Blumenthal discusses technology transfer with local business leaders

Acting Chancellor George Blumenthal told the Capitola/Soquel Chamber of Commerce that UCSC could help new start-up businesses, particularly in the area of "Green Tech" or "Clean Tech."

Santa Cruz County is uniquely positioned to develop new clean industries, Blumenthal said in comments July 10 to the business group. The event was one of several in which Blumenthal has met with community groups and taken questions.

He is scheduled to meet with Rotary Clubs in Watsonville and Aptos in August. Previous meetings have occurred with the Aptos Chamber of Commerce and Santa Cruz Rotary Club.

Several people who attended the Soquel meeting expressed interest in UCSC's efforts in promoting technology transfer where new businesses sprout, using technology developed by students and campus researchers.

UCSC has offered space at its 2300 Delaware Avenue facility for a potential technology transfer center or business incubator. The university has been working with the Santa Cruz Redevelopment Agency and has actively participated in the city's Technical Advisory Group.

A feasibility study by Bay Area Economics found there is interest and general demand in the local business community. The report also concluded that new and emerging programs at UCSC such as Digital Arts and New Media and Computer Gaming look particularly promising as a source of new technology. Entrepreneurs (including graduating students) could benefit from an incubator with a focus on multimedia/design/technology.

Blumenthal also highlighted recent achievements by UCSC faculty and researchers. UCSC's roots may be local but its impact is global, he said.

UCSC, as the Santa Cruz County's largest employer, pumps millions of dollars into the local economy. Citing technology transfer as just one example, Blumenthal pointed out how UCSC research can be leveraged for the economic benefit of the county.