Notre Dame California launched in 2014 and will accelerate opportunities across the campus, especially for ESTEEM students, who are well-prepared to leverage the broader connections with companies in the heart of 21st-century technology and innovation.
The multi-pronged initiative involves establishing partnerships for research and commercialization, raising the University’s profile among inventors and investors, offering programs like ESTEEM and the Patent Law Masters, and recruiting more students to Notre Dame from the West Coast.
Greg Crawford, Dean of the College of Science and an architect of the ESTEEM Program, is transitioning into a role where he will move to California and lead the initiative as Vice President and Associate Provost.
“This is a natural step for Notre Dame as we build a world-class entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Crawford says. “We will be engaged with people who are on the leading edge of technologies that will have a global impact, and we will bring our virtues and values into these important conversations.
“Silicon Valley is deciding how we work, how we communicate, how our students interact with each other – in short, how we live, in countless ways large and small. That kind of power comes with great responsibility. We believe we can bring our unique voice to Silicon Valley. Creating a synergy of strengths from Notre Dame and Silicon Valley will advance both business success and human flourishing, not only in California but around the globe,” and advance our mission to be a force for good in the world.”
The West Coast effort will stay closely connected to the South Bend campus, with potential links including integrated programs, faculty sabbaticals, collaborative research, alumni engagement and a semester “abroad” in California for undergraduates.
The initiative is based in Silicon Valley but reaches across the state. Silicon Valley is by far the leading U.S. center for venture capital investment and philanthropy as well as technology innovation, startups, and the top earning companies in the world, including Google, Apple, Intel, Cisco Systems and Hewlett Packard.
“We are already contacting many employers to find internship positions for our students and career opportunities for our graduates,” Crawford says. “The interest is very high thanks to our active alumni in the area and the increased awareness of the kind of student that Notre Dame recruits and graduates – a sought-after combination of smarts, creativity, and high ethical standards.”