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Battelle gives $2 million for new entrepreneurship faculty chair

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January 22, 2002 Share This!

RICHLAND, Wash. — University of Washington Business School officials today announced a $2 million donation from Battelle to create the Dr. Douglas E. Olesen/Battelle Chair in Entrepreneurship.

The award creates a new faculty position in support of the UW Business School's Center for Technology Entrepreneurship and honors the Wenatchee native and former president and chief executive officer of Battelle. This newly endowed chair will enhance the Business School's ability to attract and retain leading faculty in entrepreneurship.

Founded last year, the center brings UW business, engineering, law, medicine and science students together to commercialize technologies. That includes technology developed by UW researchers and those at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, which Battelle operates under a Department of Energy contract.

The idea for the gift grew out of the national laboratory's partnership with the center's first group of student researchers who won $30,000 in seed funding during the UW business plan competition last spring. The student team created a business plan for Cogelix Targeted Radiotherapy, a company that would distribute Radiogel. The radiation therapy developed by PNNL researchers and patented by Battelle treats cancer with high doses of radiation without damaging healthy surrounding tissue.

Olesen, a UW engineering alumnus, is credited with overseeing numerous technological breakthroughs while encouraging a more market-focused and entrepreneurial environment at Battelle.

UW Business School Dean Yash Gupta said, "Olesen is the ideal person to have associated with the center where students assess the marketability of new technologies."

Battelle, based in Columbus, Ohio, focuses on commercialization and technology product development for industry and the government. It has 8,900 employees at more than 100 locations and annual revenues of about $1.2 billion. PNNL is a science and technology research facility and works in the areas of environment, energy, health, fundamental sciences and national security. Battelle has operated the Richland lab since 1965.

"We are proud to present this gift in recognition of the outstanding contributions Doug has made to developing and commercializing technology," said Carl Kohrt, president and chief executive officer of Battelle.

Income from faculty endowments supplements state salaries and provides the additional incentive for recruiting and promoting outstanding professors. Suresh Kotha, Center for Technology Entrepreneurship faculty director, said the endowed chair will "expand our ability to employ and retain the best entrepreneurship faculty."

The center operates a new venture-creation laboratory where students can access entrepreneurship-related databases, work closely with inventors and rely on the assistance of experts-in-residence - including entrepreneurs, financial advisers, scientists and patent and intellectual property attorneys.


Tags: Energy, Environment, National Security

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