Spotlight Story

Andrew Hargadon Honored with Olympus Emerging Educational Leader Award

Professor Andrew Hargadon, faculty director of the UC Davis Center for Entrepreneurship, was honored in March with the 2009 Olympus Emerging Educational Leader Award for inspiring innovative thinking in students and for his potential to make even greater contributions to the field in the future.

Hargadon, a former design engineer for IDEO Product Development and Apple Computer, was recognized for his leadership of the center, which has had notable success in moving technologies from university labs to the marketplace.

We have taken a page from Frederick Terman, the grandfather of Silicon Valley, when he said, ‘The world is dominated by businessmen who know a little about science. Imagine what it would be like if it was dominated by scientists who know a little about business.’
–Professor Andrew Hargadon, Faculty Director, UC Davis Center for Entrepreneurship

“The Center for Entrepreneurship has been focused on a simple mission, which is to help the great science being done in laboratories, not just at UC Davis but across the country, to get out in a timely manner and actually solve real-world problems today,” Hargadon said at the awards ceremony.

The center’s programs are designed for science and engineering graduate researchers and faculty and include four one-week entrepreneurship academies as well as a year-long fellows program. The academies provide a framework for universities to build a network with the investment community and combine a comprehensive and pioneering curriculum developed by Hargadon.

Most recently, the center hosted its inaugural Food and Health Entrepreneurship Academy in February, and held the third annual Green Technology Entrepreneurship Academy in July at the Tahoe Center for Environmental Research in Incline Village, Nev. These five-day intensive
academies provide participants with the knowledge, skills and networks to explore the potential opportunities for commercialization around their research and how it can make broader impact in industry, the marketplace and the world.

“We teach them about the need for innovation and entrepreneurship beyond what they are doing in the laboratories,” Hargadon explained. “Then we introduce them and connect them with investors, entrepreneurs and policymakers to make sure the work they are doing gets known and to make sure they know what has to happen to their work for it to be accepted.

“There are an enormous number of great research campuses that need the same sort of education and connection,” he added.

The award also recognized Hargadon’s research and teaching efforts at the undergraduate and graduate levels. As director of the Graduate School of Management’s Technology Management Program, he has helped develop the curriculum for the undergraduate Technology Management minor, and he teaches MBA courses in organizational behavior and technology management.

Olympus, a precision technology leader that creates innovative opto-digital solutions in health care, life science and consumer electronics products, partners with the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) on the national Olympus Innovation Award Program to recognize individuals who have fostered or demonstrated innovative thinking in education. The winners received their awards on
March 20 at NCIIA’s 13th Annual Meeting in Alexandria, Va.

“This award from Olympus and NCIIA, both tremendous leaders in innovation, recognizes the impact of our work at the Center for Entrepreneurship and the great potential for our programs as they continue to grow,” Hargadon said. “We’re extremely proud and grateful to accept it.”

The Olympus Innovation Awards Program, now in its fifth year, represents Olympus’ ongoing commitment to technological innovation and education. The program includes three awards: the Olympus Innovation Award, the Olympus Lifetime of Educational Innovation Award and the Olympus Emerging Educational Leader Award.


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