MISSION: To maximize the translation of USC research into products for public benefit through licenses, collaborations, and the promotion of entrepreneurship and innovation.
Innovation can come from the arts and social sciences as well as engineering or medicine. It can take the shape of new products or services; new ventures, ranging from venture-backed startups to non-profits; as well as new organizational models. Innovation can be any groundbreaking approach or advancement that changes the way we live, work, and play.
The USC Stevens Center for Innovation is a university-wide resource for USC innovators in the Office of the Provost. Designed to harness and advance the creative thinking and breakthrough research at USC for societal impact beyond traditional academic means, we focus on the licensing of technologies, expanding industry collaborations, and supporting start-ups.
Innovation is absolutely strategic to USC – “scholarship with consequence” is one of the three pillars in USC’s Strategic Plan.
The USC Stevens Center for Innovation started in 1971 as USC’s Office of Technology Licensing. In 2004, a $22 million endowment by Mark and Mary Stevens established the USC Stevens Institute for Technology Commercialization to advance engineering at the University of Southern California within the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. In 2007, the center was renamed to the USC Stevens Center for Innovation to reflect a broader focus across all academic disciplines and to be the central resource for managing university-owned intellectual property (IP). USC Stevens manages a university-owned IP portfolio stemming from $691 million in annual research funding.
Mark Stevens is one of Silicon Valley’s most successful venture capitalists and a longtime USC benefactor supporting innovation at USC. He has served as a member of the USC Board of Trustees since 2001 and co-chairs the board’s investment committee, serves on the executive and finance committees, and sits on the USC Health System Board. For the past 19 years, he has also served on the Board of Councilors for the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Mark Stevens is managing partner of S-Cubed Capital and a special limited partner and former managing partner of Sequoia Capital. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Master of Science in Computer Engineering, all from USC, and an MBA from Harvard University. Mark is also a director of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Foundation (USOPF) and an owner and executive board member of the Golden State Warriors basketball team.
Mary Stevens is a veteran of the commercial real estate brokerage business, including serving as the vice president at Cornish & Carey Commercial in Santa Clara. She currently is the co-chairwoman of the Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) Spring Auction and is on the Alzheimer’s Association’s Part the Cloud Committee. She has served as a member of the Santa Clara University Board of Trustees since 2012. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Santa Clara University.
To further drive research and innovation at USC, Mark and Mary Stevens donated $50 million in 2015 to endow the USC Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute.
In 2016, Mark and Mary Stevens were each awarded Honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters from USC in recognition for their contributions to the university community.