BOULDER – Tom Smerdon has been named interim leader of the University of Colorado’s technology-transfer department.
Dave Allen, former associate vice president for technology transfer at CU’s four campuses, said last week that he would leave to take a similar role at the University of Arizona. Allen made $250,000 in the job, said Ken McConnellogue, a spokesman for the CU president’s office.
Smerdon will make $200,000 in the interim role. He is based at the CU-Boulder campus. The office focuses on licensing intellectual property to companies.
“I’m grateful that we have such a strong team at the tech-transfer office, and I look forward to the challenges ahead,” Smerdon said in an email. “We will certainly continue to work hard to build upon Dave Allen’s record of success at the CU TTO.”
Smerdon has been CU’s director of licensing and new-business development in the technology-transfer office since May 2005. Before that, he was associate director for the Office for Technology Transfer at Ohio State University.
No plan has been made yet about how to find a permanent candidate for the job, said Patrick O’Rourke, vice president, counsel and secretary to the CU Board of Regents, the university’s elected governing board. CU President Bruce Benson has mentioned closer collaboration between campuses as a goal for the technology-transfer office.
“Tom is well-respected in the office and the community, and we have a lot of confidence in him,” O’Rourke said. “There’s no search strategy at this point.”
“We’re just really in a phase where we’re trying to figure out what the right moves are, and we’re going to be thoughtful about it and not rush into anything.”
During Allen’s tenure, 93 companies were started based on intellectual property created at CU. In the past 10 years under Allen, CU’s tech-transfer office received 2,120 invention disclosures, filed 1,420 patents and executed 325 exclusive licenses and options, according to university statistics.
The university's four-campus technology-transfer office often is mentioned as a contributor to the region’s vibrant startup community in areas such as bioscience and alternative energy.