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UCSD's Alan Paau named to lead technology transfer and economic development at Cornell

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Alan Paau

Alan S. Paau, assistant vice chancellor for technology transfer and intellectual property services at the University of California-San Diego (UCSD), has been named vice provost for technology transfer and economic development at Cornell and executive director of the Cornell Center for Technology, Enterprise and Commercialization (CCTEC), subject to approval by the Executive Committee of the Cornell Board of Trustees. Paau will assume his duties Jan. 1, 2007.

The new vice provost title mirrors the importance Cornell attaches to future technology transfer and economic development. Paau will be the first CCTEC director to hold the new title.

"We are delighted that Alan Paau will be assuming leadership of CCTEC, which spearheads Cornell's efforts in technology transfer and intellectual property-led economic development," said Robert C. Richardson, senior vice provost for research. "Cornell's world-class scientists and scholars generate intellectual property in areas as diverse as biodegradable wipes that detect biohazards, microscopy techniques that image living tissue and wine grapes that thrive in cool climates like central New York state. CCTEC's mission is to assure the timely and efficient transfer of new knowledge and discoveries to the public for its benefit."

Paau said, "I look forward to this exciting opportunity because Cornell is committed to partnering with industry so that innovations that result from its powerful research and clinical engines can be developed into beneficial products and services for the public. The university's strategic commitment in technology transfer will help to create a high-wage, knowledge-based economy for the region."

Since 1998 Paau has led the technology transfer office at UCSD, where gross revenues in 2005 totaled $21 million and where he supervised the formation of 77 new companies founded on licensed USCD innovations and executed more than 440 commercial licenses and options. He developed a successful "Startup Boot Camp" program that stimulates and promotes an entrepreneurial culture at UCSD by bringing together faculty, lawyers, accountants, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.

Previously, he was executive director of the Iowa State University Research Foundation, where he developed a focused technology transfer approach, and associate director of the Biotechnology Center at Ohio State University, with responsibilities in research administration, technology management and industry liaison. Paau held faculty appointments in several departments while at Iowa State and Ohio State. He holds eight U.S. and 15 foreign patents, and he has published more than 30 refereed research articles.

Cornell President David J. Skorton said, "Alan Paau's vision, energy and track record of success at UCSD, Iowa State and Ohio State make him uniquely qualified to lead Cornell's efforts in technology transfer and economic development. His experience in health sciences technology transfer at UCSD will enhance similar efforts at Weill Cornell Medical College, where Paau will spend approximately 40 percent of his time. I am looking forward to Alan's leadership here at Cornell."

Cornell Provost Carolyn "Biddy" Martin noted that Paau is an experienced administrator of university technology transfer operations. "He will be a key player in helping Cornell realize its goals to protect intellectual property and transform discoveries into products and services that benefit inventors, the university and the public," she said.

CCTEC integrates the university's Office of Intellectual Property Management and Licensing, with offices in Ithaca and at Weill Cornell in New York City; the Cornell Research Foundation, which holds the titles to Cornell intellectual property; and the Office of Economic Development. Professional staff in Ithaca and New York City manage intellectual property from invention disclosure through patenting to marketing, licensing, new-company startups and institutional reporting. The center supports technology-led economic development efforts locally, regionally and across New York state and is a campus partner in facilitating industry-university collaborations.

In 2004-05, CCTEC received 200 invention disclosures, filed 203 U.S. patent applications and completed 77 commercial license agreements. Additionally, it distributed more than $4.1 million in royalties. Cornell is among the leading universities in the United States in helping to form startup companies, assisting more than 40 companies in the last five years.

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