Research Communications

New staff appointments announced for Technology Transfer Office, Innovation Center 

July 26, 2011

Two new staff appointments have been made for Ohio University’s Technology Transfer Office and the Innovation Center, two programs within the Vice President for Research division that support faculty technology commercialization and business start-ups in southeastern Ohio.

Robert Silva Jr. has been named director of the Technology Transfer Office, and Bethany George has been hired as the Innovation Center’s Executive-in-Residence.
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Robert Silva Jr.

Silva works with Ohio University faculty and staff to identify inventions and technologies that have market potential, manages the university’s patent portfolio and develops licensing agreements with companies that can commercialize university innovations.

Silva has served as interim director of the office since January. Prior to joining Ohio University, he worked for 10 years as technology commercialization manager for Battelle/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington. He has extensive experience in energy, electrochemistry, carbon management, information technology and bioscience issues. Silva received his MBA from the University of Dallas.

“Bob Silva is a seasoned technology transfer professional who has the leadership skills to help Ohio University identify new opportunities to develop and market faculty innovations. His work will strengthen the institution’s efforts to help create jobs and foster economic growth in Ohio,” said Joseph Shields, interim vice president for research and dean of the Graduate College at Ohio University.

Ohio University has topped state and national rankings for return on research investment, due to the success of its license to the Pfizer corporation for the technology that led to the development of the drug SOMAVERT ®(pegvisomant for injection), a treatment for patients with the growth hormone disorder acromegaly.

In February, Ohio University sold partial royalty income rights to a private equity firm. The five-year agreement is expected to net the institution and its inventors up to $52 million. The university plans to invest the funds in new biomedical research and technology commercialization initiatives.
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Bethany George

In her role as Executive-in-Residence, George will provide business coaching to clients of the Innovation Center, which focuses on emerging high-tech and biotechnology firms in southeastern Ohio.  The center currently has 16 tenants and four affiliate members.

“We are pleased to have someone of Bethany’s caliber at the Innovation Center. Her vast experience in business consulting and knowledge in assisting technology companies make her a fantastic choice,” said Jennifer Simon, director of the Innovation Center.

Prior to joining the Innovation Center, George had served as a business advisory consultant for Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs and the TechGROWTH Ohio program since 2006. She worked with pre-revenue/early stage technology inventors and entrepreneurs, as well as lifestyle businesses.  George  also was responsible for managing teams of Ohio University MBA and Center for Entrepreneurship students, guiding them through strategy consulting engagements with clients. 

George’s expertise includes assessing markets and competition, building investor presentations, designing capital access and technology development plans, management and financial advising, and business process improvement. She has extensive international experience working with companies in Hong Kong, Thailand, Mexico, England and Hungary.

A native of Lancaster, Ohio, where she worked at her family’s meat-processing business, George earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in business, economics and political science from Ohio University. George serves on Ohio University’s Global Leadership Center Advisory Board.

Created in 1983, the Ohio University Innovation Center was the first university-based business incubator in the state of Ohio. The current 36,000 square foot facility includes resources such as office space, labs and meeting space, all leased at competitive rates; flexible space and lease options intended to allow companies room to expand; shared access to office equipment for printing, copying, faxing, scanning, high speed Internet, conference phones and more.

Staff contact info:

Robert Silva Jr.: (740) 593-1778, silvajr@ohio.edu.

Bethany George: (740) 593-1895, georgeb@ohio.edu.

For more information about the Technology Transfer Office, visit www.ohio.edu/research/tto.

For more information about the Innovation Center, visit www.ohio.edu/research/innovation.