Leadership Changes at USC Stevens Center for Innovation
July 12, 2012
By Elizabeth Garrett, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Krisztina Holly, the founding Executive Director of the USC Stevens Center for Innovation and Vice Provost for Innovation at USC since 2006, has decided to leave USC this month to pursue other opportunities for entrepreneurship and innovation through a variety of independent projects in the U.S. and abroad. I would like to take this time to thank Krisztina for her service to USC, as she helped to build USC Stevens and to establish its current high visibility in the university and the nation as a leader in innovation.
Under Krisztina’s leadership, USC Stevens has emerged as an important partner for our research community, an essential element of the USC innovation ecosystem, and a national model for university innovation programs. Licensing revenues and the number of faculty startups and invention disclosures have all grown significantly during her tenure, with more than 30 spinoff companies formed from USC research. Building on the critical role USC Stevens plays in patenting, IP management, and licensing support for USC researchers, Krisztina and her team have substantially expanded support services for USC startup companies and launched the Ideas Empowered program, raising more than $5 million for
proof-of-concept programs that engage a community of about 100 mentors and support the translation of research with potential for commercial or societal impact.
Over the last six years, USC Stevens has launched other programs and events to support a culture of innovation at USC. For example, USC conceived and created the first TEDx conference, an independently organized version of the renowned TED conference that has since inspired more than 4,200 other TEDx conferences across the world. Since the first conference in 2009, TEDxUSC talks have garnered more than 3.5 million views online.
Krisztina has also been influential in setting national policy on innovation and programs that increase the impact of university research. She serves on the National Advisory Council for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and has written on this topic for numerous publications, most recently authoring “Universities in Innovation Networks” for the Center for American Progress. The U.S. Department of Commerce cited USC Stevens and the MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, where Krisztina served as executive director before coming to USC, as exemplars of the type of proof-of-concept centers that they seek to fund through their i6 program.
Effective July 16, 2012, Richard Friedman will serve as interim Executive Director of the center, reporting to Vice President for Research Randolph Hall. Richard came to USC in 2010 from the University of Texas at Austin, joining USC Stevens as Senior Director of Technology Advancement and Licensing. In that role, he has made organizational changes to provide enhanced support to USC researchers and to attract business partners and investors to the university through greater outreach and the adoption of more industry-friendly practices.
Again, I thank Krisztina for her many contributions to the university, and for the energy and creativity she brought to the USC Stevens Center for Innovation, the university, and the Los Angeles innovation community at large. I wish her the best in her new entrepreneurial endeavors.
Click here to view a PDF of the announcement.