Nomination Period for the Innovator of the Year Award Open Through March 11, 2019
The UC Davis Chancellor’s Innovation Awards are intended to recognize faculty members, community partners, and innovative leaders for their success in developing new technologies, making a societal impact, or driving innovations based on university research or academic endeavors in the preceding calendar year. These innovators play an essential role in the translation of university research to improve the lives of others and address the needs of our global society.

Up to two Innovator of the Year awards will be presented, recognizing individual faculty, staff, or teams that may include students, whose inventive, innovative or entrepreneurial activities have had a measurable societal impact in the last year, or those whose activities or achievements in the last year have a very strong potential to make a significant impact in the future. Individual award-recipients or team recipients will receive a cash award of up to $10,000 which can be applied to further their research or other innovative activities.

Nominations for the Innovator of the Year award are due March 11, 2019 and can be submitted by anyone within the campus community. The submission form and program details can be found on the Office of Research website .

For more information, visit our website or contact Arkady Hagopian .

STAIR Grant Application Window Open Through March 5, 2019
The Science Translation and Innovative Research (STAIR™) grant program is accepting applications for the 2018-19 program year. Funded through the Office of Research and managed by Venture Catalyst, the STAIR Grant provides funding to UC Davis researchers to support translational science and innovative research with the intent of demonstrating early commercial proof-of-concept or commercial feasibility of UC Davis technologies. Examples of outcomes enabled by the funding include development of research or commercial prototypes, generation of translational data, patent claims enablement, and demonstration of proof-of-concept. More information can be found at

The deadline for applications is Tuesday, March 5, 2019 at 5pm

Upcoming STAIR Grant information sessions will be held as follows:
  • Thursday, February 21, 12-1pm, School of Veterinary Medicine, Gladys Valley Hall, Room 1041
  • Wednesday, February 27, 12-1pm, School of Medicine, Sacramento campus, CHT Building, Room 1347

Please check the website regularly for updates at the STAIR Grant Information Sessions web page . Information session materials will be posted as they become available. 

Please RSVP to if you are interested in attending one or more sessions, so that we can get a headcount and send updated information as needed. Pizza will be served. 

Questions or RSVPs should be directed to 
UC Davis Venture Catalyst Knowledge Exchange:
Defending Against Intellectual Property Theft and Economic Espionage
  • Darryl Elliot, Special Agent, Private Sector Coordinator, Federal Bureau of Investigation

For many technology startups, IP is the most crucial factor that determines whether they succeed or fail. An innovative concept and freedom to operate are essential to winning investment. IP from academics and early-stage startups is often targeted by competitors, thieves, and foreign intelligence services. This talk, led by FBI Special Agent Darryl Elliot, will provide insights on the multitude of vulnerabilities, a case example, and defenses to safeguard your IP.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Join us for lunch @
UC Davis Office of Research
1850 Research Park Drive
Davis, CA 95618

Map and Directions: Click Here or visit

Parking Information: Free parking - no permit required.



