Misako Hata has been named the new lab director of the Ohio University Innovation Center, a high-tech small business incubator.
Hata will oversee operations for and maintenance of the incubator’s biotechnology and 3D printing labs. She also will assist with marketing and grant writing.
The Innovation Center serves local entrepreneurs by providing office, meeting and laboratory space with flexible lease options, as well as shared equipment—including the region’s most advanced 3D printer. The incubator offers business coaching and access to funding opportunities and other resources to help startup companies grow.
“I am very excited to work for the Innovation Center, where I can fulfill my goal of making a major career change from engineering to biotech,” Hata said. “I started as a student intern working for Diagnostic Hybrids, Inc.—one of the most successful graduates of the Innovation Center. Now I will be the IC’s lab director, helping clients and using my engineering knowledge on the 3D printer.”
Hata joins the Innovation Center from Edison Biotechnology Institute, an Ohio University interdisciplinary research facility, where she served as the facility manager and biomedical R&D assistant. In this role, she oversaw the institute’s lab and equipment training. Prior to her tenure at the institute, Hata worked for two former Innovation Center companies: as a research associate at Quidel— formerly Diagnostic Hybrids, Inc.—for six years and as an industrial systems engineer at Sunpower, Inc.
Hata holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial systems engineering, a master’s degree in industrial systems engineering and a master’s degree in biomedical engineering, all from Ohio University’s Russ College of Engineering and Technology. In addition, she has experience in 3D printing processes.
Stacy Strauss, director of the Innovation Center, noted that Hata’s training and expertise in the areas of bioscience and engineering will position her well to work with the Innovation Center’s clients and partners.
“She is experienced, distinctively educated and uniquely qualified,” Strauss said. “We expect that she will be able to master the role and take on additional public relations responsibilities with great ease.”
Created in 1983, the Innovation Center was the first university-based business incubator in the state of Ohio and the 12 th in the United States. The 36,000-square-foot facility is home to high-tech and biotechnology startup companies.
In 2016, the Innovation Center was named the Rural Incubator of the Year by The International Business Innovation Association (InBIA). The center also has been recognized as a Top University Business Incubator in North America by UBI Global, an organization that benchmarks business incubators and accelerators around the world. In 2015, the program was ranked #8 in the North American region and #3 in the United States.
The Innovation Center is located at 340 W. State St. in Athens, Ohio. For general information, visit www.ohio.edu/innovation.