UC Davis Venture Catalyst partners with The Urban Hive and I/O Labs to build a more robust regional innovation network

UC Davis Venture Catalyst partners with The Urban Hive and I/O Labs to build a more robust regional innovation network

UC Davis Venture Catalyst partners with The Urban Hive and I/O Labs to build a more robust regional innovation network

UC Davis Venture Catalyst partners with The Urban Hive and I/O Labs to build a more robust regional innovation network

 

The University of California, Davis, has entered into collaboration agreements through which The Urban Hive and I/O Labs – Sacramento-based innovation, co-working and collaboration spaces – will become the newest members of the Venture Catalyst Distributed Research Innovation & Venture Engine (DRIVETM) network of startup incubators. These new partnerships combine the facilities and resources available through The Urban Hive and I/O Labs with the services, connections and access to resources available to UC Davis affiliated startups through Venture Catalyst to support the translation of ground-breaking research and business concepts into commercial products and services. The addition of The Urban Hive and I/O Labs to the Venture Catalyst DRIVE Network expands access to incubation facilities in Sacramento for UC Davis startups and entrepreneurs to help facilitate enhanced pathways to commercialization of innovative research.

“We are excited to be partnering with The Urban Hive and I/O Labs to support the needs of emerging startups in the region and to help build a more robust innovation ecosystem guided by a regional collaborative network dedicated to economic development,” said Dushyant Pathak, associate vice chancellor of Research at UC Davis and executive director of Venture Catalyst. “This type of coordinated economic engagement is essential to achieving tangible regional impact from university research and technology, and creating an innovation economy that effectively leverages the creativity of the diverse, highly-skilled and talented faculty, students and staff at the university.”

The Urban Hive launched in 2009 with a 6,700-square-foot facility in midtown Sacramento with the goal of supporting entrepreneurial and creative ventures in the Greater Sacramento region by providing access to shared work spaces, private offices, meeting and conference rooms, as well as regular workshops and networking events. The Urban Hive plans to expand to a new 14,000-square-foot facility in the Cannery Business Park development in Sacramento. As part of the expansion, The Urban Hive will introduce product development capabilities, including specialized instrumentation that will allow members to build prototypes and run small-scale production.

This capabilities expansion is being advanced by UC Davis Venture Catalyst with support that includes new equipment and resources for use by local and university-affiliated startups. The investment in maker and related equipment is made possible by funding received by University of California campuses in early-2017 through the UC Innovation & Entrepreneurship Expansion Bill (AB 2664). This bill allocated $22 million to be split equally amongst the UC campuses with the objective of accelerating economic development in the state by expanding university activities and community partnerships that support innovation and entrepreneurship.

I/O Labs, which is also led by The Urban Hive’s founder Brandon Weber, plans to bring 40,000 square feet of innovation space online in downtown Sacramento targeted for initial launch later this year. I/O Labs will create a space where the innovation ecosystem can coalesce, bringing together a unique network of service providers, educational programs and a planned accelerator program to support and mentor entrepreneurs and startups in the facility.

“This collaboration provides enhanced opportunities to both support the needs of university-affiliated entrepreneurs and startups with space, prototyping equipment, and resources and integrate these innovators into a broader network of peers, collaborators, and support providers,” said Weber.  “The successful model established at The Urban Hive, and new resources coming online soon through the Urban Hive expansion and I/O Labs, will help innovative companies establish themselves and grow in the region.”

“I am proud to see our $22 million budget allocation put to good use with the UC Davis Venture Catalyst project with I/O Labs and The Urban Hive,” said Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee on Education Finance. “University innovators and entrepreneurs support small businesses in our communities and impact economic development in the Sacramento region.”

In addition to collaboration through the Venture Catalyst DRIVETM Network, the university has also committed to work closely with I/O Labs to help lead renewed efforts around the California Governor’s Office of Business & Economic Development (GO-Biz) statewide Innovation Hub (iHub) program with a shared objective of advancement of a robust regional innovation ecosystem through the Sacramento Region Partner Network.

