News Release

San Diego and Mexico Universities Join to Boost Regional Technology and Economic Development

From L to R, Eugenio Clariond Reyes-Retana, CEO of Verzatec and a member of the Council of Advisors for the Jacobs School of Engineering; Rosibel Ochoa, director of the von Liebig Center; and Gabriel Estrella Valenzuela, president of UABC.

San Diego, CA, October 22, 2010 -- UC San Diego is partnering with Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC) in a research and education program designed to stimulate technology commercialization and economic development in the Southern California-Baja California region. Under the partnership, UC San Diego’s top-ranked Jacobs School of Engineering and its William J. von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism and Technology Advancement will work with UABC’s highly regarded Institute of Engineering and the Center for Technology Development and Transfer to form a crossborder regional entrepreneurism and technology alliance called “CREATE.”

The goal of the alliance is to empower an innovation and entrepreneurial culture among university students and researchers that will have a direct impact on the sustainable development of the San Diego-Baja California mega region.

“The San Diego-Baja California Mega region offers tremendous potential for economic development in industries such as renewable energy, electronics, and medical devices,” said Frieder Seible, dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering. “This partnership will help us to educate engineers in a multi-cultural, entrepreneurial environment who can then serve as the talent pipeline for new companies in this Mega region.”

The areas of cooperation include research and academic collaboration among faculty, graduate students and post-doctoral scholars of the two institutions; the creation of a fellowship program for Mexican students from the Baja, California; and participation in a Technology Acceleration and Commercialization Program dedicated to the advancement of discoveries from both universities.  The new program will provide graduate level entrepreneurial education and training on intellectual property protection, as well as support 25 students from UABC and other institutes in the Baja California region to enroll in engineering Master of Science (M.S.) programs at the UCSD Jacobs School. These students will take the von Liebig Center’s entrepreneurism courses, be immersed in San Diego’s entrepreneurial culture, and graduate with a UCSD master’s degree in technical areas of interest to the border region.

“This program will help us to promote the entrepreneurship of our students and alumni, and to establish new linkages with the industry on both sides of the border,” said UABC president Gabriel Estrella Valenzuela. “We are focusing on investing in entrepreneurs and in the right environment for them to develop their technologies.  We critically need them in order to strengthen our future economic growth and to generate new employment opportunities for our generations to come.”

The Technology Acceleration Program will incorporate elements of the Jacobs School’s successful von Liebig Center’s Proof of Concept model, which was created to inspire entrepreneurism and catalyze commercialization of university innovations through grants, education and business mentoring. This program will include the creation of funding mechanisms for proof of concept and commercialization assistance from UC San Diego’s von Liebig Center. These elements will be integrated into the technology acceleration and commercialization infrastructure of the UABC and other Baja, Calif.  institutions.

“If successful, this alliance could be a great example of how academia, government and the private sector from the United States and Mexico can join forces to accelerate cross-border innovation and increase the collaboration between our communities,” said Rosibel Ochoa, director of the von Liebig Center.  “This could become a model that could be replicated in other regions in Latin America. “

The two universities will also tap into the Silicon Border, a 10,000-acre development located in the California-Mexico Border (near Mexicali) that is tailored to the specific needs of science and technology manufacturing.  Silicon Border is focusing on developing technology clusters around key industries, which will contain all elements of the supply chain needed to produce world-class products.  These industries include aerospace, Flat Panel Display/LCD, LED/Optoelectronics, medical devices/biotechnology, nanotechnology, precision machinery, semiconductor, and solar/photovoltaic. The business advisory committee for the new Regional Technology Acceleration program includes Eugenio Clariond Reyes-Retana, a prominent business leader from Monterrey, Mexico and a member of the Jacobs School Council of Advisors; Eugenio Elorduy, former governor of Baja, Calif.;  and Fernando Maiz, CEO of Maiz Edification.

“This partnership between UC San Diego and UABC is what our country needs in order to fight violence and poverty,” Clariond Reyes-Retana said. “There’s no better solution than education to help our economy and to prepare our citizens to take care of our communities, economy and environment.”






Media Contacts

Andrea Siedsma
Jacobs School of Engineering