Cross-Campus Entrepreneurship and Innovation

The following departments and programs create a bridge between research and innovations in entrepreneurship at UC Davis. Support includes developing commercialization pathways for research and connecting researchers with investors, entrepreneurs and others to support the commercialization process.

ASUCD Entrepreneurship Fund

This student-run organization promotes entrepreneurship and innovation among UC Davis undergraduates. Students with interesting, innovative and impactful ideas for socially responsible business can receive up to $1,500 to help develop, launch or grow their companies. Additional resources are available, including assistance in developing business plans or giving presentations to investors, access to seminars and workshops through the Child Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and networking opportunities through our affiliated professors, alumni and business partners. Visit the website for to learn about the application process and volunteer opportunities.

Biomedical Engineering Department

The department applies engineering principles and techniques to solving medical problems and translating new discoveries to the clinic and operating room. Faculty work on better ways to detect, study, reverse and cure such problems as heart disease, repair and regenerate tissues, and design vaccines. Collegial faculty, outstanding students and skilled staff collaborate to create an ideal research climate. Strong institutional support and unique resources, such as a medical school, veterinary school, and many others contribute to an incredibly rich research environment. The Biomedical Engineering Department co-sponsored the Biomedical Engineering Entrepreneurship Academy in 2011 and 2012.

Center for Biophotonics

The Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology advances research, development and application of new optical/photonic tools and technology in medicine and the life sciences. CBST’s unique location and environment enables engineers to collaborate with basic scientists and physicians at the UC Davis Medical Center to translate new biotechnologies from the benchtop to bedside. Projects supported by CBST include super-resolution optical microscopies, advanced imaging and manipulation of living cells and biological systems, engineered fluorescent proteins, label-free cell analysis by Raman scattering spectroscopy, molecular sensors and assays and in vivo diagnostics using advanced endoscopy.

Center for Innovation Studies

The center’s research engages the many dimensions of the process of technoscientific innovation, from those that make it possible to those that constrain it. The focus is predominantly on the upstream spectrum of innovation—from the design, articulation and funding of research programs to the patenting and publication of their outcomes. Particular attention is given to the process, practices, instruments and techniques of innovation and to the conceptual and practical problems of knowledge transfer.


The Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) partnership is the first to create and harness information technology to tackle society’s most critical needs. For real progress, California needs pervasive, secure, energy-efficient, and disaster-proof information systems, delivering new kinds of vital data that people put to use quickly. With this information, Californians can save billions of dollars and improve, even save, lives. CITRIS sponsors research on problems that have a major impact on the economy, quality of life, and future success of California: conserving energy; education; saving lives, property, and productivity in the wake of disasters; boosting transportation efficiency; advancing diagnosis and treatment of disease; and expanding business growth through much richer personalized information services.

Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC)

The UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center provides infrastructure support for the conduct of translational research by aiding access to and enhancing state-of-the-art technologies. The center assists faculty, fellows and students across basic science, translational and medical disciplines working to turn silos of research into new collaborative scientific discoveries.

Create IGERT

The multi-institutional, National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program, entitled Collaborative Research and Education in Agricultural Technologies and Engineering (CREATE), provides a structured, well-integrated graduate research and educational training program that focuses on the use of transgenic plants and in-vitro plant systems for the production of industrial non-food products and biopharmaceuticals. Throughout the program, particular attention is devoted to the scientific, engineering, environmental, regulatory, economic, intellectual property, societal and global issues associated with plant biotechnology.

Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology (DEB)

The Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology (DEB) is an intergraduate group program that allows Ph.D. students to receive and be credited for training in biotechnology. The DEB provides a very effective, multidisciplinary biotechnology concentration, which includes exposure to bioethics, business and legal aspects of biotechnology and a 3–6 month internship in a biotechnology company or research laboratory in another college or national laboratory. The institute provides opportunities for DEB participants to further their lab to market ideas through participation in the Business Development Fellows program, entrepreneurship academies and the Big Bang! Business Competition.

Energy Efficiency Center

The Energy Efficiency Center (EEC) identifies promising energy-efficient technologies, develops viable business ventures around those technologies, and connects those ventures to the financial, physical, intellectual and social capital that will be critical to their success. The EEC supports the Green Technology Entrepreneurship Academy.

Energy Institute

The Energy Institute is accelerating the global transformation to a sustainable energy future, integrating energy efficiency with renewable energy solutions and training the next generation of engineering, scientific and policy leaders.

Engineering Translational Technology Center

The Engineering Translational Technology Center is a technology incubator designed to speed the transfer of high-impact, innovative ideas to the marketplace to meet society’s needs. The center supports tenure-track professors during a critical stage of idea development.

Foods for Health Institute

The Foods For Health Institute (FFHI) was established to link diverse scientific disciplines across UC Davis’ colleges and schools, and to develop regional and international multi-stakeholder partnerships. The FFHI acts as an engine for research, innovation and economic development supported by competitive research programs, industry collaborations and philanthropic funding. Together, the FFHI and its partners will lead the improvement of individual health through diet.

FUTURE Program, an NIH Common Fund Initiative

The FUTURE program is an NIH Common Fund Initiative aimed at facilitating career exploration for biomedical graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.

Innovation Access

UC Davis Innovation Access is a catalyst for the creation of partnerships that advance, for public benefit, the dissemination, utilization and commercialization of discoveries made in research at UC Davis. They work in close collaboration with the university’s researchers to identify and protect discoveries that have value for commercialization, or may be the foundation for further research and development partnerships. Innovation Access activities benefit the public by advancing research at UC Davis, commercializing novel products and contributing to regional economic development.

Institute for Transportation Studies

The Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis (ITS-Davis) is a multi-faceted, internationally recognized program with more than 60 affiliated faculty and researchers, 100 graduate students and a $6 million annual budget. Its primary program components are research, education and outreach. By partnering with industry, government and nongovernmental organizations, ITS-Davis has successfully contributed to and advanced public discourse on key transportation issues, while creating a diverse funding base.

Medical Technology Commercialization Clinic (MTCC)

 A Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) award from NSF to the Center for Biophotonics Science & Technology formed the Medical Technology Commercialization Clinic (MTCC), bringing together multidisciplinary teams that include faculty, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) students, MBA students and experienced entrepreneurs to bring medical technologies closer to market. PFI team Accelerated Medical Diagnostics took 1st place in the 2011 Big Bang! Business Competition.

One Health Institute

The One Health approach addresses complex health problems on a platform that recognizes that the health of domestic animals, wildlife and people are inextricably linked with each other and the environment. One Health is collaborative and transdisciplinary – agricultural scientists, anthropologists, economists, educators, engineers, entomologists, epidemiologists, hydrologists, microbiologists, nutritionists, physicians, public health professionals, sociologists, and veterinarians working collaboratively to improve and promote both human and animal health