David Allen Named Executive Director of Tech Launch Arizona – Article by Alexis Blue, University Communications| August 22, 2012
Tech Launch Arizona is a technology commercialization center aimed at helping move knowledge and inventions developed at the UA to the market.
Allen has 30 years of academic and practitioner experience in technology management and commercialization and most recently served 10 years as associate vice president for technology transfer at the University of Colorado, where he was credited with transforming an under-performing intellectual property licensing operation into one of national prominence. He was chosen to lead Tech Launch Arizona following a national search and will start the new position effective Sept. 4.
“I cannot overemphasize the importance of Tech Launch Arizona and its charge to facilitate the transfer of discoveries at the University of Arizona into intellectual property, inventions and technology. We also envision a much more robust entrepreneurial approach to company start-ups and investment,” said UA President Ann Weaver Hart. “David Allen has an exceptional track record at the University of Colorado, The Ohio State University and other institutions and is the ideal person to advance the UA’s technology commercialization efforts. “
Tech Launch Arizona was designed to consolidate the UA’s efforts related to moving knowledge and inventions from campus to market.
“In a highly visible way, Tech Launch Arizona will gather together and expand the UA’s activities around technology commercialization. It will create ‘one-stop shopping’ for faculty interested in moving their discoveries and inventions into practical application, as well as for industry and the investor community wanting to learn about new research advances of interest to them,” said Leslie Tolbert, UA senior vice president for research.
“We expect that this integration will dramatically increase our entrepreneurial success and the impact of our research in the marketplace and in the clinical arena,” said Tolbert, adding that Allen has the expertise and talents needed to lead the entity.
Allen, who is regularly invited to speak at national and international conferences on topics related to technology commercialization, said he looks forward to working with UA’s creative faculty and Arizona’s innovative business community.
“The goal is to make the University of Arizona preeminent among the nation’s universities in technology commercialization.” he said. “Arizona has the research prowess, and one of the major aspects of my job will be to pull together various offices to support the commercialization process.”
Under Allen’s leadership, the University of Colorado’s Technology Transfer Office has received 2,120 invention disclosures, filed 1,420 patents and executed 325 exclusive licenses and options over the past 10 years. During this period, 93 companies have been started based on University of Colorado intellectual property.
Prior to his time in Colorado, Allen worked in technology development and commercialization at Ohio State University and Ohio University. His academic experience also includes 10 years as an assistant professor at The Pennsylvania State University. He has a doctorate in political science from Indiana University, as well as a Master of Regional Planning and a Master of Public Administration from The Pennsylvania State University.
Of his new position at the UA, Allen said: “After working 30 years in this field, I feel like I’ve been preparing all my life for this job.”