Goonewardene named associate vice chancellor for innovation and strategic investment

AUSTIN – Julie K. Goonewardene, a recognized leader in technology commercialization and business formation at the University of Kansas, has been named associate vice chancellor for innovation and strategic investment for The University of Texas System following a nationwide search. Goonewardene will join the UT System Sept. 15.

As associate vice chancellor for innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Kansas, Goonewardene increased licensing transactions by 70 percent, issued patents by 130 percent and corporate sponsored research by 40 percent. Prior to her tenure with the University of Kansas, she designed and managed Purdue University's venture fund and she co-founded and served as president and CEO of Cantilever Technologies, a venture-backed software company that was successfully acquired in 2004.

“The University of Texas System is very fortunate to be able to bring on board a leader like Ms. Goonewardene,” Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation Patricia Hurn said. “Her expertise will enormously benefit all of our institutions and further many goals in innovation, entrepreneurship and investment.”

As associate vice chancellor at UT System, Goonewardene will be responsible for the UT Horizon fund, expansion of entrepreneurship in discovery and the development of sustainable academic-industry partnerships. She will be particularly focused on fostering effective relationships among and between the UT System and UT institutions, the broader university community, government entities, foundations and institutions, regional economic development organizations and the private sector to promote commercialization of UT research.

“It is an honor to join The University of Texas System, and I look forward to learning more about the successes, opportunities and needs of my colleagues,” Goonewardene said. “My goal will be to increase innovative ideas and resources available for successful commercialization. Together we can enhance connections with business leaders, entrepreneurs, government leaders and investors that are critical to the UT System’s ability to create services and products that will benefit Texas, our country and the world.”

Goonewardene earned a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in management and a Master's degree in health communication from Purdue University and serves on the Board of Trustees for the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Personalized Medicine Coalition.

About The University of Texas System

Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking research and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States, with nine academic universities, six health institutions and a fall 2013 enrollment of more than 213,000. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public universities in Texas. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $14.6 billion (FY 2014) including $3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With about 90,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

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