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U.Va.’s Mark Crowell Receives Top Technology Transfer Honor

W. Mark Crowell, executive director of U.Va. Innovation and associate vice president for research at the University of Virginia, was honored by the Association of University Technology Managers Feb. 28 for his lifetime contributions to advancing academic innovations.

Crowell received the association’s 2013 Bayh-Dole Award, “given in recognition of the recipient’s untiring efforts to foster and promote intellectual property activities on behalf of the university and nonprofit community.”

Since his arrival at U.Va. in 2010, Crowell has worked to expand and raise the visibility of the University’s innovation and entrepreneurship programs and testified before Congress on matters pertaining to technology transfer and the role of small business in innovation and job creation.

“As a thought leader and partnership catalyst, Mark has been building the foundation for American economic growth for over two decades, spanning from the Atlantic seaboard to the California coast,” said Thomas C. Skalak, U.Va. vice president for research.

“We are very proud to have Mark at the University of Virginia, where he has established our region as a global destination for innovation, creating authentic, sustainable partnerships with investors and corporations.”

Crowell received the award in San Antonio at the annual meeting of the Association of University Technology Managers. Commonly referred to as AUTM, the association is a nonprofit organization with an international membership of more than 3,000 technology managers and business executives.

“Mark is a respected leader in this profession and within AUTM,” said the organization’s president, Sean Flanigan. “Through his more than 25 years in our profession, Mark has continuously embodied what the Bayh-Dole Award is all about. AUTM is grateful for his contributions to our organization and to the profession as a practitioner, leader and friend.”

The award references the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act, co-sponsored by former U.S. Sens. Birch Bayh of Indiana and Robert Dole of Kansas, which transformed academic technology transfer by allowing universities to retain ownership of inventions developed under federally funded research programs.

“I fully subscribe to the pronouncement of The Economist that Bayh-Dole is perhaps the most inspired piece of legislation in the past half-century. To receive an award bearing their name is a particularly great honor,” Crowell told an audience of several hundred at the AUTM meeting’s opening session.

Crowell’s 25-year career in university innovation includes extensive experience in technology licensing, start-up company formation, seed capital development, innovation-based economic development and research campus planning at U.Va., the Scripps Research Institute, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University and Duke University. He is a former president of AUTM and the AUTM Foundation and currently co-chairs the Technology Transfer Committee for the Biotechnology Industry Organization.

“Our profession really is focused on doing the best job we can to push research out to help society, to create cures and to improve the environment,” Crowell said. “It is a great honor to be recognized by my professional colleagues and peers in AUTM with this award.”

For information about the award and past recipients, click here.

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