UC MBEST Speaker Series and Info Sessions

The UC MBEST Executive Committee invites you to join us for our UC Monterey Bay Education Science & Technology (UC MBEST) Speaker Series featuring leading UC-affiliated and national research park and innovation district practitioners and thought leaders.

Speaker Series

The UC MBEST Mini-Speaker Series is intended to offer firsthand accounts on developing research and innovation districts from the leaders themselves. Speakers will cover considerations such as: How was the project conceived? What was the involvement of academic departments/divisions? Significant timelines and funding, progress to date, and opportunities and challenges. We will also hear local perspective on optimizing value for education to career pathways. We hope you can join us!

  • Thursday, March 11, 4–5:30p.m.: Richard Sudek, PhD, Executive Director - UCI Beall Applied Innovation
  • Tuesday, March 16, 4–5:30 p.m.: Brian Darmody, Chief Executive Officer- Association of University Research Parks (AURP)
  • Thursday, March 25, 4–5:30 p.m.: Mark Romney, Chief Industry Alliance Officer -UC Davis Aggie Square
  • Thursday, April 1, 4–5:30p.m.: Jacob Martinez, Founder and Executive Director- Digital NEST and External Advisor to Chancellor Larive

Please use this zoom link to access each meeting.

Info Sessions

The Info Sessions will provide background information and context for the potential to expand university research activities and public-private partnering opportunities at UC MBEST in three focus areas: Artificial Intelligence (AI) /Mobility, Agricultural Technology (AgTech) and Coastal Sciences. This high-level overview is being made available to faculty that may be interested in future participation and provides a knowledge foundation for the UC MBEST Speaker Series.

The format is a short presentation followed by Q&A. Interested faculty and staff can attend one of the options below:

  • Thursday, March 4 4–5 p.m.
  • Friday, March 5 1–2 p.m.
  • Monday, March 8 4–5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 9 4–5 p.m.

Please use this zoom link to access each Info Session.

UC MBEST Background

The University of California Monterey Bay Education Science and Technology (UC MBEST) Center is a 1080-acre site conveyed to the UC in 1994 with the closure of the Fort Ord military installation. The Fort Ord Natural Reserve was established on 605+-acres and has been functioning as a research education and collaboration asset since the late 1990’s. The remaining 475+ acres were envisioned as a home for multi-institutional education, research and industry partnerships, and eventually to take the form of a research park/innovation district. Planning for reuse has continued moving forward with installation of $15-million in roads and other infrastructure invested by the Economic Development Administration, along with the construction of the 20,000-sf UC MBEST Headquarters Building. More recently, UC Santa Cruz lead research in artificial intelligence and mobility, agricultural technology and coastal sciences, as well as major new investments by a market leading electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft manufacturer have renewed interest in the potential of UC MBEST as an innovation, entrepreneurship and industry alliances hub.

Chancellor Larive has charged an Executive Committee of Academic leadership to develop a strategic plan for MBEST and initiate the implementation of that plan. This speaker series is one step in that process, and is intended to raise awareness of the UC MBEST opportunity for our research and campus community, and offer insights on the process of developing research and innovation districts from local UC-affiliated and national practitioners & thought leaders. Speakers will cover considerations such as:

  • Trends in university-affiliated research park and innovation district development;
  • Origins of their respective projects;
  • Key partners and research focus areas;
  • Involvement of academic departments/divisions;
  • Significant timelines and funding;
  • Progress to date;
  • opportunities and challenges; and
  • optimizing education to career pathways.