NEWS: Majority of Multi-Million Donation to UCI From Beall Family Foundation Will Go To University’s Innovation Platform

The majority of a multi-million dollar gift from The Beall Family Foundation to UCI will go to the university’s innovation platform, which will now be renamed UCI Beall Applied Innovation.

The donation was led by Donald R. Beall and Joan F. Beall, according to a May 23 press release. It brings the Beall family’s total philanthropic giving to the university to nearly $30 million.

UCI Howard Gillman created what’s been formerly called UCI Applied Innovation in 2014, based on input from a university task force. It’s the central platform for collaboration among the UCI campus, entrepreneurs, the business community and investors.

It also connects campus-based discoveries with OC’s vibrant business community, with the long-term goal of fostering job creation and economic growth, thereby accelerating the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region.

“UCI Beall Applied Innovation understands that bringing great innovation to market requires a very intentional approach to industry engagement, and no one knows that better than Donald Beall,” Richard Sudek said in the release.

Sudek is UCI Beall Applied Innovation’s executive director, as well as chief innovation officer for the entire campus.

“(Donald Beall’s) generosity of leadership and acute business acumen are tremendous skills he brings to our board,” Sudek added. “His legacy of supporting innovation and technology translation will ensure that Orange County remains responsive to developing industries and economic opportunities. And this is at the heart of UCI Beall Applied Innovation.”

The Beall Family

L to R: Charlie Beall, Don Beall, Joan Beall, Cher Beall, Ken Beall. Courtesy of: Steve Zylius /UCI

Donald Beall is the chairman of the Beall Family Foundation and a principal in Dartbrook Partners.

He retired from Rockwell International in 1998 after a 30-year career, during which he served in several C-level positions over 20 years.

The Bealls have been extensively involved at UCI, supporting various areas of the university, with a focus on encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship among UCI students and faculty.

Donald Beall serves on advisory boards and executive committees in a number of schools and units across campus.

Joan Beall is on the advisory board of the Beall Center for Art + Technology.

Kenneth Beall is Don’s son and a successful real estate entrepreneur. He’s also founded several real estate-related companies.

He’s been increasingly involved at UCI since serving on the 2014 task force.

He’s served as chairman of the Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UCI’s Paul Merage School of Business and was an original member of UCI Applied Innovation’s board.

And last year, he worked with UCI professors Imran Currim and Chris Bauman to launch a master’s program in innovation and entrepreneurship at the business school, the only one of its kind in the UC system.

This one-year, full-time program, which had the strong support from Dean Eric Spangenberg, is accepting applicants and will start classes this Fall.

University Lab Partners Collaboration

Another new endeavor of The Beall Family Foundation, in collaboration with UCI Beall Applied Innovation, is University Lab Partners, which will be the first nonprofit wet lab incubator in OC.

A wet lab is a type of lab that handles various types of chemicals and potential “wet” hazards, so the room has to be carefully designed, constructed and controlled to avoid spills and contamination

University Lab Partners’ wet lab will provide 17,000 square feet of specialized lab facilities and equipment, enabling UCI faculty and students, as well as local inventors to nurture emerging technologies and companies.

University Lab Partners is focused on growing the county’s life sciences/medtech ecosystem.

NXT Biomedical – led by Stan Rowe, former CSO at Edwards Lifesciences, and backed by Deerfield Management, Johnson & Johnson and Edwards Lifesciences – will be among the initial residents of this incubator.

The incubator is expected to open in UCI Research Park in September.

About The Author

Deirdre Newman is a long-time journalist, who's covered OC startups for a few years.

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