Wednesday, February 01, 2006

UC Davis tech center lights up seven new firms

Sacramento Business Journal - 11:36 AM PST Monday January 30, 2006

UC Davis tech center lights up seven new firms
Kathy Robertson

Staff writer

A new UC Davis center that uses light to diagnose and treat disease has already played a role in the development or spin-off of seven area companies.

The $20 million, 40,000-square-foot Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology was dedicated Monday by university and research officials. The center is in the Oak Park Research Building on Stockton Boulevard in Sacramento, occupying a former vacant lot adjacent to the UC Davis Medical Center.

Biophotonics uses light to study how cells function and treat diseases like cancer in a non-invasive way.

The center was established in 2002 with a $40 million grant from the National Science Foundation. It is now a research hub for roughly 100 researchers at nine partner institutions across the country, including UC Davis, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, Mills College and Stanford University.

Economic development occurs in two ways, said Kevin O'Brien, technology transfer chief at the center. New companies spin-off from the hub or the center provides assistance to early-stage businesses.

There's been an attempt to get industry, related service providers and investors involved early on, in order to ease the transfer from research lab to market, he said.

LifeWave Inc., a Roseville company that is developing hand-held and wearable cardiac monitors, received support from the new local center. Among other developments, two Davis companies and one in Sacramento are in the early "friends and family" fundraising stage, O'Brien said.

© 2006 American City Business Journals Inc.

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