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UC Davis Venture Catalyst Expands Program to Accelerate Technology Commercialization with STAIR-Plus Grants — Announces Recipients

UC Davis Venture Catalyst Expands Program to Accelerate Technology Commercialization with STAIR-Plus Grants — Announces Recipients

John Voss STAIR Plus recipient

To support campus innovators in advancing their cutting-edge technologies towards commercialization, Venture Catalyst – within the Technology Management and Corporate Relations division of the UC Davis Office of Research – has offered Science Translation and Innovative Research (STAIRTM) Grants for the last four years. The unique STAIR Grant program provides funding and support to help innovators demonstrate proof-of-concept and commercial feasibility for their technologies. To date, a total of $897,000 has been awarded to 19 faculty members as part of this program.

This year, Venture Catalyst announced the addition of the STAIR-Plus™ Grant program, intended to offer additional support to STAIR Grant recipients who have successfully achieved their projected commercialization milestones and are poised for commercial impact pending completion of specific targeted activities. Each recipient receives up to $20,000 in funding to be deployed over a one year period. Funding for the STAIR-Plus program was made possible by the State of California’s Assembly Bill 2664, which was passed in 2016.

2017 STAIR-Plus Grant Recipients

Cortopassi

Gino Cortopassi, professor, Department of Molecular Biosciences

Transition to Patentable New Chemical Entity Shc Inhibitors for Fatty Liver Disease

Cortopassi and his team have identified several compounds that inhibit Shc, a signaling protein that regulates the body’s response to insulin and resistance to pediatric nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. With assistance from the STAIR Grant, the team conducted medicinal chemistry optimization to narrow dozens of functional parent molecules down to several of the most productive candidates. The STAIR-Plus Grant will allow the team to conduct additional screening and test the two most potent inhibitors in-vivo in an animal model.

Simon

Tony Simon, professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Translation of Neurotherapeutic Video Games to Virtual Reality

Simon has invented a “neurotherapeutic” video game designed to help improve the cognitive abilities of children with one of several genetic disorders, the healthy aging and patients with many forms of traumatic brain injury or stroke. The STAIR Grant enabled Simon and his team to build prototypes utilizing desktop computers and game consoles which were used to conduct tests to provide evidence of clinical benefit. Simon plans to use funding from the STAIR-Plus Grant to develop, with his game design partner, a second generation prototype utilizing a virtual reality platform and to conduct preliminary tests for usability and efficacy potential.

John Voss, professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine

A Novel Nitroxide-Based Agent to Produce Contrast Enhancement

for Amyloid Beta Peptide Detection by MRI

Voss’s team is developing technology based on a small molecule with potential for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. The compound is innovative for its paramagnetic properties, which affect MRI intensities correlating to an early and prominent marker for Alzheimer’s. Unlike available imaging methods, this approach would be less expensive, enable greater patient access and eliminate radiation exposure for the patient. Voss utilized the STAIR Grant to conduct in vivo tests to demonstrate effectiveness and to synthesize nine novel small molecules. Voss plans to use the STAIR-Plus Grant to conduct additional optimization leading to the selection of a lead candidate. He also plans to use high resolution imaging to better correlate the contrast signal with identifiable brain structures.

Each application was reviewed by the STAIR-Plus Grant review committee, which included Office of Research staff and external industry reviewers with specific domain expertise. The review committee considered the technical merit, commercial potential, outcomes from previous STAIR Grant milestones, and alignment of budget with projected activities for each project.

"I’m thrilled that the California Legislature’s investment in innovation and entrepreneurship at the university is enabling us to extend the bridge between cutting-edge research and its potential for transformative human impact,” said Dushyant Pathak, associate vice chancellor of Research and executive director of Venture Catalyst. "These funds, in addition to the prior investment by the university through our STAIR grants, are accelerating the commercialization of new technologies from UC Davis.”

