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LOS ANGELES (AP) _ After six years of nurturing high-technology companies, the University of Southern California is closing is incubator program known as EC2.

The project helped more than two dozen companies get their start, including GameWorld Technologies. It was funded by the school's Annenberg Center for Communication, which also used the project to research the effect of communications technology on society.

Executives at the incubator said the closing was prompted by falling investment yields as well as the collapse of the dot-com market, which made the project less relevant.

EC2 stood for Egg Company 2, referring to the center's hope of hatching new companies. It opened in 1995 and gave budding businesses work space and access to technology.