UCSF Joins Multi-University Collaboration Agreement with Facebook’s Building 8

Mark Zuckerberg talking on stage
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at UCSF Mission Bay last September to announce the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative's first investment in science. Photo by Drew Altizer Photography

UC San Francisco is joining a unique collaboration agreement with Facebook that would allow UCSF’s researchers to engage in joint technology projects without the usual red tape.

The new structure, called the Sponsored Academic Research Agreement (SARA), is an innovative development model sponsored by Facebook’s Building 8, or B8, a venture launched last April that “applies DARPA-style breakthrough development at the intersection of science and products.”

Regina Dugan, PhD, the vice president of engineering at Building 8, announced in a Facebook posting on Tuesday the creation of SARA, which will enable the company to set up research collaborations with universities within weeks or days, rather than months.

She wrote that the team of hardware and software experts already has shipped more than 1.7 billion consumer devices in 170 countries. “It’s why we work in partnership with entrepreneurs, engineering teams, system integrators, and businesses large and small – globally. And it’s why we have built partnerships with many of the best research minds in the world.”

UCSF is among 17 universities that have signed SARA. Others include Arizona State University, Caltech, Georgia Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, Princeton University, Rice University, Stanford University, Texas A&M, UC Berkeley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Waterloo and Virginia Tech.

“By participating in SARA, UCSF’s researchers are able to launch new projects benefiting from the financial and highly specialized technical support from Facebook B8 without any bureaucratic delay,” said Karin Immergluck, PhD, executive director of Technology Management in the UCSF Office of Innovation, Technology and Alliances. “If these collaborations result in new products reaching the market, we will have the opportunity to benefit from new revenue streams to further support our research endeavors.”

See Dugan’s full announcement:

The answer is out there… if we are humble enough to find it. The answer matters… when we ship it. That’s why the B8...

Posted by Regina Dugan on Tuesday, 20 December 2016