Innovation/Entrepreneurship

October 1, 2019

UC now holds largest CRISPR-Cas9 patent portfolio

Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted a new CRISPR-Cas9 patent to the University of California, University of Vienna and Emmanuelle Charpentier covering new methods of gene editing in prokaryotic cells. The new patent covers methods of targeting and binding or methods of cleaving a target DNA in a prokaryotic cell using Cas9 protein and single molecule DNA targeting RNAs. This patent specifically covers these methods in bacterial cells.
September 24, 2019

University of California awarded 15th U.S. CRISPR-Cas9 patent

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today granted the University of California (UC) and its partners, the University of Vienna and Emmanuelle Charpentier, a new CRISPR-Cas9 patent, bringing the team’s continually expanding patent portfolio to 15.
September 17, 2019

CRISPR portfolio now at 14 and counting

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today awarded the University of California (UC), University of Vienna and Emmanuelle Charpentier a patent for CRISPR-Cas9 that, along with two others awarded this month, brings the team’s comprehensive portfolio of gene-editing patents to 14.
September 5, 2019

Seven new Bakar Fellows already are making an impact

Seven University of California, Berkeley, faculty scientists with novel ideas and an entrepreneurial spirit have been named to the 2019-20 cohort of Bakar Fellows, an honor that gives the fellows the money and time to translate their laboratory breakthroughs into technologies ready for the marketplace.
August 27, 2019

Water harvester makes it easy to quench your thirst in the desert

With water scarcity a growing problem worldwide, University of California, Berkeley, researchers are close to producing a microwave-sized water harvester that will allow you to pull all the water you need directly from the air — even in the hot, dry desert.
August 20, 2019

UC receives its 11th U.S. patent for CRISPR-Cas9

The University of California, the University of Vienna and Emmanuelle Charpentier received an 11th U.S. patent involving CRISPR-Cas9, further expanding the reach of UC’s patented technology relating to this revolutionary gene-editing tool.
July 23, 2019

Newly granted CRISPR patents boost UC’s U.S. portfolio to 10

The University of California has received two new patents for use of the revolutionary CRISPR-Cas9 technology, increasing its gene-editing patent portfolio to 10. Five more are expected to be issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by the end of the summer.
July 16, 2019

Eighth CRISPR patent issued by U.S.; seven more soon to come

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has awarded a new patent to the University of California (UC), University of Vienna, and Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier covering methods of producing a genetically modified cell through the introduction of the Cas9 protein, or a nucleic acid encoding the Cas9 protein, as well as a single molecule DNA-targeting RNA. This patent (U.S. 10,351,878) covers the use of this method in a cell.
June 25, 2019

Government funding increasingly fuels innovation

From the tiny electronics that power our smartphones to the new medicines that keep us well, a surprising number of the ideas and innovations that drive our economy were born not by corporations, but by federally-funded science, shows a new study led by University of California, Berkeley, researchers.
June 13, 2019

GlaxoSmithKline taps UC’s CRISPR expertise to speed drug discovery

The pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) today announced a five-year collaboration with UC Berkeley and UCSF to establish a laboratory where state-of-the-art CRISPR techniques will be used to explore how gene mutations cause disease, potentially yielding new technologies using CRISPR that would rapidly accelerate the discovery of new medicines.
April 12, 2019

Largest, fastest array of microscopic ‘traffic cops’ for optical communications

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers faster and more efficiently than ever. This optical “traffic cop” could one day revolutionize how information travels through data centers and high-performance supercomputers that are used for artificial intelligence and other data-intensive applications.
March 25, 2019

New CRISPR-powered device detects genetic mutations in minutes

A team of engineers at the UC Berkeley and the Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) of The Claremont Colleges combined CRISPR with electronic transistors made from graphene to create a new hand-held device that can detect specific genetic mutations in a matter of minutes.
March 12, 2019

UC awarded third CRISPR patent, expanding its gene-editing portfolio

The University of California announced today that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued U.S. Patent Number 10,227,611 covering use of single-molecule RNA guides and Cas9 protein in any cell, thus creating efficient and effective ways for scientists to target and edit genes.
March 4, 2019

Gene Therapy gets a Boost

With support from the Bakar Fellows Program, David Schaffer is working on one of the first gene therapies to be approved for clinical use. The therapy acts to restore vision in children with a rare and previously incurable disease called Leber's congenital amaurosis type 2.
February 25, 2019

Highlighting Disease by Making the Body Transparent

It’s still some years off, but Steven Conolly aims to see disease in a totally new way. He leads research on an emerging Magnetic Particle Imaging (MPI) technology that already can peer past tissue or organs to detect disease deep within the body.
February 19, 2019

Beyond Hormonal Birth Control

Nearly 40 percent of women worldwide stop using birth control pills within a year – mainly due to side effects such as depression, weight gain, bleeding between periods and blood clots. Research by Polina Lishko on a non-hormonal contraceptive is showing promise as a new birth control alternative.
February 11, 2019

U.S. patent office indicates it will issue third CRISPR patent to UC

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a notice of allowance for a University of California patent application covering systems and methods for using single molecule guide RNAs that, when combined with the Cas9 protein, create more efficient and effective ways for scientists to target and edit genes.
February 11, 2019

Literally Switching Strategies to Handle the Internet Data Flood

Cloud applications and the ever-increasing demand by large enterprises to transmit and analyze “big data” are stretching the capacity of even the largest data center servers as traditional switches become data flow bottlenecks. Ming Wu has invented a new optical, or photonic, switch capable of record-breaking speed that can be fabricated as integrated circuits so they can be mass-produced, keeping the cost per device low.
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.  By integrating the potent tools of digital mapping with digital design technology used in architecture and engineering, Nicholas de Monchaux has created a new way to envision these many unused and underused sites together.
May 14, 2018

CRISPR-EZ: Improving on a Good Thing

Lin He’s lab uses CRISPR technology to study how different genetic elements in a mouse embryo’s cell nucleus – genes that encode proteins, functional RNAs, and repetitive sequences – interact to assure normal development or trigger cancer.
April 23, 2018

Medical Exams: There’s an App for That

Your cell phone can already find your car and tell you what song the restaurant is playing.  How about an app to screen for eye disease? By coupling the sophisticated imaging capabilities of smart phone cameras with lenses and software for examining the retina, Daniel Fletcher and his students have developed a hand-held, user-friendly version of the optometrist’s ophthalmoscope and are teaming up with clinical collaborators to detect retinal disease caused by diabetes. 
March 6, 2018

Smart Materials: Getting the Sun to Pull Down the Shade

When a car seat heats up on a hot day, it just gets.... hot.  But some materials become totally transformed by the sun’s heat. They undergo a kind of Jekyll and Hyde reversal called a phase change. They turn from insulators to metals. Junqiao Wu is exploiting the most remarkable of these compounds, called vanadium dioxide, to devise ways to cool buildings, winter-proof car engines, and even create novel sunglasses.
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.