The Innovation and Entrepreneurship unit is the state’s primary point of contact for promoting California’s innovation infrastructure. It functions to develop an environment that encourages entrepreneurship, promotes long term economic growth and facilitates job creation through innovation. It also serves to convene key stakeholders needed to support GO-Biz activities throughout the state as well as stimulate entrepreneurship and the development of California’s innovation workforce. This unit is primarily responsible for the administration of California’s Innovation Hub (iHub) Program.
CALIFORNIA’S INNOVATION HUB PROGRAM
California is home to the largest in-state innovation network in the country. Acknowledging the inherent opportunities available within the State to connect the emerging labor force with existing businesses and entrepreneurial start-up companies, GO-Biz is leading an initiative to prioritize the commercialization of innovation and technology as an economic development strategy through the California Innovation Hub (iHub) Program. Sixteen existing iHubs span the state from Redding to San Diego and cover some of California's most vibrant economic sectors from agriculture to life science and from medical technology to bio-mass.
The program was formed for the purposes of:
- Leveraging California’s national and international market-share in human and investment capital as a global destination for leadership in innovation opportunities;
- Providing a platform for the transfer of ideas discovered in nationally recognized laboratories and universities to private industry for the enhancement of an existing product or the creation of a new start up enterprise;
- Providing an advantage to Californian firms through the introduction of new technologies, processes, research and development (R&D) solutions into its existing business practice;
- Providing conduit assistance for the interaction of existing government owned assets (federal and state), facilities and operations with venture-supported startup companies for the testing and evaluation of products in development; and
- Facilitating a linkage for the inducement of investment funding to an inventor towards the commercialization of concepts into products so that the eventual production occurs within the California economy.
The GO-Biz Innovation and Entrepreneurship unit has established a wide range of collaborating partners with regional economic development authorities, local governments, private organizations, incubators, venture capital sources, and the higher education system to develop infrastructure and support for entrepreneurs to succeed in California. Many organizations are already involved in assisting entrepreneurs within the state. Recently, GO-Biz released a request for three new hubs to enhance California's existing innovation infrastructure. The addition of these new hubs will enable California to focus on three historically strong economic sectors including healthcare, manufacturing and aerospace.