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Southern California Clean Energy
Technology Acceleration Program

The von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering in collaboration with the Rady School of Management and San Diego State University announce the launch of the 3rd year of the Southern California Regional Clean Energy Technology Acceleration Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.

This program is intended to provide fellowship awards to accelerate the commercialization of novel clean energy technologies developed within research institutes and universities throughout the Southern California region.

Selected science and engineering graduate students and postdoctoral researchers from local universities or research institutes will be awarded a von Liebig fellowship of $40,000 to be used to support proof of concept studies over a period of one year on the selected project. The von Liebig Fellows will collaborate with MBA Innovation fellows from either the Rady School of Management at UCSD or San Diego State University and will receive business mentoring from the von Liebig Center's Technology and Business Advisors (worth an estimated $15,000) providing practical training on technology commercialization.

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Universities and research laboratories are principle engines for innovation - a critical component of economic growth. However, the process for translation of research discoveries to the private sector is highly inefficient. Converting research to a product or process typically requires market-ready technology, a business model, proof of market need, and a business oriented management team. None of these elements exist when a discovery is made in the research laboratory.

UC San Diego and San Diego State University are partnering to address these deficiencies in the renewable energy space in the greater San Diego region, accelerating the movement of clean energy innovation from the university laboratory into the marketplace, building on the proven model of the William J. von Liebig Center's (vLC's) Proof of Concept (POC) program and virtualizing the effort to enable a more inclusive environment for energy innovation and expansion of the number of clean energy start-ups and/or technology license in greater California.

In order to accomplish this, our approach will focus on:
Directing funding and other support at the gap between a research discovery
Addressing traditional cultural differences between academia and the private sector
Solidifying the ecosystem around the innovator once they exit the proof of concept process
Implementing a sustainable model that ensures continuous feeding of innovations into the pipeline

The ultimate goal is not only the acceleration of innovation energy discoveries into the private sector, but also the creation of an atmosphere in which commercialization is viewed as an economically and socially desirable outcome of research, and in which the participants-researchers, universities, and the investment community - understand the unique requirements for success in transitioning university research.

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