By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The National Science Foundation has awarded $15 million to USC for the creation of a new hub of innovation intended to cultivate future technologies and their businesses.

The consortium in partnership with UCLA and the University of Boulder Colorado will be led by USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering, with affiliates across the west, including UC Riverside. The I-Corps Hub: West Region and will help launch and support startups the way the original NSF I-Corps Hub has done for the past decade.

“For 10 years, the NSF I-Corps program has been critical to fostering the creative spirit and entrepreneurship that enables NSF-funded research to be translated into new products and service sand contribute to the nation’s economy,” Linda Blevins, NSF Deputy Assistant Director for Engineering, said in a statement. “The I-Corps Hubs will bring together diverse scientists and engineers, entrepreneurs, business leaders and industry partners from every part of our country, providing everyone with an opportunity to solve key challenges and spur economic growth, including new startups and new jobs.”

The grant will help fund USC and its partners launch and support startups – both university and non-university – through training, mentoring, and programming using campus resources and its networks with accelerators and national labs. As the program grows, the hub will add new university affiliates every year to further expand its ecosystem of innovation in the Western United States. The USC-based consortium will also study incentives as well as impediments to further develop new, world-changing technologies.