Lesson for Legislators

By Anna Lynn Spitzer

Irvine, Ca, October 31st, 2013 -- A group of state legislators visited Calit2 yesterday to become better acquainted with research underway at UC Irvine and learn more about the university’s relationships with Orange County’s life science community.

Tour organizer Travis Allen (left) and a fellow legislator speak
with Calit2's Li and Provost Gillman.

The 10 Assembly members toured local healthcare products company Allergan before arriving at UCI for a meeting/reception with Provost Howard Gillman and Calit2 Irvine Director G.P. Li. The group, which was hosted by Assembly Member Travis Allen from Huntington Beach, then toured Calit2’s eHealth Collaboratory, where visitors saw ongoing research and participated in several project demonstrations.

Li spoke to the legislators about the life science industry and UCI’s efforts to funnel its research into the marketplace. He emphasized the importance of collaboration – both within academia and with those in the private sector. “At Calit2, we seek to advance cross-disciplinary research collaborations,” he said. “And close ties with industry are also an important component of our unique research approach.

In the eHealth Collaboratory, which Li described as the site of a multi-pronged effort to promote individual empowerment in healthcare, guests viewed demonstrations of several ongoing research projects, including  MusicGlove, a stroke rehabilitation tool; an arm-strengthening wheelchair; hearing devices; balance, sensing and motion-capture tools for movement analysis and mobility therapy; and a video game powered by human energy expenditure. Several of the projects are in various stages of commercialization: MusicGlove, for example, is one of the prototypes under development by startup company Flint Rehabilitation, and several others have attracted SBIR funding “We’re proud of the success our eHealth Collaboratory has had in generating interest and funding from outside the university,” Li said.