An important component of the STAIR-Plus program is the engagement of award recipients with additional entrepreneurial and technology commercialization support and resources through a unique collaboration between Venture Catalyst and the Mike and Renee Child Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UC Davis. Award recipients will participate in a cohort-based series of innovation and commercialization clinics designed to develop the skills and networks needed to explore and expand the commercial potential and resulting societal impact of their ideas.

These highly customized business clinics will include engagement with industry experts and mentors to supplement the workshops, which will be focused on commercialization elements including market and business model validation and coaching for effective business communication. 

“We’re honored to help such talented innovators from across our campus to commercialize their work and ensure that the benefits of their research move from the lab and out into the world,” said Cleveland Justis, the institute’s executive director.

AB 2664 Spurs Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Assembly Bill 2664, also referred to as the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Expansion bill, was authored by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks, and signed last fall by Governor Jerry Brown. AB 2664 is designed to propel new innovation and entrepreneurship efforts across the University of California through investments in infrastructure, incubators and entrepreneurship education programs. The $22 million investment was dispersed equally to each of the ten UC campuses at the beginning of 2017. Venture Catalyst is the program lead at UC Davis and is implementing a variety of innovation and entrepreneurship expansion activities in conjunction with partners on campus, including the Mike and Renee Child Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Engineering Student Startup Center, the Office of the Provost, Graduate Studies and the Internship and Career Center, as well as external community partners.

Media Contacts

AJ Cheline (530)219-8739

Links

STAIR Grant program past recipients
“Digital neurotherapeutic” game in development at the UC Davis MIND Institute

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UC Davis partners with Sacramento business incubator Hacker Lab

UC Davis partners with Sacramento business incubator Hacker Lab

UC Davis partners with Sacramento business incubator Hacker Lab
March 17, 2016 - The University of California, Davis and Hacker Lab, Inc., a Sacramento nonprofit organization, have entered into a collaborative agreement to include the business incubator as the third member of the university’s Distributed Research Incubation & Venture Engine (DRIVE™) Network.

The alliance pairs the established facilities and resources at Hacker Lab with the services of the university’s Venture Catalyst unit to support the translation of research into commercial ventures. The DRIVE Network is being developed by the university to ensure that campus entrepreneurs have affordable access to business incubation spaces with industry specific resources.

Hacker Lab was founded by Gina Lujan, Charles Blas and Eric Ullrich to nurture business startups in the Sacramento region. They opened their doors to entrepreneurs and creators in 2012 with their first location at 1715 I Street in Sacramento. A second location was opened at 4804 Granite Drive in Rocklin in 2015. The innovative business incubator has a fee-based membership model, with fees varying by service level selected. There are currently over 500 members.

Hacker Lab Class

Hacker Lab's business model emphasizes networking and community. In 2015 Hacker Lab taught 1,600 students and offered 500 classes and workshops at its two locations, all focused on design, business, coding and fabrication.

The facility in midtown Sacramento has 10,500 square feet of space and offers 24/7 co-working spaces, 13 offices, kitchen, private conference rooms, private mailboxes and lockers, a gigabit internet connection, laser printers and copier. Each location is equipped with a computer lab as well as a well-equipped maker-space with a wood shop, metal shop, welding equipment, an electronics lab, a textile lab, 3D printers and a laser cutter.

Co-founder Eric Ullrich feels Hacker Lab is a good fit for UC Davis entrepreneurs. “Hacker Lab can be a conduit for the UC Davis community to connect to the greater innovation community in the region. It’s a place for people to access fabrication equipment as well as meet potential employees, mentors and partners who can help launch a business.”

In addition to providing space where people can work and create, Hacker Lab also emphasizes networking and creating a sense of community. “We are heavily focused on being a conduit or hub for the community through our events and classes and also our meeting spaces” explained Ullrich.

Established in 2012, Hacker Lab’s goal is to spark innovation with community-driven resources and education.

Hacker Lab’s network of connections includes its membership base plus connections to local enterprises like Intel, VSP, SMUD and now UC Davis. In 2015 Hacker Lab taught 1,600 students and offered 500 classes and workshops at its two locations, all focused on design, business, coding and fabrication. In 2015, Hacker Lab also launched a startup incubator boot camp, Startup Hustle, an accelerated program designed to help entrepreneurs who have an existing prototype or are launching from an idea phase. Classes are free to members but are also open to the public for a fee, attracting local innovators and entrepreneurs from the community.

