SMART Innovation: Small Business

Help Small Businesses Innovate

As a global leader in innovation, California is home to creative entrepreneurs, world-class companies, leading universities and premier research institutions. Innovative start-ups and small businesses are key to the state’s future prosperity. To compete in the global economy and maintain California’s leadership role, we need a strategic plan that builds on our industry and regional strengths and connects our emerging and existing businesses with our innovation assets throughout the state.

Goal of SMART Innovation: Small Business

Help small businesses and start-ups innovate: work with industry, universities, local governments, and regional innovation partnerships to help start and grow businesses.

Tracking Progress

Action Team

Goals for the Year

Progress update - September 1, 2015

Create and implement an Economic Competitiveness Plan
The Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development should lead this effort.
September 24, 2013 - While one of the Innovation Action Team's biggest achievements last year, the opening of a new regional patent office in Silicon Valley, remains on hold indefinitely (a victim of the federal sequester), the team achieved much of what it set out to do last year, from reinforcing the state's network of Regional Innovation Centers (iHubs) to pushing the state to develop an economic competitiveness plan. This work has also been picked up by the 2013 Advancing Manufacturing Action Team, whose charter outlines its new effort to push the state to develop a manufacturing strategy that will help manufacturing remain a foundation of California's economy. Some of the Innovation Team's achievements this year include:
  • Economic strategy: The Legislature took a big step in this direction this year when it passed AB 53, a bill introduced by Speaker John Pérez that would require the state to adopt a statewide strategy to set economic priorities--an approach that will include input from regional leaders about how to best keep the California economic competitive. The bill is currently on the governor's desk.
  • iHubs: The Legislature also made great progress in expanding the state iHub program, passing AB 250, a bill that will move the program into Go-Biz--and allow emerging technology companies to partner with the state to demonstrate new innovative technologies on underutilized state properties. The bill is also on the governor's desk.
  • December 20, 2012 - GO-Biz meetings ongoing.
    Support a regional patent office in California
    Silicon Valley Leadership Group members are meeting with key political leaders to communicate the benefits as well as to address the concerns of locating the regional patent office.
    December 20, 2012 - San Jose office on track for 2013 opening. Office director hired and examiners beginning to be hired. July 2, 2012 - The Federal government announced in July that a regional Patent Office will be established in California.
    Action Team members are encouraging companies to contact the USPTO to inform them of how a regional patent office would speed up the application process.
    The Action Team is gathering data to better give decision-makers a picture of their ability to recruit and retain employees in the area.
    Reinforce California's network of Regional Innovation Centers
    Develop legislative language to define iHubs' mission, vision, and goals and to establish them as part of GO-Biz.
    March 27, 2013 - The Governor's Office for Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) held an Advanced Manufacturing Summit at the Capitol on March 27th. The summit was led by Governor Brown's Senior Jobs Advisor Mike Rossi--and brought together a unprecedented group of stakeholders, including leaders from the fields of education, industry, research and the state's iHub innovation network. December 20, 2012 1. Developing legislative language to establish iHubs as part of GO-Biz. 2. Expanding iHubs to include advanced manufacturing. 3. Working with California Workforce Investment Board to establish Manufacturing Council to support industry partnerships for skills development. 4. Working with Livermore Labs, iHub, Manufacturing Extension Program and small and medium manufactures to host a March forum to launch a California Network on Manufacturing Innovation focused on additive manufacturing. September 14, 2012 - This network of Innovation Hubs is supported by GO-Biz.
    Develop a true partnership with universities and the private sector through which hours are donated to iHub programs to assist entrepreneurs.
    Work with the private sector and university partners to develop an online business accelerator with volunteer hours and/or credit hours given.
    Establish and fully engage national labs to develop a program through which small business can access funds in the iHubs account (established via legislation) to work with national labs to access scientists and engineers for R&D efforts.
    Leverage California's university assets to advance innovation and assist small businesses
    Meet with the UC President and Cal State President's Office members to discuss the network
    Develop proposal for a 501c3 umbrella organization as part of the Business School Innovation Center Network which would seek private sector and foundation funding. Create a collaborative convening with all of the business and/or agriculture schools