Innovation/Entrepreneurship

November 2, 2018

Turning cars into robot traffic managers

Self-driving cars may one day do more than just get us from point A to point B. By adjusting their speed and position while they merge they could also help reduce the bottlenecks and random slowdowns on busy thoroughfares like the Bay Bridge, getting us where we’re going faster and more efficiently than if we all drove ourselves.
October 9, 2018

Xu, Titov receive million-dollar New Innovator awards

Two young faculty members — assistant professors Ke Xu of chemistry and Denis Titov of molecular and cell biology — were among 89 recipients of “high-risk, high-reward” grants announced last week by the National Institutes of Health.
September 26, 2018

CZ Biohub awards $13.7 million for new collaborative health research

The Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, a nonprofit medical research organization, announced that it is awarding $13.7 million over three years to support cutting-edge biomedical research from seven teams of scientists, physicians and engineers, with faculty members from UC Berkeley, UCSF and Stanford.
August 15, 2018

UC Berkeley startup accelerator gets a boost from venture fund

SkyDeck, UC Berkeley's accelerator and incubator, is accelerating its own growth. A new venture fund enables SkyDeck to invest $100,000 in the companies in its accelerator, and its accepting a broader and more global range of entrepreneurs, tripling its adviser group and doubling its office size.
May 21, 2018

Urban Resilience: Hiding in Plain Sight

More than 1,500 abandoned parcels of land lie scattered throughout San Francisco, from unused alleys to vacant parking lots and public easements. The combined area rivals the size of Golden Gate Park.  In New York City, more than 2,000 similar “remnant parcels” add up to the size of Central Park.
December 12, 2017

Three innovators elected to National Academy of Inventors

Three faculty members – Tsu-Jae King Liu and Eli Yablonovitch of electrical engineering and computer sciences and Daniel Portnoy of molecular and cell biology and public health – have been named fellows of the National Academy of Inventors.
December 4, 2017

New robots can see into their future

Researchers have developed a robotic learning technology that enables robots to imagine the future of their actions so they can figure out how to manipulate objects they have never encountered before.
November 7, 2017

Berkeley startup to train robots like puppets

Robots today must be programmed by writing computer code, but imagine donning a VR headset and virtually guiding a robot through a task and then letting the robot take it from there.
August 10, 2017

Biomedical startups featured in the New York Times

Two biomedical startups founded by current and former UC Berkeley students are making big news for their small devices that monitor asthma and heart health. These medical devices started as senior design projects in the BioE 192 Senior Capstone Design course and are now on the pages of the New York Times.
March 7, 2017

UC Berkeley, power company Enel launch innovation hub

The UC Berkeley campus has a new innovation hub that is the result of a partnership between Enel, a multinational power company, and the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) and the Banatao Institute.
February 7, 2017

Physiological Changes Tracked Moment to Moment

Imbedded in a sweatband, a network of sensors devised by Ali Javey can monitor moment-by-moment changes in electrolytes and metabolites, a potential boon to weekend athletes, diabetics and people exposed to heavy metal concentrations.
January 31, 2017

Trading in the Scalpel for a Sharper Blade

Bakar Fellow Kathy Collins develops techniques to capture genetic information embedded in cancer cells’ RNA — a new tool to improve cancer diagnosis and treatment.
September 9, 2016

In startup sweepstakes, it’s Cal vs. Stanford

Once again, Stanford and UC Berkeley were neck and neck in competing for the largest number of tech startups created by undergraduate alums, according to the industry analytics firm PitchBook.
May 20, 2016

President Obama awards National Medals to Alivisatos, Hu

President Barack Obama yesterday honored two UC Berkeley faculty members at the White House, awarding chemist Paul Alivisatos with the National Medal of Science and electrical engineer Chenming Hu with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

May 1, 2016

Life with machine: Robot relationships get real

Berkeley’s renowned programs in artificial intelligence and robotics involve scores of professors in the College of Engineering. Their aim is to create machines with the intelligence to better serve and work with human beings.

March 18, 2016

Three new Signatures Innovation Fellows announced

Three faculty members have been selected as 2016-17 Signatures Innovation Fellows, receiving as much as $100,000 per year each for up to two years to pursue commercially promising data science and software projects.

February 22, 2016

“Deep Learning”: A Giant Step for Robots

Bakar Fellow Pieter Abbeel studies deep learning in robots. The robot BRETT (Berkeley Robot for Elimination of Tedious Tasks) has mastered a range of skills, including folding laundry, knot-tying, and basic assembly.

February 16, 2016

A New Recipe for Construction

Bakar Fellow Ronald Rael is advancing a type of 3-D printing that could add more beauty, variety and sustainability to building designs.

February 8, 2016

How Many Lasers can You Fit into a Shoebox?

Bakar Fellow Holger Müller is redesigning an instrument known as an atom interferometer, capable of making extremely precise measurements of distance and gravity.

February 1, 2016

Savvy Software Lightens MRI Burden

The Bakar Fellows Program supports Michael Lustig’s collaborations with clinicians and industry to speed adoption of the new MRI imaging strategies.