“Through our partnership with Hacker Lab, the most recent member of our DRIVE Network, we are working together to foster regional economic development and technology innovation,” said Dushyant Pathak, associate vice chancellor for Research at UC Davis and executive director of Venture Catalyst. “Our collaboration provides an opportunity for Venture Catalyst to facilitate access to quality co-working and maker-space facilities for UC Davis-affiliated startups.”

Each university-based company accepted into the UC Davis DRIVE network has access to support resources offered by Venture Catalyst. This includes a suite of services provided through the Smart Toolkit for Accelerated Research Translation (START™) Program, designed to equip UC Davis entrepreneurs with the tools they need to form and grow successful companies.

 

Hacker Lab Shopbot

Access to tools is a key component of Hacker Lab membership. Each location is equipped with a computer lab and maker-space with a wood shop, metal shop, welding equipment, an electronics lab, a textile lab, 3D printers and a laser cutter.

About UC Davis

UC Davis is a global community of individuals united to better humanity and our natural world while seeking solutions to some of our most pressing challenges. Located near the California state capital, UC Davis has more than 34,000 students, and the full-time equivalent of 4,100 faculty and other academics and 17,400 staff. The campus has an annual research budget of over $785 million, a comprehensive health system and about two dozen specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and 99 undergraduate majors in four colleges and six professional schools.

About Hacker Lab

Established in 2012 in Sacramento, Hacker Lab is a nonprofit organization that aims to educate people and spark innovation with community-driven resources. Offering co-working space, maker space, classes, meet-ups and events, Hacker Lab believes technology can change the world and the starting point is education. Hacker Lab has over 500 members with locations in Sacramento and Rocklin. Learn more at the Hacker Lab website: http://hackerlab.org/

Contact

AJ Cheline
Director of Marketing and Communications
UC Davis Office of Research
acheline@ucdavis.edu
(530) 219-8739

Eric Ullrich
Co-Founder, Hacker Lab
eric@hackerlab.org
(916) 514-7044

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Startups with roots at UC Davis evolve when innovations become businesses

Startups with roots at UC Davis evolve when innovations become businesses

zasaka-hdr

Instead of graduating and jumping straight into the workforce, some enterprising grads are forming companies with ideas and innovations they developed at UC Davis. John Bissell ('08) helped develop a method for creating more sustainable plastic as an undergraduate studying Chemical Engineering. Tom Shapland (’07, M.S. ’11, Ph.D. ’12) worked with a team to develop calibration technology for monitoring crop water usage while pursuing his Ph.D. in Horticultural Science. And Carl Jensen (M.S. '14) started working on the problem of grain storage in Sub-Saharan Africa while obtaining his masters in International Agricultural Development. Each is enjoying the challenges of building a company from scratch but they've all had to be flexible as ideas met market realities.

An evolving method for turning waste into plastic

As an undergraduate in the Chemical Engineering program at UC Davis, John Bissell was convinced there had to be a better way to make plastic.

The majority of plastic in the world—from the reviled single-use shopping bag to your toothbrush—is derived from petroleum, a non-renewable resource. And a tremendous amount of petroleum goes into plastic: In the U.S. alone, 191 million barrels of hydrocarbon gas liquids (byproducts of petroleum refining) or about 2.7% of total U.S. petroleum consumption was used to make plastic in in 2010, when the U.S. Department of Energy last reported this data.

Instead of using petroleum, Bissell, along with fellow students Ryan Smith and Casey McGrath, found a way to make the base components of plastic using modified bacteria to digest a variety of waste products like sewage and agricultural waste. The concept was promising enough that the partners took out a patent for the bacteria and secured seed funding in 2008 to create Micromidas, Inc.

