Chancellor appoints advisory group to advance innovation ecosystem

Vanderbilt University aerial campus photo

A dedicated advisory group appointed by Chancellor Daniel Diermeier will identify additional ways Vanderbilt can nurture a thriving innovation economy in Nashville and Middle Tennessee.  

The group will build upon existing work to leverage Vanderbilt-driven research and innovation to support local community needs, attract entrepreneurial talent and venture investment, and expand our city and region’s innovation capacity. They also will examine infrastructure needs, including dedicated physical space, programs for collaboration and how to foster a culture of innovation. 

As a leading research university, we have an imperative to be an anchor for innovation and technology creation in our region,” Diermeier said. “A robust local innovation economy will enable our researchers to have more impact by broadening cross-sector collaborations that can lead to new discoveries and new opportunities for sharing those discoveries with the world. For Nashville and Tennessee, innovation-producing industries create good jobs and opportunities that open pathways to more inclusive prosperity, and a stronger, more diverse and resilient economy overall.” 

The advisory group will enhance the work of Vanderbilt researchers and staff and will look for opportunities where real-world applications of Vanderbilt-driven research and technology can help address community challenges. The group will also identify areas for collaboration with public and private partners to provide subject expertise or capacity. Among the advisory group’s initial activities is to review best university practices from around the world. 

Members of the advisory group include faculty and staff from across the university who bring unique perspectives and expertise to the table. The advisory group will build on the momentum of the Wond’ry, the Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization, the CIRCLES Consortium, the Intelligent Ecosystem Collaborative, the Greater Nashville Venture Capital Association, CREST (Coalition Responsible for Equitable Skills Training) and more.  

The members of the Innovation Ecosystem Advisory Group are:

  • Nicole Allen, professor of human and organizational development   
  • Alan Bentley, assistant vice chancellor for technology transfer and intellectual property development   
  • Amy Booth, professor of psychology and human development   
  • John Kuriyan, dean, School of Medicine Basic Sciences 
  • David Owens, professor of the practice of organizational studies and engineering management, Evans Family Executive Director of the Wond’ry, Vanderbilt’s Innovation Center  
  • Sally Parker, associate vice chancellor for strategy and operations, Government and Community Relations
  • Padma Raghavan, Vice Provost for Research and Innovation (Chair)
  • Chris Rowe, executive director for industry collaborations, Office of the Vice Provost for Research and Innovation 
  • Krishnendu Roy, Bruce and Bridgitt Evans Dean of Engineering
  • Megan Sargent, director of space planning, Office of the Provost 
  • Alex Sevilla, vice provost for career advancement and engagement, Evans Family Executive Director of the Career Center 
  • Nabil Simaan, professor of mechanical engineering 
  • Jonathan Sprinkle, professor of computer science  
  • Thomas Steenburgh, Ralph Owen Dean, Owen Graduate School of Management 
  • Brett Sweet, vice chancellor for finance and information technology 
  • Robert Webster, Richard A. Schroeder Professor of Mechanical Engineering   
  • Yesha Yadav, Milton R. Underwood Professor of Law 
  • Karl Zelik, associate professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering