Jul 7, 2009
Stephen Fleming has been named vice provost of Georgia Tech's Enterprise Innovation Institute, the nation's largest and most comprehensive university-based program of assistance to business and industry. Since 2005, Fleming has served as Georgia Tech's chief commercialization officer and led the Enterprise Innovation Institute's Commercialization Services Division in creating new companies based on research discoveries.
A venture capitalist and former telecom engineer with a degree in theoretical physics, Fleming will succeed Wayne Hodges, who retired recently after a 40-year career at Georgia Tech.
"In these challenging times, I am very pleased that someone with Stephen's experience, leadership, enthusiasm and drive has elected to take on this very important position," said Mark Allen, senior vice provost for research and innovation at Georgia Tech. "The size, scope and success of the Enterprise Innovation Institute are among the key differentiators for Georgia Tech among leading institutions around the world, and are essential to Georgia Tech's core mission of disseminating technological discoveries and enhancing technology's impact."
State budget cuts have significantly reduced support for the Enterprise Innovation Institute, and Fleming has said that broadening the organization's financial base will be among his top priorities.
"Though we've done our best to align our costs with our projected state, federal and private-sector dollars, we must continue to seek other sources of funding to fuel the job-creating engine that Georgia needs," Fleming said. "I am excited about the challenges ahead as we more fully apply the resources of Georgia Tech to help build Georgia's economy. Our strength is based on the people in the Enterprise Innovation Institute."
With approximately 200 staff members and students, the Enterprise Innovation Institute includes five major divisions:
* Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP), a division of the Enterprise Innovation Institute's Industry Services, which provides direct technical assistance and professional education to help companies become more competitive in world markets;
* Entrepreneur Services, which includes the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), Georgia Tech's science and technology incubator, which helps Georgia entrepreneurs launch and build successful companies;
* Strategic Partners, which serves as an industry-centric doorway into Georgia Tech for companies seeking multi-faceted interdisciplinary research;
* Community Policy and Research Services, which helps government at all levels address the challenges of technology-based economic development, and
* Commercialization Services, which evaluates Georgia Tech inventions and helps form startup companies around commercially-promising technologies.
Fleming praised Hodges, who led the development of the Enterprise Innovation Institute and served as director of the ATDC for more than 20 years.
"The Enterprise Innovation Institute is widely seen as the model for 21st century technology-based economic development organizations at research universities," said Fleming. "What Georgia Tech has today in the Enterprise Innovation Institute is due to Wayne Hodges' vision, creativity and tenacity. Through his hard work and support from Georgia Tech and partner organizations such as the Georgia Research Alliance, we have an organization that universities around the world would like to emulate."
Fleming has more than 13 years of private equity experience at the general partner level. Prior to his venture capital career, he spent 15 years in operations roles at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Nortel Networks, and LICOM -- a venture-funded startup.
An Atlanta native and summa cum laude graduate of Georgia Tech, Fleming is active in the "alternative space" industry -- an investor in three private aerospace companies and is a founding member of the Space Angels Network. He also serves on the boards of trustees for the Spiritual Living Center of Atlanta and for Tech High School, a charter high school emphasizing science, math and technology in urban Atlanta.
Fleming is a member of the IEEE, the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America and a number of regional technology organizations.
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Writer: John Toon