University of Toledo Innovation Enterprises (UTIE) announced today the finalization of a six-month reorganization process that looked at the leadership, committee and organization structures.The move, part of a continued effort to adopt the most current best practices in economic development and University research commercialization, requires approval from the UT Board of Trustees.
C. William Fall, CEO of the William Fall Group, was named to chair the UTIE Board of Directors, pending approval by University trustees.
In addition, the UTIE board recommended separating the position of CEO from the position of chair and established four new operating committees, three of which were charged with oversight of specific portfolios of firms invested in by the organization.
“As Innovation Enterprises continues to grow and mature as an organization, UT President Lloyd Jacobs asked us in 2013 to start looking for ways to integrate the most current best practices into the UTIE governance model,” Fall said.
“We’re investing in ideas, technologies and companies that have the potential to really change people’s lives and transform this community,” Fall said. “The state of Ohio has asked universities to take a leadership role as engines of economic development, and we feel these changes will make a strong organization that much more impactful.”
Three of the four new committees will focus respectively on firms advancing biomedical technology, information technology and alternative energy. Fall said the change would enable subject matter experts in each area to focus more of their efforts on specific areas, rather than the entirety of UTIE’s portfolio.
A fourth committee will focus on providing business development services to young firms that could have the idea or product to commercialize, but not necessarily possess all the grant writing, marketing, finance and other expertise needed to succeed.
“Innovation Enterprises has reached a natural point in its life cycle where it is time to take a look at what’s been accomplished and what can be improved,” UT President Lloyd Jacobs said. “Names in leadership positions will change, but this effort is about creating a governance model with the endurance and flexibility to survive and thrive in an incredibly dynamic academic and commercial environment.”
Fall and Jacobs said the integration of economic development into universities’ teaching, research and health-care delivery missions is an area of agreement that spans elected officials from both parties and across all levels of government.
“UT was among the first universities to embrace the commercialization of laboratory research and the general role of economic driver,” Jacobs said. “It’s essential to this University and this region that we continue our leadership in this arena.”