July 21, 2024
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UCSB joins nonprofit Alliance for Southern California Innovation


UC Santa Barbara and six other universities announced the formation of the nonprofit organization Alliance for Southern California Innovation on June 22.

Led by former California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner and a board of directors including UCSB physics professor and vice chancellor for research Joseph Incandela, the group will work to support tech entrepreneurs and researchers, connect with venture capitalists and recruit talent to the Southern California region.

“Southern California has the right building blocks to become the next leading technology and innovation hub in the United States,” Poizner said in a news release. “Through a collaborative effort, the region has the potential to bring a trillion-dollar economic impact to the state and country.”

Other participants include UCLA, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, University of Southern California, UC Irvine and Caltech. Representatives from industry include Alphabet, Qualcomm, Warner Bros., Oracle, CalPERS and others, along with the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine.

The region is poised to build on the success of Silicon Valley and the Bay Area, the news release said, and committee members will offer advice and best practices from their industry experience.

“Across machine learning, life sciences, cloud services, urban development and more, we’re in the midst of an exciting era of technological advancement that will create new businesses, jobs and opportunities,” said Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet. “Southern California has a thriving startup culture and group of entrepreneurs, as well as terrific researchers and institutions. It’s perfectly placed to become a global hub.”

Other partners include pro bono tech incubator EvoNexus and founder and former CEO of Google Ventures Bill Maris under his new SoCal-based venture fund Section 32. Boston Consulting Group will also conduct a study and action plan around the Alliance’s goals, with a planned release in the fall.

“Innovation isn’t confined to any one part of our state, and Southern California is ripe with top tier investment opportunities in various sectors,” Maris said. “Section 32 is proud to be the first venture fund to partner with the Alliance.

• Contact Marissa Nall at mnall@pacbiztimes.com.