Alice Li will direct Cornell's technology transfer group

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Melissa Osgood
Alice Li
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Alice Li, Ph.D. ’98, has been named executive director of Cornell’s Center for Technology Licensing (CTL), the university’s patent and technology transfer arm. She had been serving as the group’s interim director since August 2014.

“It is the strong consensus of all who have worked with Alice during the past 18 months that she and her team have had a very positive impact,” said Robert Buhrman, senior vice provost for research and vice president for technology transfer, intellectual property and research policy. “Operations and performance have been enhanced in a number of areas, which has resulted in a record number of startups in fiscal year 2015 and what is anticipated to be a record for regular licensing revenue for fiscal year 2016.”

Li oversees all aspects of the technology transfer and licensing operation, including management of invention disclosures, intellectual property protection, marketing, license negotiations, outreach and other activities in its service to Cornell campuses including Weill Cornell Medicine and Cornell Tech in New York City.

Under Li’s leadership in the past fiscal year, 15 startup companies – 10 in New York state – were established based on Cornell technologies, surpassing the previous record of 12 set in 2010. Many of these startups have already obtained investment or secured commercial partners. Additionally, the group executed 64 invention licenses and options, tying the record number set in 2004.

“I am quite delighted to lead this office in these exciting technological times,” said Li. “Our group’s key goals are to generate societal benefits, all the while advancing technology commercially, engaging industry partners and catalyzing entrepreneurship.”

Li joined Cornell’s licensing group in 2002 and managed a large portfolio of life sciences technologies. She served as the director of licensing in the Ithaca office until taking the interim position. Prior to joining CTL, Li was a research and development manager at BioArray Solutions, a New Jersey-based biotech company in diagnostic and drug discovery. During five years there, the company grew from a two-person startup to an enterprise employing 50 people.

Li earned a bachelor’s degree from Tsinghua University, Beijing, in 1991, and her doctoral degree from Cornell in 1998. She is also an inventor and holds patents for imaging tools used in bioapplications.

Said Buhrman: “Alice will continue to improve the group’s service to Cornell’s inventors and entrepreneurs, while enhancing the marketing of Cornell intellectual property. I look forward to working with her and with the leadership across the university to see success come to fruition for our stakeholders in Cornell technology transfer.”


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Blaine Friedlander