- The University of California, Davis and the city of Sacramento have chosen the UC-Davis Health Campus as the location for the first phase of the 25-acre Aggie Square innovation hub.
- Aggie Square will be a collaborative technology and innovation campus, bringing together researchers, businesses and government in a public-private partnership (P3) and creating jobs to help solve some of the city’s biggest issues. It will also serve as an incubator for small businesses and startups.
- In a statement after the announcement, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said the hub will "not only ensure a tight connection to the school’s great minds and resources but will also create jobs and economic development in the heart of Oak Park, along with more real opportunity for young people from all low-income neighborhoods in Sacramento."
StateScoop notes the significance of this move, as Sacramento is looking to build itself into a big part of global technology, and leveraging the resources available at UC-Davis will surely help it along the way. "This campus will serve as a key connecting point between the innovation happening in our region and the cutting-edge exploration happening at UC Davis," said Rep. Doris Matsui, D-CA.
In other significant news for the partnership, the Aggie Square Working Group released its findings after spending just over four months exploring potential sites for the hub, transportation options between Sacramento and the university and potential funding sources. The group found the pair can take a wide approach in considering long-term planning and partnership, and each have strengths and shared priorities.
As cities look to solve problems in new ways, partnerships with academic institutions could be crucial, both in competitions for funding and also for general research, cooperation and pilot programs. It will also help support small businesses and startups, which often are at the vanguard of innovation and already producing new solutions for cities.
This latest step is not the end, as funding sources still need to be finalized, a market analysis must be performed, and detailed concept designs must be developed of the final site. But officials see the potential of this collaboration to transform Sacramento, while simultaneously taking advantage of UC-Davis’ research and offering possible internship and employment opportunities to its students. "Aggie Square has the potential to serve as a model for bringing diverse communities together for positive change," UC-Davis Chancellor Gary May said in a statement.