For more information and to register, visit:
Kings will Pay $10,000 to Winner of Capitalize Startup Competition
The Sacramento Kings launched the fourth annual Capitalize startup pitch competition to support local entrepreneurs and grow the innovation economy of the Sacramento Region. Kings Capitalize extends this commitment to the community by providing an opportunity for innovators to showcase new products and services on the NBA's global stage. As in years past, the final four technology entrepreneurs will have a chance to win $10,000 that will be decided by input on Twitter and a crowd vote at Golden 1 Center during a Sacramento Kings home game in April. To be eligible, companies must be from within 75 miles of Sacramento. Applications are due by February 25, 2019.... Read More
Optical Technology Inventor Elected to National Academy of Engineering
Professor Emeritus Jonathan Heritage of UC Davis is among 86 newly elected members of the National Academy of Engineering. Professor Heritage, along with Olav Solgaard and Amal Bhattarai invented the wavelength selective switch, or WSS. The patent was granted in 2000 within a decade of Heritage’s arrival on campus. The switch is used in fiberoptic networks, in which pulses of light shoot through fiberoptic cables to transmit information for the internet and telecommunications. The WSS was for some years among the most successful inventions in the University of California’s portfolio.... Read More
Explorer Team Selected by Physics World as One of the Top 10 Breakthroughs in 2018 (Physics World)
The EXPLORER PET/CT scanner, invented by UC Davis scientists Simon Cherry and Ramsey Badawi, was selected as one of the ten scientific breakthroughs in 2018 by Physics World. The EXPLORER is the world’s first medical imaging scanner that can capture a 3D picture of the whole human body at once and scan up to 40 times faster or use up to 40 times less radiation than current PET systems.... Read More
UC Davis Microbiome Special Research Program Awards Seed Funding to Seven Collaborative Research Projects
The UC Davis Microbiome Special Research Program and the Office of Research announced the recipients of seven seed funding awards. Each awarded proposal will receive $40,000 over two years. The seed funding program is designed to catalyze new projects and innovations in microbiome sciences with an emphasis on new interdisciplinary collaborations within UC Davis. Funding for the program was provided by the Office of Research, School of Veterinary Medicine, School of Medicine, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, College of Biological Sciences, College of Engineering, and the College of Letters and Sciences.... Read More
Robot-Assisted Throat Cancer Surgery Gets Assist from Novel Optical Device
For hard-to-reach tumors at the back of the throat, robots can assist surgeons to remove cancers in a less invasive way. But this high-tech approach has a drawback: the surgeon’s inability to assess through touch whether they’ve been able to get all of the cancer out. An innovative new device developed at UC Davis is helping to change that. Based on fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIm), the device can be used in tandem with robotic surgery to distinguish between cancerous and benign tissue, guiding the physician in real time to achieve a more precise surgical outcome for the patient.... Read More
Anti-Inflammatory Compound Protects Against Cancer Growth and Recurrence
A new anti-inflammatory compound developed at UC Davis acts as a “surge protector” to suppress inflammation and reduce cancer growth, at least in mouse models of cancer. The work was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.... Read More
Muir Institute Leads UC Project to Find Shovel-Ready Solutions for Carbon Sequestration
A multipartner consortium led by UC Davis and the UC Working Lands Innovation Center is taking on the challenge of finding ways to capture billions of tons of carbon dioxide and bring net carbon emissions in California to zero by 2045. The consortium, led by UC Davis Professor Ben Houlton, director of the John Muir Institute of the Environment, received a three-year, $4.7 million grant from the state of California’s Strategic Growth Council to research scalable methods of using soil amendments — rock, compost and biochar — to sequester greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide in soil.... Read More
Hacker Lab is On the Move
HackerLab, a member of the UC Davis Venture Catalyst Distributed Research Incubation & Venture Engine (DRIVE TM) Network of incubators, will be relocating its Sacramento office to a longer-term, more sustainable location. The new location will feature 15,000 square feet of space, upgraded maker and coworking spaces, a new retail area for the local makers, and more parking. Coworking space will be open during the move, while maker-space is anticipated to be complete in late-February.... Read More
Startup News
Sage Therapeutics Appoints Elizabeth Barrett and George Golumbeski to Board of Directors
