Contributing Over $7 Billion Annually to Orange County, UCI is an Engine of Economic Growth

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

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You’ve probably heard about the worldwide impact of University of California, Irvine's scientific research, technological innovations and successful startups. But UCI’s positive impact on our local community – as a wellspring of jobs, entrepreneurial investment, and billions in economic growth – is really something to talk about.

Most who live near a typical college or university don’t really feel a deep connection to it. The institution might provide an interesting talking point when you meet new people – but little else. If you live in the city of Irvine, however – or anywhere in the broader Orange County area—the odds are high that UCI has had a direct and positive impact on your life and the lives of people in your community. You might never have thought about this, but there is proof everywhere.

UCI is Irvine’s top employer

UCI is Irvine's largest employer, and Orange County’s second-largest employer (behind – you guessed it – Disney), and we’re ranked eighth among all U.S. public institutions by U.S. News & World Report. We’re ranked No. 1 by The New York Times for doing the most for the American dream, and Forbes ranks us sixth among universities on its list of America’s Best Employers for Diversity.

UCI employees are part of something bigger. At UCI, we’re working each and every day to improve the global human experience. Regardless of the role – whether someone is researching a cure for a debilitating disease or ensuring that our buildings are safe and clean for our students – every member of our team is a critical part of our success. Acknowledging and respecting each person’s unique background, talent and skill set are cornerstones of UCI’s employee culture, with inclusion and diversity being the foundation upon which our culture is built.

UCI employees

UCI brings in billions of dollars in entrepreneurial investment

As a world-renowned hub for technological innovation and entrepreneurship, UCI attracts investment capital from all over the world to help produce the breakthroughs and successful businesses of tomorrow.

To date, UCI-affiliated startups have attracted $25 billion in investment funding and acquisitions – and many of those businesses’ scientific and technological advances are improving lives. But for our local community, what’s equally impressive is that roughly 40% of this funding stays in Southern California, with 20% of it fueling continued growth in Orange County specifically.

These startups add significantly to the area’s economic vitality by drawing the top entrepreneurial minds, creating new jobs, and generating local and state tax revenue.

An important platform that serves as the connector for UCI to the Orange County and Southern California business community and innovation ecosystem is UCI Beall Applied Innovation, which helps startups with resources at the Cove at UCI. The Cove provides entrepreneurs access to university inventions and talent, guiding large corporations looking to tap the school’s research capabilities.

UCI Beall Applied Innovation also connects investors with promising new companies, with multiple funding opportunities for early-stage startups ready to grow in our community.

Beall Applied Innovation, 662 active patents, 65 companies launched, $3.4M proof of product grants, 1k jobs supported by small business development center clients

UCI contributes billions of dollars to Irvine and Orange County

According to a 2021 analysis of the University of California system, UCI is responsible for more than $7 billion in impact to the area each year.

This massive contribution to local economy represents a combination of direct spending by the university, the value-added benefits that flow from that spending (such as increasing employees’ household income), and indirect benefits including businesses able to grow or launch due to the increased economic activity in the area.

UCI’s ambitious goals, our ongoing expansion plans, and the generosity of our alumni and other donors are all helping to improve the economic vitality of our community – and the quality of life for residents of Irvine and Orange County.

UC Irvineis a platinum-level Leaders Circle partner of the Greater Irvine Chamber.

Category: Economic News, Leaders Circle, Greater Irvine Chamber, UCI