, is
partnering with regional nonprofit and government agencies in a
multifaceted project aimed at stimulating economic development and
job creation through research and innovation.

The Central San Joaquin Valley Innovation Hub (iHub), in which
UC Merced is a partner, has received the state’s new

designation, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development
has announced.

Central Valley Business
Merced County Department of
Commerce, Aviation and Economic Development
are the lead
agencies in the Central San Joaquin Valley iHub — one of 12
total projects to have now received the state’s designation —
with UC Merced, California State University, Fresno, and the Small
Business Development Center as partners.

The iHub designation is designed to encourage regional
collaboration between research institutions, start-up technology
companies, local governments, venture capitalists and economic
development organizations. These organizations will leverage their
various resources with the common goal of creating jobs and
harnessing the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of the state.

“UC Merced is proud to be a part of such an important project
and thrilled that this proposal has received the state’s iHub
designation,” Chancellor Steve Kang said. “The iHub represents an
ideal opportunity to combine our campus’ strengths in scientific
innovation and entrepreneurialism with the resources provided by
our partners in the region to help improve the economic landscape
of the San Joaquin Valley.”

UC Merced’s presence in the iHub partnership will be critical in
a number of ways. The campus supports the creation of start-up
companies founded on new technology, an important and viable path
to product commercialization and local economic development and job
creation. And the University of California will share with iHub
management its expertise in intellectual property management and
technology transfer to help grow the local economy.

A number of UC Merced programs are likely to benefit greatly
from the iHub’s establishment, collaborating directly with the iHub
on the commercialization of new green and renewable energy
technologies and the creation of new companies and entrepreneurs.
Examples include the University of California Advanced Solar
Technologies Institute (UC Solar), UC Merced Energy Research
Institute (UCMERI), Sierra Nevada Research Institute (SNRI) and UC
Merced Center for Entrepreneurship

The Central San Joaquin Valley iHub will focus on supporting
businesses in water, energy and agricultural technology throughout
the start-up phase to enhance local technology-based economic
development and create jobs and wealth in the region. It’s also
expected that as progress continues toward a UC Merced medical
school, the iHub will become a fundamental platform for further
innovation and commercialization of healthcare technologies.

“Our faculty and students continue to work tirelessly to combat
some of the most significant challenges of our time,” Kang said.
“The iHub will help ensure they have the support they need as they
make the transition from researchers and innovators into
entrepreneurs and successful business owners.”


James Leonard