Comstock's magazine 0519 - May 2019 - Page 121

Special Supplement UC Davis' Aggie Square Can Lead to Regional Prosperity P H O T O : C O U R T E S Y O F G A R Y S . M AY R eport cards don’t always deliver the results one hopes ogy and innovations of UC Davis to the economic benefit of Sacramento-area business, governmental and civic officials expressed support as well. This year’s state budget for, but they can be great motivators. A group of organizations was recently reminded of this after re- ceiving the outcome of a Brookings Institution economic performance assessment they commissioned. Sacramento and surrounding communities. Other elected includes $2.8 million for planning the 25-acre innovation hub on our Sacramento campus that houses UC Davis Health. Aggie Square will bring together a diverse array of start- The report, “Charting a Course to the Sacramento Region’s ups, established companies, community organizations and Recession lingered in our region. Between 2006 and 2016, the to discover new partners, launch businesses, scale ideas and Future Economic Prosperity,” found affects from the Great region ranked in the bottom third UC Davis researchers, faculty and students. It will be a place provide economic opportunity to of the 100 largest metropolitan areas in growth (67th), prosper- ity (71st) and inclusion (84th), all of which are critical to robust economies. However, the authors recognized improved economic performance over the last five years. They noted the region “can take advantage of changing market, technology, and demo- graphic trends, but it must focus residents This year’s state budget includes $2.8 million for planning the 25-acre innovation hub on our Sacramento campus that houses UC Davis Health. on the core drivers and enablers across demographics, skill levels and industries. It will leverage our strengths and part- nerships in health, agriculture, food technology, clean energy, clean transportation and more. UC Davis is well-positioned to be a catalyst for innovation that translates into new businesses, new jobs and new wealth for the re- gion. We’re second only to the state government as the area’s largest of regional competitiveness and prosperity.” employer. Our regional economic impact equates to more “globally relevant innovation asset” to grow the Sacramento annually. We have about 40,000 alumni who live and work in Not surprisingly, the authors called out UC Davis as a innovation pipeline. Sacramento-area leaders agree, and a number of them have worked with the university to take on bold new strategies for regional competitiveness and more than 65,000 jobs and nearly $7 billion in economic output the six-county region and have a stake in seeing their alma mater contribute to the good of their communities. Our external research funding has been on an upward inclusive prosperity. We see opportunities to strengthen trajectory for many years, reaching a record $847 million cational opportunities, and to bolster the local economy. previous year. Our innovations enabled the startup of 137 neighborhoods with a range of new jobs, services and edu- One such strategy is Aggie Square. In April 2018, I joined Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg to announce the launch of this innovation ecosystem to leverage the talents, technol- in fiscal year 2017-18, an increase of $64 million from the companies during the past 10 years; 16 were launched this past fiscal year alone, which set a new record. These start- ups raised more than $862 million in capital, and much of May 2019 | 121