June 20th, 2014 @ 4:29 pm by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi
Discovery and innovation are at the core of everything we do at UC Davis, which is why I am so pleased to report that President Obama declared June 18, 2014, as National Day of Making, celebrating how our nation’s proud tradition of inventors, innovators and manufacturers has fueled our economy and transformed our world. As part of National Day of Making, the president hosted the first-ever White House Make Faire, which highlights efforts across the country to encourage the innovators and entrepreneurs—young and old—who are using cutting-edge tools to bring their ideas to life. UC Davis is one of over 70 universities nationwide who are joining with the White House to do our part in supporting our nation’s makers.
Recent advances in technology have taken amazing tools such as 3D printers and computer-aided design software and made them available to unprecedented numbers of inventors and manufacturers. These technologies hold unbound promise because we have seen time and again that some of the most important advances don’t come from enormous multi-million dollar laboratories but rather from the garages and workshops of individuals with a good idea and the ambition to make it a reality.
UC Davis shares the president’s commitment to bolstering opportunities for inventors and creators. Last fall, we were one of the first universities in the nation to create a dedicated on-campus space for students to prototype their ideas and collaborate on technology ventures. We’re calling it the Engineering Student Startup Center (ESSC) and it provides an established location for students to work together and develop their ideas along with the latest technology—such as 3D printers and a ShopBot CNC—to literally give shape to prototypes. Likewise, in the spring quarter we launched a new course titled “Starting and Prototyping a Technology Venture,” which not only helps students develop their ideas but also gives them training in entrepreneurship, business and marketing so that they can take their ideas to the next level.
These two examples are just a glimpse of what we are doing at UC Davis to bring the power of innovation to individuals. From West Village to the World Food Center, we are constantly seeking answers to the world’s most pressing challenges. I salute all those who have the courage and determination to turn ideas into solutions, and it is my hope that National Day of Making inspires even more potential inventors and creators to turn their ideas into reality.