Cyclotron Road partners with UC Berkeley to expand support for science and hard technology innovation


Cyclotron Road innovators can now access the labs and expertise of UC Berkeley faculty in driving their scientific research toward commercial products. A newly created Visiting Entrepreneurial Research Fellows program will let entrepreneurial scientists and engineers do applied research on UC Berkeley’s campus in collaboration with faculty, while retaining rights to commercialize the resulting inventions. Developed by Cyclotron Road and UC Berkeley’s Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Research Alliance (IPIRA), the program will be piloted this fall by several Cyclotron Road teams.

The program builds on Cyclotron Road’s success pioneering a new model for supporting entrepreneurial scientists and engineers at Berkeley Lab. Cyclotron Road has supported 28 of social-impact driven innovators as entrepreneurial research fellows over the last three years, leading to the creation of science based startups that have attracted more than $20 million in R&D funding and catalyzed new scientific funding, publications, patents, and exposure for Berkeley Lab researchers. Partnering with UC Berkeley will allow Cyclotron Road to expand its support for top innovators while serving the overall Berkeley scientific research ecosystem.

Modeled after the University’s existing Visiting Industrial Fellows program, the new program is specifically designed to support innovators leading research-phase startups whose efforts can add value to the University’s science, education, and public service missions. It is enabled by a first-of-its-kind agreement that ensures these activities support the University’s education and research priorities, and comply with policies regarding health and safety, intellectual property, conflicts of interest, and non-profit tax status.  The cost of access to UC Berkeley facilities will be covered by participating innovators, with support from Cyclotron Road and its sponsoring organizations.

By enabling entrepreneurial scientists to use UC Berkeley labs for product-oriented research, the Visiting Entrepreneurial Research Fellows program leverages the university’s renowned faculty, facilities and entrepreneurial ecosystem to accelerate the pace of innovation originating from the campus. The program simultaneously aims to enhance the University’s education, research and service missions by increasing experiential learning opportunities for students and insightful industry collaborations for faculty, while enhancing the infrastructure for innovation and entrepreneurship, and creating technological solutions for the planet’s greatest challenges. If successful, the pilot program could offer a model for other innovation programs and university campuses to boost their support of science innovators working to address society’s biggest challenges.