Sage Therapeutics announced the addition of Elizabeth (Liz) Barrett and George Golumbeski, Ph.D., to the company’s board of directors. Liz Barrett is the president and chief executive officer of UroGen, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on non-surgical uro-oncology treatments. George Golumbeski is the president of GRAIL, a health-care company focused on the early detection of cancer.... Read More
Arcadia Biosciences’ GoodWheat Supply Chain Is Progressing in Two Hemispheres
Demonstrating its commitment to advancing its GoodWheat™ portfolio of novel, non-GM wheat ingredients with unique health benefits to commercialization, Arcadia Biosciences announced additional progress in the development of its supply chain, led by Grant Aldridge, the company’s new Head of Commercial Development.... Read More
Startup Career Opportunities
Career Opportunities at Evolve Biosystems
Evolve Biosystems is currently hiring for several sales management positions across the US and Canada and two research & development positions, including Associate Director of Quality and a research associate in molecular/microbiology field.... Learn More
Career Opportunities at Chirp Microsystems
Chirp Microsystems is hiring for several positions at its Berkeley, CA location. Open positions include software applications engineer manager, MEMS validation engineer, algorithms engineer, and test engineer.... Learn More
Career Opportunities at Sage Therapeutics
Sage Therapeutics is hiring for several director-level positions including Associate Director of Clinical Pharmacology, Associate Director of Biostatistics, and Director of Patient Advocacy.... Learn more
Career Opportunities at Novoheart
Novoheart is hiring for several scientist roles including two senior-level scientists and two associate scientists.... Learn More
Regional Innovation News
Sacramento's Strong Economy Faces Some Bumps, Report Says (Sacramento State)
Sacramento region's economy has been booming in the recent years with record low unemployment rate paired with increased average household income. However, the region is expected to face some hurdles according to the 2019 Sacramento Business Review report. Some of these indications include a slower job growth rate, especially in cyclical industries where there is an increase in competition for construction jobs with neighboring counties. Other trends outlined in the report include a focus on smaller deals with lower valuations, a positive but somewhat leveled off consumer sentiment, and a more challenging revenue environment. Read the Sacramento State article here and the full report here .
Foodie Incubator Coming to Sacramento (Comstock’s Magazine)
San Francisco-based sustainable development firm Equity Community Builders has partnered with the Sacramento Department of Economic Development to create a commercial kitchen and food business incubator in the Alkali Flat neighborhood, projected to open its doors by 2020. The makerspace, known as The Food Factory, will be tailored to food entrepreneurs who want to launch and scale their brands.... Read More
SMUD Will Fund Studies on Bringing Mobility Technology Center to Sacramento (Sacramento Business Journal)
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) announced that it plans to pay $250,000 for two feasibility studies focused on bringing a mobility technology center to Sacramento. Regional leaders have been working since 2017 toward making the city a hub for the development of autonomous transportation technology, with backers citing Sacramento’s state licensing and regulatory agencies as a unique qualifier for the region to engage in autonomous vehicle research.... Read More
Innovation Insight
BIO and ASTA Launch Innovature: A New Platform to Cultivate Conversations About Innovation in Food and Agriculture (BIO)
The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) has teamed up with the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) to launch, which aims to bring together key influencers to foster conversations about innovation in food and agriculture, especially ones focused around gene editing. Innovature content aims to explore how gene editing and other innovations can be harnessed to address some of the most pressing societal challenges of the modern world – namely climate change, sustainability, hunger, and improvements in health...... Read More
Big Deals, Life Sciences Push U.S. VC in 2018 to Dot-Com Boom Levels (Xconomy)
According to Pitchbook and National Venture Capital Association Venture Monitor report, U.S. startups collectively took in more than $100 billion in 2018, a level not seen since 2000. The report tallied nearly 9,000 deals made last year, through which venture investors invested $104 billion into companies – about 500 fewer deals than in the year prior, but with an increase of $48 billion in the total amount invested.... Read More
States’ Increase R&D Spending (State Science & Technology Institute)
