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Science Students Get Down to Business With Research

September 8, 2005

Some graduate science and engineering students at UC Davis are getting a head start on classes -- and on taking their research to the marketplace.

About 25 students are participating in an intensive one-week program Sept. 12 to 16 to learn how to translate their research into viable products for investment and the competitive market.

"Slowly, a number of students are beginning to get more interested not only in entrepreneurship but in learning more generally what it takes to make a difference with their research," says Andrew Hargadon, director of technology management programs for the Graduate School of Management.

The intensive program is an offshoot of a new certificate program in business development also offered through the management school and the Office of Research.

The yearlong program pairs graduate students in the sciences and engineering with MBA students to prepare them to successfully license research, start new ventures, or work in corporate research and development. Its inaugural class of nine completed studies in June, and eight new fellows will begin the program this fall.

The intensive program offers a condensed version for students who can't take the full program concurrently with their graduate programs, says Hargadon.

In next week's program, students will tackle topics ranging from evaluating market opportunities to pitching business plans and from intellectual property to interdisciplinary teamwork.

Co-teachers and guest speakers will include venture capitalist Scott Lenet; Pamela Marrone, founder and president of AgraQuest; interim Executive Director Bill Tucker of UC's Office of Technology Transfer; and David McGee, executive director of UC Davis' Technology Transfer Center.

The students in the intensive program are themselves conducting research in the fields of clean energy, nutrition, animal science, software, chemical engineering and nanotechnology.

"They represent a good cross-section of the quality graduate students who are getting interested in commercializing their research," Hargadon said.

"More doctoral students are going into industry," he added. "This program is going to help them get off to a running start."

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