In This Issue:
An Interview with Ahmed A. Enany, President and CEO, Southern California Biomedical Council
Juan Felipe Vallejo, Project Manager at CTC, interviewed Ahmed A. Enany, President and CEO of the Southern California Biomedical Council recently to ask him about USC involvement in the upcoming 7 th SoCalBio Investor Conference
What is the mission of the Southern California Biomedical Council (SCBC)?
The SCBC is a non-profit, trade association created to support and promote the Life Sciences industry in Greater Los Angeles. Since its founding, the SCBC has functioned as a focal point for resource mobilization to help companies -- particularly startups -- stand on their own feet. We have programs focusing on accessing capital, facilities, and talent. We work with local governments to provide the incentives needed to accommodate the industry in the area. Through its newsletter, web site, and networking forums, the SCBC provides a wealth of information about the activities and accomplishments of local firms and entrepreneurs. Finally, the SCBC coordinates with other organizations at the national and state levels on advocacy issues.
What role is SoCalBio playing in the implementation of the California Stem Cell Research Initiative?
Prior to the passage of Proposition 71, our role was to stimulate the debate about it, analyze its pros and cons, and get our membership to think about the merits of spending tax-payers money on this narrow area of research. Today, and since its passage last November, we have a moral obligation to help the initiative succeed. We realize that stem cell research is still in its infancy, so most of the money is likely to go to support basic research at universities up and down the State. Our role as a regional industry association is to ensure that whatever is spent on basic research locally will translate into companies and jobs.
On March 23 and 24 you will be hosting the 7 th SoCalBio Investor Conference; Why is the conference an opportunity that should not be missed, and what are some of the topics that will be discussed?
Our annual SoCalBio Investor Conference has become the region's main showcase for emerging Life Sciences companies and technologies. It shouldn't be missed because it brings together some of the brightest people from the Life Sciences industry and the venture community to share information about issues affecting the investment climate and the industry's evolution. In addition to showcasing 24 new biotech and device commercial projects, the conference offers plenary sessions and breakout discussions focusing on topics such as identifying investment hot spots in areas such as stem cell research or therapeutic devices based on electro-stimulation, raising money from non venture sources and through partnerships, investment trends in the biotech and medical device sectors, and the life-science investment outlook in 2005 and beyond.
How will USC be represented at the conference?
Well, the featured technology presentation is by Dr. Jerry Loeb of the Alfred Mann Institute at USC who will present the “Sencil,” a novel, potentially disrupting technology platform for in vivo chemical sensing. USC is also represented by Dr. Brian Henderson of the Keck School of Medicine in the panel discussion focusing on identifying investment opportunities in the stem cell research. In addition, Dr. Peter Staudhammer, C.O.O. and director of the AMI – USC, will participate in the concurrent breakout focusing on investment opportunities in electro-stimulation. Furthermore, the poster session will showcase a number of USC technologies.
Third Annual Technology Commercialization Symposium
CTC's Third Annual Technology Commercialization Symposium was held March 19-20 at the Georgian Hotel in Santa Monica where experts in technology commercialization from around the U.S. were invited to create a plan for developing a National Network of Commercialization Hubs. Based on work completed by Dr. Kathleen Allen, CTC's director, under a National Science Foundation grant, these hubs represent reflect concentrations of commercialization challenges, resources, and opportunities within the context of specific geographic regions, industries, and/or technologies. Building on an infrastructure and network of 22 university, industry, and government partners, three sub-networks have already been identified: economic development networks within geographic regions—in particular—rural areas; sub networks addressing the commercialization challenges within particular industries; and sub networks dedicated to advancing innovation and commercialization in a particular technological area. Within each of these sub networks, collaborations and partnerships of universities, industry, government, and independent inventors will be developed to link research, education, and commercialization practice and enable a critical level of innovation activity.
Emerging hubs include Maryland/Virginia with the University of Maryland as the lead institution; CENTECOM, with the University of Central Florida as lead; Midwest with Case Western as the lead; Rural with the University of South Dakota as lead; and the Silicon Carbide Industry Hub, with the University of Arkansas as the lead. Attendees included technology commercialization center directors, venture capitalists, and economic development directors.
Collaboration between the School of Fine Arts and the Center for Technology Commercialization
Students from USC’s School of Fine Arts, under the direction of Professor Thomas Schorer, worked with the Center for Technology Commercialization at Marshall (CTC) to develop its new graphic identity.
“The exercise was a great opportunity for the students to work in a real world application and to experience the process of dealing with a real customer with real needs” said Thomas Schorer, professor in charge of the class.
The art students were given a presentation about the center and the USC graphic identity program guidelines. After working for five weeks, the students then presented to CTC an extensive collection of logos and graphics to be used on business cards, letterhead, brochures, and other marketing materials.
The best logo will be selected and refined to include some of the feedback gathered during the design and presentation process, and then will be adopted by CTC.
“Your graphic identity speaks about your professionalism and reliability, as well as being descriptive of your organization. We needed a graphic identity that reflects the spirit of the Center for Technology Commercialization at Marshall that is highly recognizable and memorable. At the same time we wanted to continue creating bridges and collaborating with other schools at USC”, stated Juan Felipe Vallejo, Project Manager at CTC.
Small businesses often cannot afford to advertise or promote at the same levels as larger competitors. Therefore, they need to design graphic identity into their logos and packages to ensure reinforcement of uniqueness and positioning. Students in the entrepreneur program at Marshall that are creating new businesses will greatly benefit from the work of art students in their graphic design classes. Professor Schorer is always on the lookout for real-world cases for his art students to work with. CTC will continue working together with the School of Fine Arts to create graphic identities for businesses being conceived and developed by business students at Marshall.