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Richard Lyons, dean of UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, and Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur Steve Blank are to head up a programme to commercialise university research and fostering innovation in the Bay Area. The hub will commercialise research from three Californian institutions, Stanford, Berkeley and UC San Francisco, and is being funded through a three-year, $3.75m grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The grant is for one of three Innovation Corps Regional Nodes - I-Corps - to be announced this month by the NSF. The other two - the first in the Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia region, the second in New York - are headed up by an engineer and a scientist respectively, rather than by a business academic and practitioner.

“Our three universities are the source of so many ground-breaking discoveries that can be put into service of society and this grant will allow us to develop next-generation processes to tap them and bring them to market,” says Prof Lyons. “Getting better at this means more jobs, more economic value and better lives.”

Other academics involved in the Bay Area node include André Marquis, executive director of Haas’s Lester Center for Entrepreneurship, who will be Node manager, Erik Lium, assistant vice chancellor of innovation, technology and alliances at UCSF, and Riitta Katila, associate professor of management science and engineering at Stanford.


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