Support Innovation

The technology of tomorrow starts at Caltech today—and you can be a part of it. When you partner with the Rothenberg Innovation Initiative, you empower world-class researchers and fuel technology development and innovation.

The Rothenberg Innovation Initiative at Caltech

The Rothenberg Innovation Initiative (RI2) offers competitive grants to Caltech researchers working on high-risk, high-reward projects that could lead to marketable technologies for the benefit of society.

These grants spur innovation by enabling Caltech scientists and engineers to pursue their bold ideas. They make it possible for novel technologies to enter the marketplace by bridging the gap between fundamental, early-stage research and the proof-of-concept data needed to attract government support or venture capital investment.

RI2 has seeded advances in energy and green technologies, information technology, neuroscience, biomedicine, biotechnology, and nanomaterial research projects.

In 2008, Caltech trustee James (Jim) F. Rothenberg and his wife, Anne Rothenberg, provided funding for what was then called the Caltech Innovation Initiative. Envisioning even greater possibilities with continued investment, the Rothenbergs committed an additional $15 million to support the initiative in 2017. In recognition of their extraordinary leadership, Caltech renamed the program the Rothenberg Innovation Initiative. Since then, other donors have honored the late Jim Rothenberg and expanded the initiative through their gifts. 

Get Involved

With its track record of successful strategic investment, Caltech's Rothenberg Innovation Initiative is poised to grow. By supporting RI2, you are funding research that addresses pivotal problems for humankind—and changing the world through Caltech.

To start a conversation about giving to RI2, please contact Val Otten, Associate Vice president for Development, or Case Cortese, Director for Innovation, New Ventures & Entrpreneurship.

RI2 by the Numbers

With a radically inventive and entrpreneurial spirit—and the support of programs like RI2—Caltech outpaces peers in startups, invention disclosures, licenses, and patents per faculty member.

Since RI2 began in 2009:

  • 54 projects have been funded, 35 of which received a second year of funding 
  • 40 projects have disclosed inventions
  • 120 patents have been filed
  • 2 projects resulted in licenses to large corporations
  • 11 projects have led to startups
  • 7 projects have startups pending

Learn more about the initiative in the RI2 2018 Impact Report.