University of Utah named Innovation and Economic Prosperity University

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) awarded the University of Utah the Innovation and Economic Prosperity designation, which recognizes universities that promote growth, innovation and economic development in their regions.

“This is tremendous recognition of the important role the University of Utah plays as an economic engine for our state,” said Ruth V. Watkins, president of the University of Utah. “We are committed to educating the workforce of the future, to building strong industry partnerships and to fostering the new ideas and innovations of students and faculty that solve grand societal challenges. This designation will enhance our efforts in these areas.”

Innovation and Economic Prosperity designees work with public and private sector partners in their states and regions to support economic development through a variety of activities, including innovation and entrepreneurship, technology transfer, talent and workforce development and community development, according to APLU. The APLU is a prestigious research, policy and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Watkins tasked Keith Marmer, chief innovation and economic engagement officer for the university, to lead the yearlong self-evaluation and application process required by the APLU. Marmer assembled an 11-person team to examine strengths and opportunities of the U’s economic and community engagement enterprise, and to research the U’s impact in the region.

The team worked with the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute to survey the President’s Leadership Council, hundreds of faculty members across the U campus and the University Alumni Association board and conducted focus groups with leaders in industry, government and economic development agencies.

Feedback was virtually unanimous in advocating for a centralized office empowered by U leadership to expand economic enterprise and innovation. The result was the creation of the Partners for Innovation, Ventures, Outreach and Technology (PIVOT) Center that is tasked with leading a centralized and integrated strategy for technology commercialization, corporate engagement and economic development.

Academic programs, including more than 100 undergraduate and 90 graduate programs, contribute substantially toward the human capital and workforce development needs of the region. The U’s prominence as a research institution attracts talent to Utah from around the world to engage in top-tier research, where awards reached $603 million in FY2020. University researchers, including one Nobel laureate, have conducted ground-breaking research that led to the first artificial heart, the discovery of over 30 disease-causing genes and pioneering development of the internet.

“Our research enterprise has reached new heights with a historic milestone of $600M in research awards in FY20,” says Andy Weyrich, vice president for research. “The university’s research accomplishments are truly a testament to our remarkable faculty, students, and staff who continue to drive innovation and economic growth at the U.”

The U is one of only three universities that earned the APLU designation this year. “Many communities are reeling from the economic devastation wrought by the global pandemic,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. “As leaders in economic development, this year’s designees and award winners are well-positioned to play an important role in our economic recovery and help drive longer term economic growth and prosperity.”

 

About the Partners for Innovation, Ventures, Outreach & Technology (PIVOT) Center

The Partners for Innovation, Ventures, Outreach & Technology (PIVOT) Center leads the University of Utah’s centralized and integrated strategy and operation for technology commercialization, corporate engagement and economic development. In doing so, PIVOT Center serves as a hub for the U to foster partnerships between industry, university and government entities. The center formalizes the U’s commitment to broaden its impact on Utah’s economy by enhancing local and global collaborations to catalyze innovation. Dedicated to helping the U’s faculty inventors bring their innovations to market, PIVOT Center (previously known as the U’s Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization [TVC]) is responsible for all aspects of invention management, patent prosecution, licensing, startup formation and support, equity management and early stage funding. The center’s mission is to generate economic returns for the university and the state of Utah, expand the university’s reputation for innovation and positively impact society.  The University of Utah was recently ranked 2nd among large research universities for “innovation productivity impact.”

###

Media Contact
Theresa Gubler, Sr. Director of Communications
Partners for Innovation, Ventures, Outreach & Technology (PIVOT) Center, U of U
Theresa.Gubler@utah.edu

801.213.3571

 

 

BioUtah Launches BioHive Initiative to Promote Utah’s Life Science Industry

Since 2012, Utah’s life science community has grown faster than any other in the country. Through collective efforts of the more than 1,100 life science-related companies (and growing), it intends to continue that trend and join the short list of the world’s preeminent life science hubs. PIVOT Center and The University of Utah are proud to be a part of this ground breaking initiative.

Find out more about BioHive & this exciting initiative via their website: BioHive.com

University of Utah establishes Partners for Innovation, Ventures, Outreach & Technology (PIVOT) Center as lead for innovation and economic engagement

President Ruth V. Watkins is pleased to announce that the University of Utah has formed the Partners for Innovation, Ventures, Outreach & Technology (PIVOT) Center, a centralized office that will drive the U’s expanding efforts for economic engagement for the greater Utah community. The new office builds on the work by the Center for Technology & Venture Commercialization (TVC), to serve as a hub to foster partnerships between industry, university and government entities. This effort formalizes the U’s commitment to increase its impact on Utah’s economy by catalyzing innovation.

As a crucial foundation for PIVOT Center, operations previously led by TVC will continue to assist the U’s faculty inventors in bringing their innovations to market by spearheading all aspects of invention management, patent prosecution, licensing, startup formation and support, equity management and early-stage funding. The new office leverages these existing resources and will hire new staff to oversee economic development and corporate engagement as well as to elicit feedback from internal and external stakeholders to improve how the U addresses their needs.

Keith Marmer, who has served as the executive director of TVC and corporate partnerships for the past four years, will lead PIVOT as chief innovation and economic engagement officer for the U. He will report directly to the president in his new capacity. Marmer’s strong leadership skills come from 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur, executive and investor. He has personally launched and scaled four companies as well as helped entrepreneurs raise more than $1 billion in investment capital. Marmer’s passion for innovation has helped countless ideas get the momentum they need to succeed. During the course of his career, Marmer has overseen the creation of more than 100 companies. Since joining the U, Marmer has helped transform the culture of commercialization, rolled out three accelerators, a business incubator and a venture fund to support startup companies.

“As one of America’s leading research universities and the flagship institution of our state, the U is a key player in generating new knowledge and enterprises that drive Utah’s vibrant economy,” Watkins said. “Keith brings a strong background and clear vision for how to refine our role in these endeavors and I am grateful for his leadership.”

Watkins added that the U’s ability to serve as a catalyst in bringing researchers, industry and government partners together is needed now more than ever due to the economic disruption caused by the pandemic.

“This is a prime example of how we can fulfil our mission as the University for Utah,” she said.

Formation of the PIVOT Center resulted from a yearlong evaluation process commissioned by Watkins that included interviews with community and industry stakeholders, and a survey sent to 7,000 faculty. Feedback was virtually unanimous in advocating for a centralized office empowered by U leadership to expand economic enterprise and innovation. The office is tasked with leading a centralized and integrated strategy and operation for technology commercialization, corporate engagement and economic development.

“As the university continues to grow its research platform, having the PIVOT Center will allow our innovative researchers engage directly and effectively with our partners,” said U Vice President for Research Andrew Weyrich. “In turn, this will drive economic impact for the U and the state.”

 

About the Partners for Innovation, Ventures, Outreach & Technology (PIVOT) Center

The Partners for Innovation, Ventures, Outreach & Technology (PIVOT) Center leads the University of Utah’s centralized and integrated strategy and operation for technology commercialization, corporate engagement and economic development. In doing so, the Center serves as a hub for the U to foster partnerships between industry, university and government entities. The Center formalizes the U’s commitment to broaden its impact on Utah’s economy by enhancing local and global collaborations to catalyze innovation. Dedicated to helping the University of Utah’s faculty inventors bring their innovations to market, the Center is responsible for all aspects of invention management, patent prosecution, licensing, startup formation and support, equity management and early stage funding. The University of Utah was recently ranked as the 30th-most innovative university in the world by Reuters.

Contact:

Theresa Gubler, Director of Communications
Theresa.Gubler@utah.edu

801.213.3571