UC Riverside Part of Expanded Innovation Hub

Hub expanded from San Diego County will create public/private partnerships to foster innovation as a job creation and community building tool

From left, Matt Barth, director of the Center for Environmental Research and Technology, and Reza Abbaschian, dean of the Bourns College of Engineering, look on as Joel Ayala, director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, speaks.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu)—The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GoED) today announced a new partnership between Riverside and the San Diego Innovation Hub (iHub).

Several public and private sector representatives were gathered at the University of California, Riverside College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology as Mayor Ronald O. Loveridge and Joel Ayala, director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, unveiled the new Innovations Hub boundaries which now connect San Diego and Riverside along the Interstate 215 corridor.

“As mayor of the city we call the City of Arts & Innovation, I am delighted to see our economic and innovation powerhouse, UC Riverside, joining forces with San Diego’s CONNECT iHub initiative”, said Riverside Mayor Ronald O. Loveridge. “Commercializing new technologies originating from this region leverages our ability to innovate and create jobs—leading to increased economic prosperity and to advance quality of life.”

The partnership between San Diego and Riverside was solidified when the two regions joined forces to collaborate on a recent grant application submitted to the U.S Economic Development Administration’s for their I6 Green Challenge.

“This partnership expands the already strong network of innovative companies working to commercialize new products and conduct cutting edge research,” said Governor’s Office of Economic Development Director, Joel Ayala. “My office is proud to support the public and private sector partners in this region as they propel California into the future of our economy.”

The regional partnership put forth an application centered on research being conducted at UC Riverside and the San Diego Zoo dealing with advancements in the field of bio-mimicry.

“We are pleased to join with the other partners in the San Diego/ Riverside mega region I-Hub initiative,” said UC Riverside Chancellor Timothy P. White. “UC Riverside is a world recognized center of scientific innovation and an engine for high tech economic growth for Inland Southern California. Partnering in this collaborative effort will facilitate and enhance technology commercialization, sparking much needed job creation and economic growth as well as leading to widespread adoption of innovative technologies across the region. This expanded I-Hub initiative comes at the right time.”

In addition to the partnership between UC Riverside and the San Diego Zoo, cities such as Murrieta and Temecula have been actively engaged to develop this partnership and emphasize the innovative companies along the Interstate 215 corridor.

“The Murrieta/Temecula/Southwest Riverside area is already closely connected to the greater San Diego region and effectively functions as an extension of the San Diego economy,” said Murrieta Mayor, Randon Lane. “Murrieta is excited that Southwest Riverside County has been included by the Governor’s Office in the San Diego Innovation Hub because our focus is to work closely with San Diego CONNECT to promote the mutual growth of both San Diego and Southwest Riverside County as a regional center for start-up and other technology companies.”

Launched in 2010, California’s iHub Initiative provides a platform for regional innovation clusters to flourish. The iHub initiative allows business, academia, government, and venture capitalists to leverage such assets as research parks, technology incubators, universities, and federal laboratories in an effort to foster innovation as a statewide job creation and community building tool.

The San Diego iHub was the seventh regional innovation cluster designated by the state in June of 2010 and is lead by CONNECT. CONNECT is a non-profit organization formed in 1985 with the mission of commercializing technology coming from San Diego’s many federally-funded research institutions and offering on-going education, networking and recognition to start-up companies in emerging technology business clusters.

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