USC Joins New Biotech College alliance

Terry Nguyen, The Daily Trojan

USC has joined the Alliance for Southern California Innovation, a non-profit collaboration between universities, research institutes and businesses to expand the biotech entrepreneurial space of the Southern California region.

Steve Poizner, a serial tech entrepreneur and former California insurance commissioner, is leading the alliance, with plans to grow the region’s start-ups to the level of that of Silicon Valley’s by 2025.

“Southern California has the right building blocks to become the next leading technology and innovation hub in the United States,” Poizner said in a press release. “Through a collaborative effort, the region has the potential to bring a trillion-dollar economic impact to the state and country.”

Randolph Hall, USC Vice President of Research and a professor of industrial and systems engineering, will represent the university in the alliance, alongside other administrators from Southern California universities.

“This is a region that educates a huge number of engineers and scientists,” Hall said in an interview with USC News.

In 2017, USC had over 950 undergraduates and 3,100 graduate students who completed degrees in engineering and computer science, according to Hall.

The alliance would be an opportunity for the University to contribute to the biotechnology industry’s growth and also help students find roles in the field, Hall said.

President C.L. Max Nikias declared his vision for a biotech community in the Health Sciences campus in June at an event at the Keck School of Medicine.

“We are hoping that this new consortium will bring more power through the weight of collaboration,” Hall said.

(Originally posted on August 25, 2017 on the Daily Trojan)