Tuesday, November 17, 2015

American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) in Australia visits Jacobs School of Engineering

The American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) in Australia recently visited University of California, San Diego (UCSD) as part of their first USA Innovation Trade Mission to California. The purpose of the mission is to understand how San Diego and Silicon Valley “do” innovation so well by exposing senior Australian business leaders to the innovation practices and corporate cultures of the world’s leading innovative companies and institutions. 

The trade mission consists of 42 business, political and academic leaders that will visit eight leading Australia/USA firms and two leading research universities in San Diego and San Francisco over one week (November 8-13, 2015). Attendees included Helen Clarke, Intellectual Property Attorney and Partner in Corrs, Chambers and Westgarth, as well as the Honorable Jeffrey Bleich, Former US Ambassador to Australia. Geoff Culbert, President and CEO at GE Australia and New Zealand, as well as Andrew Lock, Chief Product and Marketing Officer at Property Exchange Australia Ltd. (PEXA), attended the trade mission to learn how American companies are innovating.

Rosibel Ochoa, Ph.D., Executive Director, von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center, welcomed the Australians to the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering after they spent the day visiting ResMed and Qualcomm. Department Chairs Geert Schmid-Schoenberg, Ph.D., Bioengineering, and Joseph Wang, D. Sc., Nanoengineering, made presentations about how their programs prepare students for job opportunities. California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) Director Larry Smarr, Ph.D. talked about bringing Australia into the Pacific Research Platform. Assistant Professor Michael Tolly, Ph.D. discussed robotics research with animated pictures of robots that can fold themselves up, be soft and pliable, or slip and slide into holes. One potential use of these robots is as a lamp or piece of furniture that can assemble itself. Other uses are as bridge inspectors to go into areas that are not safe or accessible to humans. Executive Entrepreneur in Residence Larry Morgan discussed access to capital and the commercialization process for scientists and engineers with new ideas and novel technologies.

During the networking session at the end of the 2-hour workshop, the visitors were interested in how the Jacobs School of Engineering interacts with the business community. Duncan Ivison, Ph.D., Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) University of Sydney and Ian Burnett, Ph.D., Dean, Engineering and Information Technology, University of Technology, Sydney, asked UCSD faculty and staff how they create linkages between the academic researcher and the business world.

The guests were also interested in the Innovation programs at the von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center, such as how to train scientists and inventors to commercialize their ideas, pitch to investors and start new companies.

For more information, contact Lori Deaton, Project Manager, von Liebig Center, ldeaton@ucsd.edu.

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