Research Foundation of SUNY Announces Progress in Response to Hogan Lovells Report
SUNY Chancellor Commends “Change in Culture”
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011
Contact: Peter Taubkin; firstname.lastname@example.org; 518-434-7063
Albany, NY – The Research Foundation of State University of New York today announced significant progress has been made on many of the critical issues identified in a report commissioned by SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher and released in June.
In the four months since the Hogan Lovells law firm issued a report on the relationship between the Research Foundation and SUNY, two task forces—one comprised of members of the SUNY Board of Trustees and another comprised of members of the Research Foundation Board of Directors—have been advising their respective boards on how to address the more than fifty recommendations across eleven critical issues of that report. Of those critical issues, progress toward reform of the Research Foundation to date has focused on governance, growing SUNY research, IP commercialization, and improving transparency and communication.
“There is still much work to be done, but I am encouraged by this initial round of results, and I believe we are seeing a change of culture at the Research Foundation,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “Four months into this process, I have seen a new level of collaboration and a new sense of mission by the Research Foundation. Just as SUNY is an engine for economic development in New York State, the Research Foundation is an engine for SUNY research. I want to thank members of both task forces for their time and effort.”
“We believe our actions provide the best evidence that we are committed to change at the Research Foundation,” said Bonny G. Boice, executive vice president for the Research Foundation. “We have welcomed the opportunity to work with SUNY leadership to improve our organization as we move forward with our mission to serve SUNY.”
A summary of action taken in each of these areas over the past four months is as follows:
Growth of SUNY Research – The Research Foundation has invested in tools to support SUNY faculty researchers and build collaborative opportunity across and for the SUNY research community. Tools include the Find a SUNY Scholar and Scholar Universe databases that leverage the capacity of SUNY research allowing faculty to identify potential partners within SUNY, higher education, and business and industry; Community of Science (COS), which gives SUNY faculty access to the world’s most comprehensive funding resource; and a new Interactive Guide to SUNY Assets and Contacts by Region, which supports collaborative initiatives across SUNY and New York’s ten economic development regions. The map is a multi-layered application built on Google Maps GPS technology and combines geographical location with photos, descriptions, and contact information for key SUNY locations around the state.
IP Commercialization – To stimulate the commercialization of SUNY intellectual property and support the vision for SUNY StartUp and SUNY-INC, the Research Foundation provides shared services and tools that facilitate the transfer of SUNY technology to the marketplace. In partnership with SUNY, the Research Foundation has established a regional model for commercialization across the SUNY enterprise. Seven hubs are now staffed and trained to support SUNY campuses and turn SUNY innovations, inventions, and ideas into products and materials for public benefit. A new commercialization web resource has been launched to assist faculty researchers with the commercialization and protection of their discoveries and encourage potential business and industry partners to view the RF/SUNY portfolio of cutting edge technologies.
In July, SUNY and the RF jointly launched the SUNY Technology Accelerator Fund, which provided $250,000 in funding to support for the commercialization of five promising SUNY discoveries.
Communication – The Research Foundation has improved and expanded how it communicates with its many audiences and stakeholders. Tools such as the recently launched RF eNews will report regularly and transparently about the business of the Research Foundation while providing another means to highlight and promote SUNY research. A new Corporate Values and Ethics page and other and newly developed resources are readily accessible on the Research Foundation website.
Leadership and Governance – The task forces have examined the leadership and governance structure of the Research Foundation, and a national search will begin very soon for a new Research Foundation president. The president will likely also hold the SUNY title of vice chancellor for research and report jointly to the SUNY provost, whose jurisdiction includes oversight of SUNY research. Other changes are also being explored to clarify roles and support the vision of a stronger service provider-customer relationship.
About the Research Foundation of SUNY
The Research Foundation exists to support SUNY. Serving SUNY for over 60 years, the Research Foundation is the largest most comprehensive university-connected research foundation in the country. The Research Foundation supports nearly $1 billion in SUNY research activity annually and facilitates university-industry-government partnerships to accelerate the growth of sponsored program and applied research opportunities. Areas of research encompass a vast range of disciplines including life sciences and medicine; engineering and nanotechnology; physical sciences and energy; social sciences, and computer and information sciences. For more information visit www.rfsuny.org and connect with the Research Foundation on Facebook.