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The University of Hawaiʻi has announced that James “Jim” R. Deane has been appointed as director of the Office of Innovation and Commercialization (OIC), which is housed under the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation. Deane, who earned both his master of science (1995) and doctorate (2000) degrees in astrophysics from the UH Institute for Astronomy, is set to begin his official duties on March 18, 2024.

In his new role, Deane will be responsible for the management of intellectual property and UH-developed technology assets, including the active solicitation of invention disclosures from researchers to increase technology licensing and patents. He will also be responsible for technology evaluation and marketing, venture creation, promoting industry engagement, and the development of commercial partnerships to help stimulate economic growth. Additionally, Deane will oversee efforts to help educate and mentor UH faculty, students, post-docs and alumni to successfully navigate the complex commercialization process through UH’s HITIDE accelerator and other innovation-based programs and initiatives run by OIC.

“I’m excited to come back to my alma mater and contribute to the revitalization of the tech transfer function,” said Deane. “Since I graduated, I’ve watched the program evolve over the years and eagerly awaited the chance to bring to it my experiences and best practices from the other great [Association of American Universities] where I’ve had the privilege to serve. I’m just thrilled to help the OIC team to realize the potential in this flagship institution.”

Deane comes to UH from the University of Oregon, where he has served as associate director, Industry, Innovation and Translation, since 2015. He oversaw a team that was responsible for protecting and commercializing innovations in life, physical and data sciences. Additionally, he led the university’s “V-Formation” startup creation program, and was responsible for its translational research funding programs. Deane was also the founder of the university’s chapter of the National Academy of Inventors.

“We are excited to welcome one of our own back to Honolulu and pleased to have a person with Jim’s impressive credentials, knowledge and experience to lead the University of Hawaiʻi’s innovation and commercialization efforts into the future,” said UH Vice President for Research and Innovation Vassilis L. Syrmos. “As we continue to be a driver of research, innovation, knowledge and economic development both globally, and most importantly locally, Jim’s knowledge and skillset in innovation partnerships and tech transfer, plus his familiarity with Hawaiʻi, will be key to forging our success in these important endeavors.”

Additional degrees:

  • Bachelor of arts Swarthmore College 1990
  • MBA Cornell University 2002

Previous posts:

  • Associate director for engineering at the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Transfer
  • Licensing officer University of Michigan
  • Licensing officer University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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