Federal Grant To Seed Hub To Advance Southland Aerospace Startups

Tiefensee Visits Rolls-Royce Aircraft Engine Plant

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - UCLA and the aerospace-business accelerator Starburst announced today the receipt of a $1.4 million federal grant and an equivalent amount in private matching funds to create a local hub to foster development of aerospace businesses and ideas.

The $1.4 million Venture Challenge grant was awarded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration and will finance a Starburst-UCLA partnership known as Scale Aerospace Ventures.

The partnership will “accelerate the growth of startup companies based on novel technologies'' conceived both through UCLA's Samueli School of Engineering and by entrepreneurs outside the university.

“We are thrilled to be part of this new effort to move innovations from academic research programs into a process that will translate into societal and commercial impact,'' said UCLA engineering professor Timothy Fisher, chair of the mechanical and aerospace engineering department. “Now more than ever, and particularly as a public institution, we need to reinvigorate and reimagine the pipeline that brings disruptive new technologies into the market. Fostering engineering-focused small businesses is a proven path toward job growth for our city and region, as well as improvements in quality of life for people around the world.''

Brandon Florian, director for business development at Starburst, said the Los Angeles area “has been the aerospace capital of the world for almost 100 years,'' thanks to its history of graduating and maintaining a large population of engineers.

“We're thrilled to partner with such a storied institution fostering the best and brightest emerging talent in aerospace, which will undoubtedly pave the way for the industry's newest creative solutions and breakthrough technologies,'' Florian said.

Officials said they expect the hub to support and accelerate the growth of at least 45 startups in three years.

Photo: Getty Images

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