L.A. County is home to three, world-class research universities: USC, UCLA, and Caltech. These educational institutions combined graduate more engineers than anywhere else in the country.
L.A. County is rich in research centers and institutions. As the home of research and development for the aerospace and aviation industry, the site of an incubation center with 30,000 square feet of cleantech R&D labs, and with being at the forefront of biomedical research, L.A. County institutions are providing the foundation for ground-breaking developments in addressing some of the world’s most pressing issues.
Educational Research Advancements
UCLA has the proud declaration of 1,800 inventions, over 350 medical research centers, labs and institutes, and of receiving $1 billion in research funding annually. The Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at UCLA is a nonprofit scientific research organization, influencing health and health care advancements throughout the world.
Caltech researchers are furthering technology and theory, influencing sectors of biology, chemistry and chemical engineering, engineering and applied science, geological and planetary sciences, humanities and social sciences, brain sciences including robotic prosthetics, and physics, mathematics and astronomy. For example, Caltech’s Resnick Institute is advancing science in renewable energy, with new solar cell concepts, fuel cell research, and artificial photosynthesis research aimed at producing clean hydrogen fuel from sunlight and water. Caltech’s relationship with JPL is one factor that leads to 50 patent licenses annually and a strong technology transfer program to commercialize these technologies.
With almost 70 research centers at USC, the university is making an impact on global and social issues. Software providing interactive training solutions to help soldiers and diplomats communicate more effectively with other cultures had its beginnings at the USC Information Sciences Institute. The Clinical and Translational Science Institute researches issues related to public health, and provides $1.5 million in pilot funding each year, has helped more than 600 researchers, and collaborates with over 25 community partners. Through the Stevens Center for Innovation, R&D efforts resulted in development of the first sensor technology allowing robots to replicate the human sense of touch, with applications for prosthetics use, in hazardous environments, and other touch-sensitive uses.
Public and Private Sector Industry Leadership
L.A. County received 28,646 patent grants from 2000-2011, ranking second in the state during that time period.
The Honda Research Center in Torrance spearheads the company’s product planning, styling design, engineering research, and market research. NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in the Antelope Valley is making inroads into studies on aircraft roll control, laser-powered air flight, and was the first flight test center for the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.
The LAEDC is also doing its part to ensure that L.A. County is creating a framework for the world’s emerging industries, including research and support of cleantech and its creation of green jobs. The Southern California Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicle Technology Center will create two locations of the Southern California Center, one of which will be in Downtown Los Angeles. The LAEDC will lead the application team, including support from the California Center for Sustainable Energy, the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, UCLA’s Smart Grid Energy Research Center and Luskin Center for Innovation, CSU Los Angeles, and the Inland Empire Economic Partnership. As an industry, cleantech is advancing in L.A. County.