Micromidas

John Bissell, CEO of Micromidas, along with fellow UC Davis students Ryan Smith and Casey McGrath, found a way to make the base components of plastic from a variety of waste products including cardboard, rice hulls, and wheat straw. Bissell won the Cal Aggie Alumni Association's Young Alumni Award in 2013.

One challenge with the bacterial process was it was not completely efficient. Bissell explains, “We had some indigestible things we couldn’t convert.” So in 2010 they looked for a solution that could augment the bacterial process and ended up finding an attractive way to convert the waste using a chemical process developed by Mark Mascal, a professor in the UC Davis Chemistry Department. The new process uses organic chemistry to convert biomass into monomers—the substituents of plastics. After weighing the benefits of both methods, Micromidas decided to shelve the original process using bacteria. Bissell says, “We could only pick one project at a time.”

Micromidas

When the small biorefinery in West Sacramento is going full-speed it can process about 200 pounds an hour of woody waste like cardboard, agricultural waste, wood chips, rice hulls, wheat straw, rice straw, bagasse and empty fruit bunches from palm oil processing.

By 2014, Micromidas had raised $25 million in venture capital to build a pilot-scale plant in West Sacramento, which currently employs about 25 full-time staff and 15 to 20 technical experts who consult part-time.

When the small biorefinery in West Sacramento is going full-speed it can process about 200 pounds an hour of woody waste like cardboard, agricultural waste, wood chips, rice hulls, wheat straw, rice straw, bagasse and empty fruit bunches from palm oil processing.

The next step for Micromidas is a larger refinery. Bissell explains, “We are providing access to a new class of material. I’d like to see the technology become an integral part of the existing chemical industry.”

Water conservation tool becomes increasingly more sophisticated

When Tom Shapland was pursing his master’s and Ph.D. in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Science there was technology—Surface Renewal—that could calculate water usage in fields but the calibration process required extremely expensive instrumentation, making precise measurements too expensive to be practical outside of academia.

“Irrigation is the single most important lever for influencing the outcome of the crop and for attaining the crop goal,” Shapland explained. So being able to accurately measure water could give California farmers an important tool to manage their water use efficiently.

Tule

Tom Shapland, CEO of Tule, developed the technology while pursuing his Ph.D. in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Science.

Shapland tackled the challenge of making the technology affordable, working with his dissertation committee, which included Kyaw Tha Paw U, Rick Snyder and Andrew McElrone. Eventually, they came up with a solution for reducing the cost of the technology that forms the basis of Tule Technologies and in 2014, UC Davis' Venture Catalyst helped the fledging company get started.

The Tule system uses sensors and a monitoring system above the crop canopy to tell growers precisely how much water their plants are using. Farmers access the data through a web dashboard or iPhone app. But as Tule Technologies developed growers wanted to fine-tune the irrigation, sometimes maximizing quantity, requiring more water, or maximizinge quality, which required putting the plants under a degree of water stress.

Tule

Tule Technologies is working with close to 300 California growers, mostly for wine grapes and almonds, with about 1,200 sensors in the fields. Farmers can access data through a web dashboard or iPhone app and can make irrigation decisions accordingly.

Tule Technologies is working with close to 300 California growers, mostly for wine grapes and almonds, with about 1,200 sensors in the fields. Farmers can access data through a web dashboard or iPhone app and can make irrigation decisions accordingly.

So Tule added features to the system to help growers reach their targeted stress levels. If the plants became too stressed—or not stressed enough—the technology alerts farmers, who can then make irrigation decisions accordingly.

Tule is growing and now has six employees and is looking for programmers interested in water conservation. It is working with close to 300 California growers, mostly for wine grapes and almonds, with about 1,200 sensors in the fields.

For Shapland the most rewarding aspect is utilizing and developing the technology, helping customers achieve their goals and conserve water and time. “I really love working with growers. Agriculture is complex. I learn a lot from them.”

Thinking outside the bag to help smallholder farmers in Africa

In Zambia, where farming is the country’s main livelihood, crop storage is a problem. Lacking adequate grain silos for staples like maize, a significant portion of each harvest is lost to vermin, insects, or molds that can create poisonous aflatoxins.

