University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Vassilis Syrmos has been appointed to serve as the first UH System vice president for research and innovation (VPRI). His appointment is effective on September 1, 2013 and is for two years.
As associate vice chancellor for research at UH Mānoa, Syrmos has worked on a range of projects including developing major research facilities such as the Daniel K. Inouye Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education, the state’s only laboratory to be rated LEED Platinum. Since 1991, he has been with UH Mānoa’s department of electrical engineering, where he is a professor. He has also served as the associate dean of the College of Engineering.
“The University of Hawaiʻi has an important role to play in the development of Hawaiʻi’s research and innovation sector,” said UH Board of Regents Chair John Holzman. “We are pleased to have an experienced researcher and administrator in Dr. Syrmos to work with UH’s gifted faculty and the community to create jobs and build Hawaiʻi’s research industry.”
The Board of Regents also added the word “innovation” to the vice president’s title. One of the new vice president for research and innovation’s priorities will be to support significant growth in research through the University of Hawaiʻi Innovation Initiative (HI2). This initiative seeks to double the state’s research enterprise to $1 billion annually over the next decade. The VPRI is also charged with critical leadership and coordination of system-wide research and innovation efforts, including management and direction of UH’s research support, technology transfer, and many compliance functions.
“We would like to thank outgoing Vice President for Research James “Jim” Gaines, who is retiring at the end of this month, for 26 years of distinguished service to UH, the last 10 as vice president,” said University of Hawaiʻi President M.R.C. Greenwood. “The University of Hawaiʻi has brought in more than $4 billion in extramural funding during Dr. Gaines’ tenure as vice president for research. Under his watch, annual extramural funding hit an all time high of almost $500 million.”
“I am delighted to be able to recommend Dr. Syrmos to build on that progress and advance UH research and innovation through the University of Hawaiʻi Innovation Initiative.”
“I am very honored to have been selected for the position of vice president for research and innovation,” said Syrmos. “Dr. Gaines has done a tremendous job in developing and facilitating systemwide research initiatives, establishing policies and procedures, and managing research administration support services; and it will definitely be a large role to fill. I look forward to the new challenges and opportunities of the VPRI position, and am excited to be given this opportunity to empower our researchers and scholars throughout the University of Hawai’i System.”
“Over the years, Dr. Syrmos and I have worked well together on a number of projects,” said Interim President Designee David Lassner. “I look forward to collaborating more deeply with him, our faculty and the community to build a thriving and nimble UH research enterprise that diversifies and strengthens our economy, creates great jobs for our graduates so they can stay home, and addresses the challenges faced by our island communities throughout the state.”
Read the UH System news release for more about Syrmos.