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VCU engineering dean named to new state innovation authority

VCU engineering dean named to new state innovation authority

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The dean of Virginia Commonwealth University’s College of Engineering will serve on the board of directors of a new state authority to guide state investment in research of innovative technologies to boost Virginia’s economy.

Gov. Ralph Northam has appointed Barbara Boyan to the board of directors of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority, which the state created this year to oversee its increasing investments in higher education research with potential to create new technologies and startup companies to take new products to market.

Boyan, a biomedical engineer and entrepreneur, is the Alice T. and William H. Goodwin Chair in Biomedical Engineering at VCU, as well as dean of the engineering school. She joined VCU in 2013 from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

She is one of six citizen appointments the governor made to the board of the new authority that will help finance and commercialize promising technological research, as well as new companies and entrepreneurs in Virginia’s emerging high-tech economy.

“It is very exciting to see government working together with academia to bring technologies to market so that they benefit humankind,” Boyan said in a statement on Tuesday. “I am honored to be part of this new phase in Virginia’s economic growth.”

“As you can see in our new Engineering Research Building taking shape right now at the corner of Cary and Belvidere streets [in Richmond], we’re all about public-private partnership and commercializing innovation,” she said. “We’re building space where businesses can partner with us to translate research into products that improve lives.”

The other appointments to the authority board, announced on Friday, include:

  • Paula Sorrell, an Arlington County resident who is associate vice president of innovation and economic development at George Mason University;
  • Monique Adams, executive director of 757 Angels, an investment capital network in Hampton Roads;
  • Richard Hall, of Martinsville, managing director of Orion Capital;
  • Chiedo John, of Harrisonburg, engineering manager at GitHub; and
  • Kurt John, of Fairfax County, chief cybersecurity officer at Siemens USA.

The General Assembly’s Joint Rules Committee also will appoint three non-legislators to the 11-member board, which also will include the Secretary of Commerce and Trade and a representative of university technology transfer offices.

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