On September 4, 2012 Olfactory Laboratories, a local technology company whose research is intended to help fight the spread of mosquitos-borne diseases, received a $10,000 grant from Riverside-based nonprofit, SmartRiverside.
Formed as a vehicle to establish the City of Riverside as the innovation center of the Inland Empire, SmartRiverside launched the High Technology Tenant Improvement Program in 2006 to help growing technology companies offset the costs of tenant improvements, allowing them to redirect capital to their research and operations. Since its inception, the 501(c)3 has awarded over $185,000 to local technology firms.
Olfactory Laboratories, Inc, or OLI for short, was born from research conducted at UC Riverside and was licensed in partnership with the university so that the technology could be transformed into commercialized production. OLI’s mission is to design products to inhibit blood-seeking insects from finding humans and animals. OLI uses a variety of scientific methods to design and create environmentally-safe, non-insecticidal compounds to be used in affecting insect behavior.
As Olfactor President, Steve Abbott, recently explained in a trade publication, “Part of what we’re trying to do is showcase the fact that we can take an idea, build a business around it and get it going. We’re also trying to hammer home the fact that research in Inland Southern California can be used to combat Malaria, Dengue Fever, West Nile Virus and other tropical diseases around the world.”
Olfactor Laboratories is a subsidiary of the Innovation Economy Corporation, a firm that takes ideas in the form of university research, intellectual properties and new products, and services as venture targets.
SmartRiverside focuses on attracting new high technology businesses to the area, incubating new start up technology companies, creating technology jobs through collaboration with local businesses and education institutions, and helping to bridge the “digital divide” by providing computers and internet access to every citizen.