The University of Utah chose Bryan Ritchie as the next director for its Technology Commercialization Office.
Ritchie comes from James Madison College, a residential college that is part of Michigan State University, where he served as a professor of political economy.
He also served as director of the Michigan State Entrepreneur Network, and co-director of the Michigan Center for Innovation and Economic Prosperity.
“Our success commercializing technology is a challenge, because we believe there is much more that we can do to contribute to the Utah economy.” – Jack Brittain Technology Venture Development vice president
“Bryan is committed to taking the office to the next level, and the search committee feels he has the diversity of experience to improve our commercialization efforts and sustain the U as a leader and model for the world. His international development experience is a source of perspective on the potential for university developed technologies to literally change the world, and this is ultimately why the university is committed to commercialization.”
The office manages the university’s intellectual property, which includes collecting invention disclosures, filing patents, licensing technologies and fostering startup companies.
Ritchie grew up in Salt Lake City. He started two companies of his own and worked for other businesses in Utah and around the world, including Novell, Dayna Communications, Century Software, Iomega, and Megahertz. He holds a Ph.D. in political economy from Emory University, a master of business administration from Marriott School at Brigham Young University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
“The University of Utah is a recognized leader in commercialization, and I look forward to helping build on that success,” says Ritchie.
Ritchie’s academic research focuses on how companies and industries upgrade technologically as well as innovation, entrepreneurship, technological development, education and training, and social capital can help deepen commercial value of innovative discoveries.
Members of the search committee said Ritchie’s diverse experience made him stand out from the hundreds of applicants. “He has a lot of experience in private industry and academia, and he has bridged those worlds, which have stark differences.” – Don Brown, a member of the search committee, the CEO of Partnet and the chairman of the U’s Commercialization Advisory Board.
The search began in April, when former director Brian Cummings accepted a job as vice president for commercialization at Ohio State University.