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Tyszko to lead SU efforts to advance faculty venture development

September 21, 2011

Peter Englot
(315) 443-1921

To strengthen and multiply opportunities for Syracuse University faculty members to bring results of their research to market as innovative products and services, SU has reorganized several key support mechanisms under the leadership of Mary Ann Tyszko, who will head the newly created Office of Strategic Business Development and Innovation. Integrating the current functions of technology transfer, corporate relations and technology incubator Blue Highway, Vice President Tyszko will spearhead efforts to forge and cultivate public and private-sector partnerships that will expand the range of avenues through which faculty scholarship can make a difference in the world directly and through the inclusion of students in the faculty’s entrepreneurial activities. 

tyszko“Coordinating the efforts of these three closely related units will greatly enhance our ability to maximize the impact of our faculty’s research and creativity,” says Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric F. Spina. “It also enhances Syracuse University’s role as an anchor institution in our community, underscoring that SU is a public good by channeling innovations into the marketplace. And with her extraordinary track record, Mary Ann is the perfect person to lead this effort.” 

Before coming to SU in December 2010 to lead the effort to attract Blue Highway to SU, Tyszko, G’80,‘83 was president and CEO of SRCTec, a subsidiary of SRC (formerly Syracuse Research Corp.), which provides manufacturing, logistics and full lifecycle support for complex military electronics systems. She took the high-tech company from idea to full operations in nine months, en route to record revenue growth in its first year. Prior to that, she served as executive vice president of operations for SRC Inc., a not-for-profit research and development company focusing on innovations for defense, environmental and intelligence markets. She earned master’s degrees in business administration and in computer science from SU. 

In addition to partnering with existing industries, the new office aims to spur local economic growth and create jobs by helping faculty launch their own small businesses or partner with existing small enterprises as a means to bring innovations to market more swiftly and efficiently. A new venture fund for faculty is one means currently being explored to that end. Another goal is to increase the impact of Blue Highway, a technology incubator launched three years ago in partnership with global medical technology leader Welch Allyn to promote development of health and medical innovations. In summer 2011, Welch Allyn transferred full ownership of Blue Highway to SU, and the incubator is expanding its innovation portfolio into other areas of science, engineering and technology. The success of that initiative underscored the value of such collaborations and served as an impetus for creating an office dedicated to business development and innovation. 

“This really is all about creating more—and more effective—opportunities and support for faculty to bring the fruits of their research to the world,” says Tyszko. “We’re leveraging our experienced leadership across the three areas now linked together, as well as developing synergies with Vice President for Research Gina Lee-Glauser and her team. In effect, we’re taking SU’s collective efforts to the next level, ensuring that our faculty gets maximum impact out of their research and innovations, and that the public gets maximum benefit from those breakthroughs.”

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