November 13, 2015

Engineers give a girl a hand

Life-changing technology can often come at a price that keeps it out of reach for many people, but a project to develop a 3D-printed prosthetic hand for a child is providing engineers at UC Berkeley a chance to change that.

October 5, 2015

Urban Infrastructure - Making Cities Smarter

Alexei Pozdnoukhov, a Signatures Innovation Fellow, leads research to use cellular data to aid traffic planning and operations. Fully developed, the technology could aid both traffic control and planning to keep pace with changes in transportation habits.

June 24, 2015

Streamlined cockroaches inspire highly maneuverable robots

Chen Li, a Miller Postdoctoral Fellow, studied the maneuvering ability of cockroaches with rounded shells and saw that their simple streamlined shape allowed them to easily roll and slip through gaps in a clutter of objects, such as grass and leaves on a forest floor.

May 6, 2015

Smartphone video microscope automates detection of parasites in blood

A UC Berkeley-led research team has developed a new mobile phone microscope that uses video to automatically detect and quantify infection by parasitic worms in a drop of blood. This technology could help revive efforts to eradicate debilitating diseases in Africa by providing critical information for health providers in the field.

April 21, 2015

UC Berkeley launches the Signatures Innovation Fellows Program

In an effort to support UC Berkeley faculty interested in commercial applications of their research, UC Berkeley is launching a new program in the data science and software areas. The new Signatures Innovation Fellows program was recently established with the generous support of UC Berkeley alumnus Bobby Yazdani.

February 16, 2015

The Invisible Comes to Light

Laura Waller is working on computational imaging methods for quantitative phase microscopy, which enables one to map the shape and/or density of invisible samples in a non-invasive way.  Her group is developing simple experimental architectures and efficient post-processing algorithms for phase recovery, applied in a variety of scientific and industrial settings.

January 20, 2015

Breaking the sound barrier in deaf communication

Thibault Duchemin grew up as the only hearing person in a family of four.   He has always understood the communication challenges that were a daily part of their lives. Now, he’s developed Transcense – a mobile app that aims to end some of the professional and social isolation caused by hearing loss. 

September 9, 2014

Bakar research fellows make their case in Silicon Valley

Sixteen faculty members from UC Berkeley’s Bakar Fellows Program recently took their research ideas to Sand Hill Road — the heart of Silicon Valley’s venture capital community — for a coveted meeting with some of the nation’s top angel investors.

July 1, 2014

Blind lead the way in brave new world of tactile technology

Imagine feeling a slimy jellyfish, a prickly cactus or map directions on your iPad display. Virtual textured touchscreens are where tactile technology is headed. New research has found that people are faster at navigating tactile technology when using both hands and several fingers. Moreover, blind people in the study outmaneuvered their sighted counterparts.

March 4, 2014

Ashok Gadgil inducted into National Inventors Hall of Fame

Dr. Ashok Gadgil is inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) for his water disinfecting device. The NIHF honors those who are responsible for the great technological advances that make human, social and economic progress possible.

March 4, 2014

Using Carbon to Control the Light

Feng Wang is studying how electrical fields modulate the optical properties of a number of materials. The flip of a light switch – a nano-scale light switch – may some day dramatically boost the speed of data transmission, from streaming movies to accelerating the most data-intense computation. 

February 6, 2014

Pinning down malevolent cancer cells

Lydia Sohn is developing a new technique based on microtechnology to distinguish between different types of circulating tumor cells also known as CTC’s . She hopes this more sensitive approach will help clinicians learn which CTC’s are most prone to lead to metastasis.

January 28, 2014

Announcing the California Report Card

Californians can now use smartphones to grade their state on timely issues. Developed by the office of Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom with the CITRIS Data and Democracy Initiative at UC Berkeley.

January 10, 2014

Symposium spotlights clean-technology solutions

In the atrium of Sutardja Dai Hall, a screen displayed real-time results as audience members texted votes they based on what they’d just seen on stage. The audience was voting on favorites from a spate of innovative, environmentally friendly energy technologies being developed and refined through Cleantech to Market (C2M), a unique collaboration of UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
November 1, 2013

3-D gesture-recognition chip could be a boon to wearable gadgets

Researchers at Berkeley Engineering and UC Davis are developing a tiny chip that uses ultrasound waves to detect a slew of gestures in three dimensions. The technology, called Chirp, could eventually be used in everything from helmet cams to smart watches.
October 31, 2013

Researchers developing brain-controlled prosthetic devices

USA Today reports that scientists at the UCSF-UC Berkeley Center for Neural Engineering and Prostheses are among many teams nationwide working on brain-machine interfaces, promising bionic limbs controlled by users' thoughts.
October 28, 2013

Berkeley Lab Scientist Invents Portable DNA Extraction Kit, Helps Haiti

What does the coastal community of Bolinas, California have in common with the impoverished island nation of Haiti? The surprising answer is a fledgling sanitation strategy whereby human waste is composted into nutrient-rich fertilizer, all supported by research from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientist Gary Andersen.
August 2, 2013

Research Brief: Auto lubricant could rev up medical imaging

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, have built a device that could speed up medical imaging without breaking the bank. The key ingredient? An engine lubricant called molybdenum disulfide, or MoS2, which has been sold in auto parts shops for decades.