Carl Jensen became interested in working with smallholder farmers in Zambia—small farms usually supported by a single family growing a mixture of cash crops and subsistence farming— when he was part of an international team that studied the problem of storage. After graduating from UC Davis in 2014 he returned to Zambia to co-found Zasaka with Sunday Silungwe, whom he had met during a trip to Africa.

Zasaka

Zasaka co-founders (in blue t-shirts) Carl Jensen, left, and Sunday Silungwe, right, with a group of Private Extension Agents (PEAs). Jensen and Silungwe met in 2013 at the International Development Design Summit in Zambia. Silungwe, holds a degree in developmental studies from Zambia Catholic University and has worked in community development for many years.

Zasaka means “it’s in the bag” in the Zambian dialect of Nyanja, and selling bags—specifically the Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) bag—made up a portion of the business plan to sell agricultural products and services to farmers. PICS bags are made of three layers of specialized plastic and can store more than 200 pounds of grain for up to a year. The idea was promising enough that Zasaka won both the People’s Choice award and the Ag and Food Innovation prize in the 2014 UC Davis Big Bang! Business Competition.

During the first year, Zasaka sold about 2,000 bags to farmers in Zambia at $2.50 each. But the price for the bags increased as the Zambian Kwacha became weaker against the U.S. dollar, creating a dilemma for the new enterprise.

“We kept trying to make it work, but we had to decide if we were a business or if we were going to subsidize the farmers,” said Jensen. Unable to cover the costs, they made the difficult decision to stop selling bags.

Zasaka

Anes Tembo, a Zasaka Private Extension Agents (PEA), stands in one of her farmer's fields and displays cowpea nearly ready for harvest. The farmer is set to harvest more than half a ton of cowpea seed from which she will double her annual income. Each PEA provides agronomic and financial management training to a cohort of 40 farmers, overseeing their loans and aggregating final products for sale to Zasaka.

But Zasaka’s model had always included more than just bags, so the young company turned its attention to legume seeds like cowpeas—buying, packaging and selling them to farmers, sometimes directly and sometimes through the government and non-governmental organizations.

“We intend to be the leading seed company in our sector by volume and quality. The goal is to raise incomes of tens of thousands of farmers through direct production relationships while increasing the availability of legumes to farmers across the region,” said Jensen. He notes that this year Zasaka will process and package 440,000 pounds of seed produced by 400 farmers.

Zasaka

A group of farmers attends a training led by a field supervisor at Zasaka's base of operations, the POD.

The company also delivers training—farmers who have worked with Zasaka have seen increases in maize yields of 75 percent. Zasaka now employs 9 full-time people and is expanding this May to reach 2,000 farmers under the supervision of 50 Private Extension Agents (PEAS) dedicated to answering their questions on agronomy and farm management.

During an interview from Chipata, Zambia, Jensen described the tremendous satisfaction he feels from the work he is doing. “We are about two months out from harvest now. Everywhere you look you see full fields and the bounty to come.”

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Innovation that feeds the world

Innovation that feeds the world

UC Davis professors, Jorge Dubcovsky of plant sciences and Jan Dvorak of agronomy and range science, examine wheat in a campus field. Photo taken in 2010.

UC Davis professors, Jorge Dubcovsky of plant sciences and Jan Dvorak of agronomy and range science, examine wheat in a campus field.

Jorge Dubcovsky, Ph.D., a worldrenowned plant geneticist who leads the UC Davis wheat breeding program, develops genetic resources for improving the yield, disease-resistance and nutritional value of wheat — one of the most widely grown cereal crops on the planet. Global demand for wheat continues to increase dramatically, up nearly 20% from just ten years ago (U.S. Wheat Associates Annual Report).

Wheat is a vital part of the farming economy in California, grown from the Imperial Valley in the south to the Klamath Basin in the north, and from the inland valleys to the coastal agricultural regions. Due to California’s large size and diverse climate, wheat can be planted for harvest in both the fall and spring seasons, depending on the region. Dubcovsky’s ground-breaking work has enabled researchers and breeders around the world to accelerate the development of more nutritious and better-adapted wheat varieties.

