Office of the Vice Chancellor for Innovation

Dear UIC Community,

I write to inform you of the creation of the new Office of the Vice Chancellor for Innovation (OVCI), as well as, the appointment of Dr. Anthony (TJ) Augustine, currently Associate Vice President for Economic Development and Innovation for the University of Illinois System, as the Interim Vice Chancellor for Innovation effective November 16, 2018, subject to approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

As a Carnegie I research university, the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is a hub of innovation and cutting-edge research with a national and international reputation, providing an expansive education and healthcare enterprise throughout Illinois. At the same time, our strategic priorities emphasize the need and desire to become an even more entrepreneurial university in all aspects of our operations. And finally, we are committed to the success of the Illinois Innovation Network and the Discovery Partners Institute hub in Chicago.

The emphasis on these areas has led to the decision to organize UIC’s innovation and commercialization portfolio under one office (OVCI), which will have oversight of IT functions on campus (ACCC), distance and adult education programs (Extended Campus), and corporate relationships (Office of Corporate Relationships). The Vice Chancellor for Innovations (VCI) will also coordinate all of our IIN/DPI activities, as well as, the interactions with the Office of Technology Management and the Health Technology Incubator. The VCI will serve as a senior member of the leadership cabinet reporting directly to the Chancellor and will work collaboratively with the Deans, Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Vice Chancellor for Research. The OVCI will have a small number of staff and will be funded entirely from the University’s portion of royalty revenue. The creation of this new office was endorsed by the UIC Faculty Senate and the University of Illinois System.

Dr. Augustine’s experience and institutional knowledge make him the ideal person to establish this office and streamline its activities. His appointment is for a period of up to three years and will be followed by a national search. He is an alumnus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign earning a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Chemistry. He also earned a Master’s degree in Public Policy and a PhD in Chemistry at Stanford University.

In his role as Associate Vice President for Economic Development and Innovation, Dr. Augustine was responsible for providing strategic leadership in identifying potential public-private partnerships and enhancing connections among internal and external stakeholders, which will also be instrumental in his new capacity. Prior to his tenure in the University of Illinois System, he was the Technology-to-Market Advisor and Acting Deputy Director for Commercialization at the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E), where he helped prepare breakthrough energy technologies for transition from the lab to the marketplace. While at ARPA-E, he helped craft the agency’s commercialization strategy and particularly focused on a number of programs targeting biological production of transportation fuels.

He also served as Special Assistant to Secretaries Steven Chu and Ernest Moniz at the Department of Energy, where he acted as the Secretary’s principal liaison to senior staff in the areas including energy technology development, environmental management, and national security. Prior to the Department of Energy, Dr. Augustine worked as an OSA/SPIE/AAAS Science and Technology Fellow in the office of Senator Richard Durbin and provided advice on energy and environmental issues.

Please join me in welcoming TJ to this new and exciting leadership role, which will have the potential to advance UIC’s strategic priorities and the commercialization endeavors of our faculty and students.


Michael D. Amiridis

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