Mark Crowell ’76, who has led economic development and technology transfer efforts at Carolina for the past eight and a half years, has been appointed vice president for business and technology development at the Scripps Research Institute. He will leave his UNC position at the end of December.
Crowell, who also earned his master’s degree in regional planning from UNC in 1979, will lead technology transfer, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry relations and research partnerships, and business development initiatives for Scripps’ campuses in La Jolla, Calif., and Jupiter, Fla. The La Jolla-based institute is one of the world’s largest independent, nonprofit biomedical research organizations. Scripps researchers are internationally recognized for their discoveries in immunology, molecular and cellular biology, chemistry, neurosciences, autoimmune, cardiovascular and infectious diseases, and synthetic vaccine development.
As the University’s associate vice chancellor for economic development and technology transfer, Crowell has guided and expanded the Office of Technology Development, added economic development policy responsibilities to its portfolio, and enhanced regional, national and international engagement in business development and industry relations. The office has become a national leader in electronic technology transfer and intellectual property management systems. Since he started the job at UNC in 2000, faculty research has spawned more than 40 start-up companies, and eight pharmaceutical agents are in clinical trials at the Phase 1 through Phase 3 levels. He initiated the proposed Innovation Center public-private partnership between UNC and Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. and has played a role in planning for Carolina North.
In 2005, Crowell served as president of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) and is the founding president of the AUTM Foundation. In his AUTM role, Crowell lectured and consulted on technology transfer around the world. He recently became co-chair of the technology transfer committee of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, among the world’s largest biotechnology organizations, with more than 1,200 corporate members.
Tony Waldrop ’74, UNC’s vice chancellor for research and economic development, praised Crowell’s international expertise in technology transfer. In Thailand, for instance, Crowell was instrumental in advancing UNC’s interests working through the Kenan Institute Asia and conducting popular training sessions for university and government leaders, Waldrop said.
“Mark’s professional networks and expertise with international innovation strategies have helped make him an excellent representative for the University as we have broadened the faculty’s research presence around the world,” Waldrop said.
Prior to returning to Carolina in 2000, Crowell led key technology-transfer initiatives at N.C. State University. He started as assistant vice chancellor and director of technology administration and development and later became the associate vice chancellor for technology transfer and industry research. He co-founded N.C. State’s Centennial Venture Fund and played a major role in planning Centennial Campus.
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