Researchers



UT Transform research team includes principle investigator Cory Hallam from UTSA and Co-PIs from the three other participating universities.

Cory Hallam

Cory Hallam is founding Director of the Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship (CITE) and Director of Commercialization Alliances and Innovation at the University of Texas at San Antonio. As an emerging Tier 1 institution, UTSA has generated a list of firsts under the leadership of Dr. Hallam, including the first technology licenses, faculty start-ups, student patent filings, student start-ups, on campus incubation of start-ups and partner companies, and a Commercialization Council that bridges the gap between university research and the broader technology commercialization community in San Antonio. By adopting best practices from around the country, UTSA has moved rapidly into the realm of entrepreneurship education, research and the practice of technology commercialization, including the bi-annual student $100K venture competition that links seniors in engineering and business to pitch new technologies to investors. He has also received entrepreneurship grants from the NCIIA and SBA, and conducts international research on entrepreneurial intent and ecosystem development.

Olivier Wenker

Olivier Wenker is M. D. Anderson Cancer Center’s founding Director of the Office of Technology Discovery. In the early 2000’s he created a novel gap fund mechanism for clinical and research faculty. Members of this office regularly scout the institution for promising new technologies and then help to develop them to a level where they start to generate commercial interest. Proof-of- concept investments of $2.38 million in these early-stage technologies created within a few years a multiple of 10 on value creation for the institution, the total reaching now $23.6 million. Dr. Wenker is also very active in teaching institute-wide entrepreneurship classes as well as education webinars for the National Council for Entrepreneurship and Technology Commercialization. He serves as business plan reviewer and business plan competition judge for the Texas Emerging Technology Fund TETF, the Rice University Business Plan Competition, and the Rice University Life Science Forum.

David Novick

David Novick is the Associate Dean of Engineering for Graduate Studies and Research, Professor of Computer Science, and Mike Loya Distinguished Chair in Engineering. He formerly directed UTEP’s Kauffman Campus Initiative and now serves as co- director of UTEP’s Mike Loya Center for Innovation and Commerce. He leads the College of Engineering’s Task Force on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which includes participants from colleges across the university. Dr. Novick, who is a graduate of Harvard Law School, teaches UTEP’s course on Intellectual Property Law, and is a member of the university’s Intellectual Property Committee. He was a member of the organizing committee of the 2012 Camino Real Venture Competition.

Gary Frankwick

Gary Frankwick is the Associate Dean for Faculty Development, College of Business Administration: Professor of Marketing and Marcus Hunt Chair of international Business. He serves as co-director of UTEP’s Mike Loya Center for Innovation and Commerce. Dr. Frankwick is a graduate of Arizona State University and an active member in the Product Development and Management Association.

Dorie Gilbert

Dorie Gilbert is Associate Professor of Social Work and Director of the Institute for Community Development (ICD): US and Abroad, which focuses on strengthening the capacity of local and international communities through cross-disciplinary, inter- university collaborations that connect innovation to meeting societal needs, with growing emphasis on the design and manufacture of technologies with global commercialization potential. Dr. Gilbert currently collaborates with Cockrell School of Engineering’s Projects in Underserved Communities in working to transform laboratory knowledge into wealth for communities through innovative enterprising. She will work closely with ICD consultant, Dr. Norman Kaderlan, President of Technology Innovation Group and former Director of the Austin Technology Incubator, in implementing the assessment. The ICD is supported by the Center for Social Work Research, a consortium of scientifically rigorous research units with over $17 million in external funding.


Four UT campuses have joined together to lead the transformation of innovation and commercialization.

The University of Texas at San Antonio

UTSA continues to support POP programs in life sciences and renewable energy, fund and operate Entrepreneurship Boot Camps, and host companies in its New Venture Incubator (NVI) wet labs, located on the campus. UTSA has raised and invested over $300K in proof-of-principle projects, resulting in numerous spin offs and technology licenses in the past four years. UTSa is also home to the Institute for Economic Development, which operates the South-West Texas Border SBDC Network. The SBDC helps Texas businesses start and grow resulting in job creation, economic diversification and business expansion. In partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, UTSA administers the regional network of 10 SBDC affiliate offices hosted by universities and community colleges in the 79-county region, resulting in over $400 million in economic impact on the region.

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

UT MD Anderson Cancer Center invested $75 million into The Institute for Applied Cancer Science (IACS). This new institute focuses on accelerating the delivery of new, safe and highly effective small molecule therapeutics for cancer patients. An additional $2.4 million were invested in the past few years in proof-of-concept projects, thereby advancing the development and commercialization of early-stage technologies. Future plans involve funds intended to accelerate the development and commercialization of technologies other than small molecules. In addition to the money committed MDACC’s president Ron DePinho expressed his strong interest in expanding the internal faculty entrepreneurship education program.

The University of Texas at El Paso

UTEP, thanks to generous gifts of alumnus Mike Loya, totaling $10 million, has moved aggressively to promote innovation and entrepreneurship, with a particular focus on integrating the efforts of the College of Engineering and the College of Business Administration. Recent initiatives include the Anita Mochen Loya Fund, which is already supporting development of six UTEP projects for commercial spin-off, and the Mike Loya Center for Innovation and Commerce, which will provide a common venue for students and faculty to learn about entrepreneurship, to support integration of entrepreneurship education into undergraduate study, and to generate new projects for spin-off. Additionally, UTEP houses the Center for Research Entrepreneurship and Innovative Enterprises, which provides workshops, consulting, coaching, training, networking services and other programs that help UTEP start-ups.

University of Texas at Austin

UT-Austin is ranked top 10 among U.S. colleges which have built exemplary entrepreneurship programs and resources for aspiring founders. Leading the state in institutional startups, UT-Austin has over 40 currently active startups working to commercialize technology. In 2010-11, licensing and royalty revenue from technologies exceeded $26.7M.

Texas Venture Labs (TVL) at the McCombs School of Business is supported by a generous $6 million gift from distinguished alumnus Jon Brumley. As a start-up accelerator, TVL works with 40 companies, with over $25 million in investment capital, and assists in transforming UT-Austin graduate students into future leading entrepreneurs.

Austin Technology Incubators (ATI), a program of the IC² Institute, collaborates with other commercially-focused and business-building programs at UT-Austin. Over the past three years, ATI developed over 50 companies; $70 million in funding; and over $300 million in Alumni Company exits. Later this year, the Pike Powers Commercialization Lab (PPCL), a $1.5 million lab, will open to promote research, commercialization, and educational opportunities for UT students, faculty, and start-ups from ATI to address smart energy grids, advanced information technology, clean energy, and health care applications. A recent $18.5 million award from the National Science Foundation will establish a new engineering nanotechnology research center at UT. The university also invested $1 million into the UT Advance laboratory for the development and commercialization of pharmaceuticals and biomedical technology.