According to the newest results from the annual survey of state government R&D, conducted by the National Science Foundation, States invested $1.1 billion into health-related R&D expenditures in FY 2017 – an increase of 13% from the previous year.... Read More
A Dearth of Physician Innovators Can Derail New Biomedical Startups (STAT)
The founding of biomedical startups is being impacted heavily by the shortage of physicians. The expertise that physicians can add to biomedical startups is invaluable, ranging from how a new technology or product might affect the current health system to providing key insights into company strategy, direction, and growth. There are multitude of reasons why it's so difficult to find physicians willing to become involved in a startup, from cultural to more practical. Doctors are taught to be conservative in their approach. While a conservative approach is ideal when working with patients, it is oftentimes not compatible with the turbulent nature of startups. Location is also an issue given that the majority of doctors are not located in startup hotspots such as the Bay Area or Boston. Despite these challenges, there are increasing signs that physicians are intrigued by the prospect of interacting startups. The American Medical Association’s Physical Innovation Network, for example, has built an online community of more than 4,000 physicians seeking to collaborate with entrepreneurs…. Read More
Funding Opportunities
Big Bang! Business Competition
Application Deadline: February 21, 2019.... Learn More
Meet One-on-One with Procter & Gamble
Application Deadline: February 21, 2019.... Learn More
The California Sustainable Energy Entrepreneur Development Initiative (CalSEED) Grant
Application Deadline: March 11, 2019.... Learn More
VentureWell E-Teams Grant
Application Deadline: May 8, 2019.... Learn More
Little Bang! Poster Competition
Application Deadline: May 16, 2019.... Learn More
VentureWell Design by Biomedical Undergraduate Teams Challenge
Application Deadline: May 31, 2019.... Learn More
UC Santa Cruz SVLink Accelerator
Application Deadline: Applications Accepted on the 15th of Each Month Until Full.... Learn More
IndieBio Accelerator
Application Deadline: Ongoing.... Learn More
Open SBIR/STTR Grant Topics. ... Learn More
Educational Opportunities
UC Davis Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship Big Bang! Business Competition Workshops and Events
Date: Through May 2019.... Learn More
California Climate & Agriculture Summit
Date: March 4-5, 2018.... Learn More
VentureWell OPEN Conference (San Francisco, CA)
Date: March 28-30, 2019.... Learn More
Regional Events
CleanStart Discussion, Discover & Drinks by the Colleges of ECS and NSM at Sacramento State
Date: February 28, 2019.... Learn More
Bizwomen Mentoring Monday
Date: February 25, 2019.... Learn More
The Business of Food & Agriculture
Date: March 14, 2019.... Learn More
Greater Sacramento Economic Council Competitiveness Forum
Date: March 28, 2019.... Learn More
Greater Sacramento Economic Council Competitiveness Forum
Date: April 4, 2019.... Learn More
CleanStart Future of the Utility Business
Date: April 19, 2019.... Learn More
Hacker Lab Hands-On Education
Date: Ongoing.... Learn More
Small Business Development Center Workshops
Date: Ongoing.... Learn More
Silicon Valley USPTO Workshops
Date: Ongoing.... Learn More
1 Million Cups
Date: Weekly (Wednesdays).... Learn More
Industry Events
Festival of Biologics (San Diego, CA)
Date: March 3-5, 2019.... Learn More
Venture Summit West (Burlingame, CA)
Date: March 6-7, 2019.... Learn More
BioProcess International (Santa Clara, CA)
Date: March 11-14, 2019.... Learn More
Formulation & Drug Delivery USA Congress (San Diego, CA)
Date:March 18-19, 2019.... Learn More
World AgriTech Summit (Monterrey, CA)
Date: March 19-20, 2019.... Learn More
Future FoodTech Innovation & Investment (San Francisco, CA)
Date: March 21-22, 2019.... Learn More
BIO International Convention (Philadelphia, PA)
Date: June 3-6, 2019.... Learn More
Nanotech Conference & Expo
Date: June 17-19, 2019.... Learn More
BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology (Des Moines, IA)
Date: July 8-11, 2019.... Learn More
Seed Central
Date: Every Second Thursday.... Learn More
About Venture Catalyst 
UC Davis Venture Catalyst facilitates the translation of University research and technology by enabling the development of new ventures. Venture Catalyst engages with the Davis and Sacramento business, governmental and economic development community to highlight the development of technologies and ventures coming out of UC Davis that will drive tomorrow’s regional job creation. Working closely with these partners, Venture Catalyst is invigorating the technology-based entrepreneurial ecosystem of the entire region. 
The Venture Catalyst START™ Suite of programs and services provides the ABCs to equip UC Davis entrepreneurs with the tools they need to form and grow robust startups. The program gives founders the START they need to create a well-structured company and ensure the company is prepared for success. 
Contact Venture Catalyst 
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