Editor's note: Several articles about Tuesday's "Creating a Livable Delaware" conference will be posted on UDaily on Wednesday, March 26.
10:01 a.m., March 25, 2008--The University of Delaware will open a new Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships that will be led by David S. Weir, director of the Delaware Biotechnology Institute, UD President Patrick Harker has announced.
He made the announcement March 25 at a conference on "Creating a Livable Delaware: Pathways for Enhancing Prosperity and Quality of Life" in Clayton Hall. The search for a new director of the Delaware Biotechnology Institute will begin immediately.
Opening July 1, the new Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships will work to encourage and enable innovation and entrepreneurship; grow, utilize and leverage the University's knowledge-based assets; and create and capture new economic and community benefits.
In making the announcement, Harker said, "The office will strengthen our participation as a partner in the economic development of the state and the region, coordinate the University's economic development activities and also serve as a point of contact for those in the public and private sectors who are seeking access to the University's expertise, programs and services.
"A chief goal is to support more rapid commercialization of the University's knowledge resources and technology, and to strengthen partnerships that enhance economic prosperity and quality of life," he said.
Harker said that Weir is "well known for his work in both innovation and partnership as director of the Delaware Biotechnology Institute for the last decade" and noted that he has played a key role in the success that the institute has enjoyed.
Since 1998, Weir has served as the founding director of the Delaware Biotechnology Institute, a partnership involving state government, academic institutions and the private sector.
Previously, he had a 35-year career with DuPont, holding leadership positions in the business and scientific arenas. He participated in the discovery, development and marketing of major DuPont product innovations in the polymer, fiber and agriculture business segments. In the agriculture business segment, as vice president for global research and development, he played a key leadership role in developing DuPont worldwide capability in agriculture and plant science, with special emphasis on biotechnology and life sciences broadly.
Weir, who holds a doctorate in chemical physics from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, lectured at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland before joining DuPont.