Conrad to lead UNL technology development
Released on 06/24/2008, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
David Conrad has been selected to head the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's technology development efforts effective July 1.
Conrad has been named associate vice chancellor for technology development and will direct UNL's Office of Technology Development. He currently is director of licensing for the office. Conrad succeeds John Brasch who will retire this month after three years as associate vice chancellor for technology development.
UNL's Office of Technology Development is headquartered at 1320 Q St. It works to turn university research into tangible products and services that return income to inventors and the university and help expand Nebraska's economy. The staff works with faculty and businesses to commercialize the discoveries and inventions from UNL research through licensing agreements, creation of startup ventures and public-private commercialization partnerships. The commercialization process includes evaluating and marketing faculty inventions, pursuing patents and copyrights, and negotiating with companies that pay the university for the right to use its intellectual property, the products of academic research with commercial potential.
"Technology development is the bridge between faculty discoveries and the commercial marketplace that will play a key role in our development of the Innovation Campus," UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman said. "We are especially pleased to have someone with David Conrad's knowledge and experience in this key position."
Conrad has a master of business administration from Duke University, a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois, a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of North Carolina and did postdoctoral work at the California Institute of Technology. Before joining UNL's Office of Technology Development in 2006, he was a licensing associate for Iowa State University's Research Foundation. He also was a technology consultant for Research Triangle Institute International in North Carolina.
Conrad also has experience as an entrepreneur. He co-founded and served as president and chief executive officer of Emerjent Inc., a startup company that builds software for business and competitive intelligence applications. Earlier, he worked as a chemist at the Naval Research Laboratory and managed research and technology development projects for a private company.
"David's knowledge, skills and ideas are a terrific match for our needs," said Prem Paul, vice chancellor for research and economic development. "He brings a rare combination of scientific, business, marketing, technology development and entrepreneurial experience to this job."
Paul praised Brasch's efforts to advance technology development at UNL. "John's leadership has positioned us for future growth," he said.
Under Brasch's leadership, UNL expanded its technology development efforts, invested in technology development infrastructure and reorganized the office. The office works closely with state and business leaders and focuses on opportunities to commercialize university technologies in Nebraska. This is part of UNL's commitment to a bigger contributor to Nebraska's economy, Paul said.
Conrad's familiarity with UNL will enable a smooth leadership transition, Paul said. "We're looking forward to great things from our technology development team."
"This is an exciting time for technology development at UNL," Conrad said. "We're working to connect inventive faculty, students and staff with Nebraska businesses and entrepreneurs to get more UNL technologies into the marketplace. That's good for the university and for Nebraska's economy."