The University of Houston Division of Research welcomed Chris Taylor last week as its new executive director for the Office of Technology Transfer and Innovation (OTTI). Taylor joins UH from MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he was the director for the Center for Entrepreneurship and Advancement (CEA).
In this role, Taylor will oversee UH's patent and licensing activities, recruit and manage companies and startups located at the UH Technology Bridge, and engage industry in sponsored research. In addition, he will help position UH as a major player in the Houston's growing innovation ecosystem.
UH is already excelling in its tech transfer and innovation activities, with the following accomplishments across the university:
- Ranked #1 in the country for licensing income among public universities without a medical school and ranked in the Top 20 of all U.S. universities
- Ranked in the Top 100 universities worldwide for U.S. utility patents
- Ranked #1 for undergraduate entrepreneurship program
- UH Innovation Center & Labs at capacity for startups/established companies operating out of the UH Technology Bridge
UH also hit several major milestones in the last reporting year (FY19) in research and innovation, each being the top measure in the university's history:
- 40 patents awarded to UH inventors
- $65.7 million in licensing income
- $195 million in research expenditures
The University is also home to now 18 fellows and senior members of the National Academy of Inventors.
"Chris has emerged as the leading candidate amongst a very strong slate of potential executive directors of the UH Technology Bridge," said Amr Elnashai, vice president for research and technology transfer. "His expertise and broad experience will no doubt accelerate our internal development of technology transfer and corporate research, as well as enhance our efforts to integrate the Technology Bridge in the Houston innovation ecosystem."
Prior to his role as director for CEA, Taylor has served as the director of the Venture Mentoring Services at Houston & Texas Venture Connect Node, director of the Office of Career & Entrepreneurship Advancement, and project director for the Center for Professional Development & Entrepreneurship while at MD Anderson.
Taylor has been a successful entrepreneur in the financial services and hospitality industries and has held several leadership positions in industry and academia. He brings more than 20 years of multidimensional experience in strategic planning, business consulting, change management, financial planning, entrepreneurship and leadership development.
In addition, Taylor has mentored and developed successful professionals and entrepreneurs across several industries and is sought out for his experience in organizational development, leadership, entrepreneurship and innovation commercialization.
“I am very excited about being part of the UH Powerhouse and the opportunity to work with our outstanding faculty and help grow UH’s commercialization, industry partnerships and overall innovation ecosystem," he said. "I believe the Technology Bridge and Office of Technology Transfer and Innovation are two of the cornerstones in pursuit of our leadership's vision for UH to be a major player in the regional and national innovation landscape. I look forward to what the future holds.”