Research Commercialization

Supporting the commercialization of translational research and startups emerging from SoCal’s leading academic and research institutions.

BRIDGING LAB TO MARKET = IMPACT

Southern California’s concentration of top tier research institutions and universities generate a vast amount of innovation, making it one of the strongest regions in the world for producing and commercializing breakthrough research and intellectual property. Yet, there are still many hurdles on the path from lab to market which hinders their potential impact. Our goal is to help research breakthroughs and innovations translate to impact via the marketplace and generate economic prosperity for the region.

Research Commercialization Programs

First Look SoCal Innovation Showcase

The First Look SoCal Innovation Showcase is an annual conference celebrating the best very early-stage startups commercializing deep tech and life science breakthroughs from SoCal’s top research institutions.

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Research Innovation Spotlight Series

An invite-only virtual program that connects industry (investors + corporates) with researchers who are developing innovative translational technology and life science breakthroughs at Southern California’s top research universities and institutions.

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Participating Academic and Research Institutions

Broad-based leadership connected for purpose

The Alliance works closely with administration leaders within SoCal’s academic and research institutions to improve connectivity to the resources and relationships that support their researchers, startup founders, and tech transfer staff. Working with our board of directors, we have stood up a pair of engaged working groups — the Academic Leadership Council and the Tech Transfer and Academic Innovation Council — whose members represent the diversity of universities and independent research institutes in the region.

Academic Leadership Council

The Alliance’s Academic Leadership Council brings together top faculty members who oversee research commercialization at academic institutions. Council members share best practices, provide updates on their programs, and discuss common challenges and opportunities. The council was created to provide a uniquely valuable forum for a subset of our Board to coordinate domain-specific initiatives and better engage with the broader innovation ecosystem.

Maria Anguiano

Executive Vice President Learning Enterprise Arizona State University

Bio
Errol Arkilic

Chief Innovation Officer UCI and Executive Director Beall Applied Innovation UC Irvine

Bio
Laura Buffard

Associate Vice President of Innovation San Diego State University (SDSU)

Bio
Sherylle Englander

Executive Director, Strategic Initiatives and Operations, UCSB CNSI UC Santa Barbara

Bio
Fred Farina

Chief Innovation & Corporate Partnerships Officer Caltech

Bio
Rosibel Ochoa

Associate Vice Chancellor Technology Partnerships UC Riverside

Bio
Ishwar Puri

Senior Vice President of Research & Innovation and Professor University of Southern California (USC)

Bio
Chell Roberts

Dean, Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering University of San Diego

Bio
Paul Roben

Associate Vice Chancellor, Innovation & Technology Commercialization UC San Diego

Bio
Richard Sudek

CEO Coach, Angel Investor; Chief Innovation Officer (former) UCI Beall Applied Innovation (former)

Bio
Mark Wisniewski

Senior Director, Biopharmaceuticals at UCLA Technology Development Group UCLA

Bio

Maria Anguiano

Executive Vice President Learning Enterprise Arizona State University

Maria Anguiano is Executive Vice President of the Learning Enterprise (LE) at Arizona State University. As a first-generation college graduate, she has dedicated her career to improving access to education for all learners. Maria holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BA from Claremont McKenna College.

Errol Arkilic

Chief Innovation Officer UCI and Executive Director Beall Applied Innovation UC Irvine

Errol Arkilic is Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director of University of California, Irvine Beall Applied Innovation. At UCI, he leads campus‐wide commercialization activity, helping researchers turn knowledge into products and services that impact society.

Laura Buffard

Associate Vice President of Innovation San Diego State University (SDSU)

Laura Buffard is Associate Vice President of Innovation at San Diego Sate University. Buffard graduated with a Ph.D from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Sherylle Englander

Executive Director, Strategic Initiatives and Operations, UCSB CNSI UC Santa Barbara

Sherylle Mills Englander, Director of UCSB’ Office of Technology & Industry Alliances (TIA), works closely with UCSB’s industry partners, as well as its startup companies and the local startup ecosystem. She is the founding director of TIA. Englander holds a JD from UC Berkeley’s School of Law, and a B.M. from the University of Rochester.

Fred Farina

Chief Innovation & Corporate Partnerships Officer Caltech

Fred Farina is Caltech’s Chief Innovation and Corporate Partnerships Officer. His responsibilities include commercializing inventions made at Caltech and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL/NASA) through the creation of new startup ventures and partnerships with established companies.

Rosibel Ochoa

Associate Vice Chancellor Technology Partnerships UC Riverside

Rosibel Ochoa is Associate Vice Chancellor for Technology Partnerships at UCR. She has helped secure more than $21 Million to support and grow entrepreneurial and innovation programs in Inland Southern California. She was named Female Entrepreneurial Leader of the Year by the ACEEU in 2023.

Ishwar Puri

Senior Vice President of Research & Innovation and Professor University of Southern California (USC)

Dr. Ishwar K. Puri is Senior Vice President of research and innovation and professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering at University of Southern California. He oversees the USC Office of Research that guides the university’s research programs.

Chell Roberts

Dean, Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering University of San Diego

Chell A. Roberts, PhD, is the founding dean of the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering at the University of San Diego. Before joining USD, Dr. Roberts served as the executive dean of the College of Technology and Innovation at Arizona State University, where he was responsible for designing innovative curricular programs.

Paul Roben

Associate Vice Chancellor, Innovation & Technology Commercialization UC San Diego

Paul Roben, Ph.D., was named Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Commercialization at UC San Diego in June 2015. He oversees the Office of Innovation and Commercialization, which will establish a campus-wide innovation platform to build a systemic and sustainable innovation culture, create a vibrant regional ecosystem, and accelerate the commercialization of UC San Diego inventions.

Richard Sudek

CEO Coach, Angel Investor; Chief Innovation Officer (former) UCI Beall Applied Innovation (former)

Richard Sudek and his team built UCI Beall Applied Innovation as a central hub for the UCI campus and Orange County community to connect. During his semi-retirement, Sudek plans to dedicate a sizeable portion of his time to helping under-resourced and underrepresented entrepreneurs be successful as well as coach entrepreneurs one-on-one.

Mark Wisniewski

Senior Director, Biopharmaceuticals at UCLA Technology Development Group UCLA

Mark Wisniewski is the Senior Director of Biopharmaceuticals.  He is responsible for the life science and biopharma intellectual property developed at UCLA, including managing licensing and marketing staff, financial management of the portfolio and outreach to inventors and industry. 

Upcoming events

Check out our events calendar to see upcoming opportunities to connect with the innovation community in Southern California.