The Trustees of the University of California met at UC Riverside on Friday, January 27 for a series of meetings highlighting the campus’s role in promoting economic growth through technological development, agricultural innovation and public health.
The Board heard from campus leaders, researchers, students and community leaders about UCR’s important role in transforming the region in multiple areas and was asked to continue or expand their support . They also toured the interdisciplinary research building and met an entrepreneur developing technology for a new startup in his life sciences incubator.
In the morning session, the Regent’s Task Force on Innovation Transfer and Entrepreneurship focused on the UCR’s role as a regional economic engine. In the afternoon, the Regent’s Public Engagement and Development Committee discussed how the medical school is working to reduce health inequalities.
The regents last met on campus in 2020, when the board held a town hall during the search for the UC president. The Regent’s last regular meeting on campus was his 2012.
Regent Lark Park, chair of the Regents Special Committee on Innovation Transfer and Entrepreneurship, said several projects, from leading the country in student social mobility, to new capital improvement projects completed or underway, such as a new medical school. He praised the progress UCR has made in terms of Business building school.
“This is a veritable army of change and innovation with incredibly far-reaching impact,” she said.
“We are proud of what this campus has achieved over the past decade,” added Lark.
Regent Janet Reilly, chair of the Public Engagement and Development Committee, said it was exciting and rewarding to see and hear how UCR is developing solutions to local problems. . These discussions will inform how the regent can help support the campus, she said.
“This campus has a unique energy and a pioneering spirit,” she said. “There’s real drive and excitement about what the future holds. Coming here always lifts me up.”
President Kim A. Wilcox welcomed the Regent to a presentation on the Office of Technology Partnerships’ engagement with students, faculty, and businesses, along with Rodolfo Torres, Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development, and Rocibel Ochoa, Vice Chancellor for Technology Partnerships . and community.
“It means a lot to us to show what’s going on,” Wilcox said. “This is a team sport and I want to applaud where we are.”
Wilcox cites the campus’s economic clout as the site being a citrus testing ground before UCR was founded. He said his influence grew in the decades that followed. For example, the Tango Mandarin, developed by UCR researchers, is now sold in over 50 countries, making him one of his most profitable UC inventions.
According to Wilcox, the campus will pursue future areas of innovation in agriculture, air quality and clean energy in an inclusive, environmentally and economically sustainable manner, and build on its research heritage. It is based on.
“We now have a chance to shape the future in a growth area,” he said.
Planned UCR projects include the OASIS Clean Technology Park adjacent to the new California Air Resources Board facility and the Northside Agricultural Innovation Center to develop climate-smart solutions in agriculture. A training lab will soon open at the Palm Desert campus to analyze lithium and other important minerals used in electric vehicle batteries and other clean technologies.
Torres described how the Office of Technology Partnerships works with students, faculty, and entrepreneurs to support new technology research through on- and off-campus incubators, proof-of-concept grants, and training programs.
“We are leveraging our local assets and talent to develop, attract and commercialize innovation here at the Inland Empire to help shape the future of California and beyond,” said Torres. increase. “With limited resources, we worked with multiple stakeholders to identify solutions to many of the region’s problems.”
In the area of public health, the Regent heard how the medical school, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, is addressing the region’s doctor shortage by training future doctors. Construction is underway on Teaching Wing II of the state-funded medical school, which could open and train more students by the fall.
“We enroll students who lived in the Inland Empire, lived here at some point, and then came back to the Inland Empire,” said Mark and Pam, vice president of health sciences and UCR School of Medicine. Dr. Deborah Dieth, Dean of Rubin said. of medicine.
But Deeds and state senator Richard Ross, a strong supporter of the medical school, said access to clinical training should be expanded for medical students as enrollment increases. It has partnerships with 17 local hospitals and clinics, but Deas says it faces increasing competition for these slots.
Roth said he wants to keep the school stable to better fulfill its mission of reaching underserved people and transforming the workforce.
“We have built a strong foundation for development and community engagement, but we still have work to do,” he said.
Finally, the Regent heard how UCR’s science-to-policy program can place science students in internships and fellowships with legislators to influence public policy. In 2018 she started with 5 students and now has 40 participants a year.
“We need scientists who can communicate the impact of science to the wider public and policy makers,” said Susan Hackwood, program director. Founding Dean of Bourns College of Engineering.