Nurture a Sustainable Future and Propel Economic Vitality

Where some see trash, UC Davis engineering professor Ruihong Zhang sees a source of renewable energy. Zhang’s Biogas Energy Project uses silos full of bacteria to turn food scraps, yard waste and other biodegradable material into methane and hydrogen that can power homes, businesses and vehicles. One ton of waste can be turned into enough gas to power ten homes.

UC Davis will be the pre-eminent university partner in advancing the economic prosperity of our region, fostering the burgeoning life-science, agricultural and “clean energy” industries of California, and in investigating and sharing socially, politically, economically and environmentally relevant solutions to global problems.

In advancing this goal, we will:

Create innovative university-business partnerships and other ventures, community-based programs and next-generation virtual enterprises to promote the economic growth and agricultural vitality of the state

  • Lead the development of the clean energy-, life science- and agriculture-based economy of Northern California by developing a regional “Green Valley” concept, in which these industries will thrive. Apply the outcomes of these entrepreneurial partnerships to the unique economic challenges of California, and the related environmentally based economies in the nation and around the world
  • Utilize UC Davis’s leadership and community-based partnerships throughout California’s Central Valley to advance the region’s economic conditions; we will undertake these endeavors within the context of the Valley’s heritage of cultural, artistic and language diversity, its environmental and agricultural character and its unique history
  • Deepen the university’s connections to the regional, national and global business communities; support a culture of entrepreneurship by tapping the expertise of the campus and the community and taking an integrated approach to transforming UC Davis innovations into successful for-profit enterprises
  • Complete a high-level review of the campus’s technology transfer and commercialization processes and, subsequently, implement a model technology transfer process that optimally meets the needs of faculty, industry collaborators and the research enterprise

Utilize leading scholarship in the humanities and social sciences as integral contributors to understanding and addressing the historical, cultural and social complexities related to both economic vitality and the development of sustainable communities

Provide essential patient-care services, tele-health options, health care partnerships and employment opportunities in the Northern California region, as well as to underserved rural communities across the state through the Sacramento campus’s clinical, health education and research programs

Emphasize sustainability, in all its many forms and interpretations, as a leading feature of our campus identity and as found across all disciplines; leverage our academic strengths in these areas to advance the scholarly reputation of the campus and encourage the creation and application of ideas to address the pressing needs of an interdependent, global society

METRICS: We will measure our success in achieving this goal by assessing:

  • The number of business, cultural, service, entrepreneurial and philanthropic partnerships that are developed and that produce visible benefits and/or economic impact
  • The number and quality of internships provided to both undergraduate and graduate students, as a measure of workforce development
  • Increases in the depth and breadth of economic impact on the region that arise from our efforts, as reported in the bi-annual “UC Davis Economic Impact Report;” monitor the economic impact in the state that accrues from the adoption of research technologies that are pioneered at UC Davis
  • The number of start-up and spin-off companies, and the local, regional and state employment impact of our entrepreneurial partnerships
  • Increases in university incentives, training programs, effective administrative systems, and recognition opportunities for faculty, staff, and students that facilitate innovative partnerships and entrepreneurial activity
  • The rate of increase in the prestige of our graduates, as measured by earnings, social impact, engagement in distinguished professional or philanthropic organizations, or other visible measures