August 1, 2013

College launches new energy engineering major

The College of Engineering has launched a new major—driven largely by undergraduate interest—that focuses in a comprehensive way on the generation, transmission and storage of energy, with additional courses on energy policy.

July 24, 2013

Research Brief: Technology could bring high-end solar to the masses

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed an inexpensive new way to grow thin films of a material prized in the semiconductor and photovoltaic industries, an achievement that could bring high-end solar cells within reach of consumer pocketbooks.

July 2, 2013

The Fold-Up Boat

Anton Willis (M. Arch '07) has reinvented kayaks for urban dwellers with his inception and production of "the world's first origami kayak." Willis launched Oru Kayak on Kickstarter with a successful campaign resulting in 473 boat orders and $43,806 in pledges.

May 15, 2013

Students think big ideas in tackling societal problems

Closing out almost nine months of intense competition, UC Berkeley’s annual Big Ideas contest honored this year’s crop of outstanding social projects last week during a special awards celebration at the Blum Center for Developing Economies.

April 22, 2013

Packing Power

Tanja Cuk is testing how to optimize new devices for both power delivery and energy storage. Her focus is an alternative to conventional batteries, called a “supercapacitor,” which could deliver more power than current batteries.

April 16, 2013

UC Berkeley selected to build NASA’s next space weather satellite

NASA has awarded the University of California, Berkeley, up to $200 million to build a satellite to determine how Earth’s weather affects weather at the edge of space, in hopes of improving forecasts of extreme “space weather” that can disrupt global positioning satellites (GPS) and radio communications.

April 15, 2013

Creating a New Trail to Solve an Old Problem

Ants normally distinguish friend from foe by detecting colony-specific molecules called pheromones that coat their bodies. Neil Tsutsui has identified the recognition pheromones and other chemical signals, and has shown in experiments that the ants’ behavior can be tweaked by exposing them to identical, environmentally harmless synthetic pheromones.

April 2, 2013

Introducing the Dreambox

The Dreambox, a fabrication vending machine designed by industrial engineering and operations research Senior Will Drevno along with Haas Berkeley alumni David Pastewka and Richard Berwick, uses off-the-shelf fused deposition processes to print plastics as 3D objects.

April 1, 2013

3-D printer wows students at UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley alumni, David Pastewka and Richard Berwick, along with a current senior Will Drevno were featured on ABC7 News for their business and invention – the Dreambox.

March 5, 2013

Berkeley-led consortium gets $3.4 million for transit research

Researchers at the University of California Transportation Center (UCTC), a research consortium led by UC Berkeley that includes the UC and California State University systems, have received a $3.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

October 25, 2012

Sather Center targets transatlantic research

With several of its namesake’s descendants on hand for the occasion, UC Berkeley’s Peder Sather Center for Advanced Study is celebrating its launch today (Thursday) with a two-day campus conference.

June 19, 2012

Two UC Berkeley grads launch printable battery startup

With moral and monetary support from UC Berkeley and UC’s Office of the President, two UC grads – Christine Ho and Brooks Kincaid – have formed a company to create ‘printable’ batteries that are efficient, environmentally friendly and could be made as small as a postage stamp. The start-up is a tribute to the campus’s entrepreneurial environment and its innovative students.

May 2, 2012

Ashok Gadgil gets $100,000 award for global innovation

The Lemelson-MIT Program has awarded Ashok Gadgil, professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the 2012 $100,000 Lemelson-MIT Award for Global Innovation. The award recognizes Gadgil, who is known for his work on affordable water disinfection systems and fuel-efficient cookstoves for developing nations, for “his steady pursuit to blend research, invention and humanitarianism for broad social impact.”

November 4, 2011

UC Berkeley start-up creates energy-efficient buildings

In 2005, Charlie Huizenga and two UC Berkeley MBA graduates started Adura Technologies to install energy efficient wireless lighting systems in buildings. Their technology, based on innovations by UC Berkeley architects and engineers, has significantly reduced lighting costs in more than 2 million square feet of public and private buildings, including UC Berkeley’s undergraduate library.

April 11, 2011

Deloitte offers to turn QB3 into “innovation ecosystem”

The California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3), which has branches at UC Berkeley, UCSF and UC Santa Cruz, will work with Deloitte to improve the institute’s efforts to convert bioscience innovation into a driver for jobs, companies and improved health in California.

May 5, 2010

Biotech incubator opens its doors at UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley's QB3 will launch a biotech incubator on May 6, hoping to duplicate the success of a similar incubator at QB3's Mission Bay outpost. UC Berkeley grad Wesley Chang, CEO of the start-up Aperys, LLC, is the first tenant of the QB3 Garage@Berkeley.