Dubcovsky and his team have released eleven distinct UC wheat varieties, each protected by InnovationAccess under U.S. Plant Variety Protection, and licensed to 30 commercial entities.

Consistent with the land-grant mission of UC Davis, wheat varieties released out of Dubcovsky’s breeding program are licensed only to the California wheat industry during the first three years following release, effectively providing an economic advantage for the state. InnovationAccess works closely with the California Wheat Commission in setting up licensing arrangements. After this initial three-year period, licensing is opened to other geographical areas beyond California.

This year, Dubcovsky’s lab released the ‘Yurok’ wheat variety (UC Case 2016-066), a Dry wheat waves in the sun on Friday May 22, 2015 at UC Davis. This wheat is part of wheat geneticist and UC Davis plant science professor Jorge Dubcovsky's wheat research.semi-dwarf Hard Red Spring variety, which offers a high-yielding plant and a resulting grain with high protein content and excellent bread-making quality. This variety is resistant to current races of stripe rust disease and is well adapted to the Sacramento, San Joaquin and Imperial Valleys in California.

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UC Davis and BASF announce collaboration on development of new microencapsulation technology

UC Davis and BASF announce collaboration on development of new microencapsulation technology

UC Davis and BASF announce collaboration on development of new microencapsulation technology
FLORHAM PARK, NJ and DAVIS, CA, November 2, 2016 – BASF and University of California, Davis (UC Davis) entered into a collaborative research agreement to investigate a patent- pending microencapsulation technology. Developed in the lab of University Associate Professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Tina Jeoh, the technology protects and improves the performance and delivery of active compounds for broad applications, including industrial, agriculture and cosmetics.

The technology combines multiple, energy-intensive processing steps into one industrially efficient and scalable spray-drying step. This encapsulates active ingredients in Cross-Linked Alginate Microcapsules (CLAMs). As part of the project, the teams will tune the physical and chemical properties of the CLAMs to optimize protection and shelf-stability of biologically active compounds.

“As a leader in life sciences and a premier agricultural university, the interests and assets of UC Davis complement those of BASF,” said Dushyant Pathak, associate vice chancellor for Technology Management and Corporate Relations at UC Davis. “With mutual interests at the intersection of life sciences and engineering, the UC Davis-BASF collaboration helps bring forward the commercial benefits of transitional research in these areas.”

“Innovation and sustainability are main success factors for BASF’s long-term growth. In the highly competitive innovation environments we now face, collaboration with external partners such as UC Davis is crucial,” said Michael Pcolinski, Vice President Advanced Materials and Systems Research at BASF. “Our goal is to leverage external expertise to match current and anticipated needs.”

BASF and UC Davis have a long-standing relationship dating back nearly 20 years in areas of mutual interest such as plant sciences, food science and technology, biological and agricultural engineering, and the health system. BASF and UC Davis have also teamed together to help train future scientific leaders through the involvement of graduate students and post-docs in these types of collaborative research efforts.

The research agreement is an outcome of the California Research Alliance (CARA) that BASF has formed in 2014. It brings together BASF experts with researchers from widely varied science and engineering disciplines from the University of California, Berkeley, UC Davis, University of California, San Francisco, Stanford University, and the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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About BASF

BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has nearly 17,500 employees in North America, and had sales of $17.4 billion in 2015. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, visit www.basf.us.

At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The approximately 112,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. BASF generated sales of more than €70 billion in 2015. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information at www.basf.com.

About UC Davis

UC Davis is a global community of individuals united to better humanity and our natural world while seeking solutions to some of our most pressing challenges. Located near the California state capital, UC Davis has more than 34,000 students, and the full-time equivalent of 4,100 faculty and other academics and 17,400 staff. The campus has an annual research budget of over $700 million, a comprehensive health system and about two dozen specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and 99 undergraduate majors in four colleges and six professional schools.

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