Beverly Hills billionaires give UC Davis $50 million to build agricultural research hub
For nearly a century, UC Davis has been the cradle for cutting-edge research in agriculture. But it has had a hard time finding the funding it needs to keep up. That’s where philanthropists, billionaires and agricultural and agricultural technology leaders come in.
A little more than a year ago, as we started to look at what a potential partnership with UC Davis might look like, we were approached by a group from UC Davis that was looking to raise support for a very ambitious goal: a $50 million donation, with the goal of building a sustainable agriculture research hub at UC Davis. We were excited and impressed.
And a few months later, the university announced it was making an initial investment of $10 million into the project, with a goal to raise the total and fund the rest over the next two years, to $50 million. Over the past year, we’ve spoken to dozens of the university’s top leaders, as well as representatives from the state’s large grant program and other donors, in an effort to get a better sense of how a partnership like this, one that would expand opportunities for research and make it even easier for researchers and faculty at UC Davis to find resources for their work, would work and how it could impact the future of agricultural research and make the university better in the process.
We now have what we think is perhaps the most comprehensive picture of the impact this collaboration could have on agriculture research, and how we can think about how it might work given some of the constraints the program faces.
To understand the impact better, we’ve broken it down into three areas: the research it would support, the partnerships it would create and how it could help the university as a whole.
Research supported: from the university’s perspective, research at UC Davis at the moment is limited. The university has three departments, with 20,000 students and an annual budget of less than $1 billion. And while researchers have been able to advance their work at UC Davis with access to many of the resources available at other universities, the ability to leverage those resources