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Impact on Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Applied research and innovation is a productive and burgeoning economic engine for California. The CSU’s research capabilities have an enormous impact on California’s economy with CSU research and project sponsored expenditures from federal, state, local, and private sources amounting to over half a billion dollars annually, and employing 6,000 students in fiscal year 2007-08.

The CSU actively pursues research and sponsored program opportunities as evidenced by the 5,100 proposals it submitted to federal and state agencies and private foundations in 2007-08. That same year CSU campuses received grant or contract awards varying from approximately $2 million to $131 million from federal, state, foundation, and private sources.

Academic units that benefit from such grant and contract awards broadly include Agriculture, Arts and Letters, Business Administration, Education, Engineering and Computer Science, Health and Human Services, Science and Mathematics, Social Science, and Liberal Arts, among others. The CSU applied research projects focus on multiple industries such as Energy and the Environment, Biotechnology and Health Care, Agriculture, Information Technology and Engineering, and Physical Sciences/Advanced Sciences.

Examples of initiatives in each of these areas demonstrate the innovative and broadly applicable nature of CSU research. One such example is the CSU Council on Ocean Affairs, Science and Technology (COAST), which was established in 2008 to promote marine and coastal science research and education throughout the CSU and disseminate this information to the public. Research partnerships and entrepreneurial initiatives are implemented not only through the CSU’s centers and institutes but through faculty-led and student-supported programs and projects, and multicampus consortiums. Examples of such projects include the California Seafloor Mapping project, the Biocompass project, and the California Vehicle Launch Education Initiative.

The aforementioned research activities are indicative of the CSU’s growing economic impact across California. The CSU’s expanding research agenda is complementing and stimulating its educational mission, while providing new solutions for and new forms of partnership with industry.