President Merten Appointed to New Innovation and Entrepreneurship Board

Posted: December 14, 2009 at 1:02 am, Last Updated: December 11, 2009 at 5:20 pm

Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine announced last week the formation of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority (IEIA), as well as members of its board of directors. Mason President Alan Merten was named to this new board of 13 members.

In a news release, Kaine said, “This legislation streamlines government, saves resources and mandates the development of a consistent, long-term plan for identifying research priorities. That will in turn foster economic development opportunities in the commonwealth and encourage cooperation between the public and private sector in research and development-related initiatives.”

Created by the General Assembly and signed into law earlier this year by Kaine, the new authority continues the work of the Innovative Technology Authority (ITA), which was established in 1984.

The legislation consolidated two existing entities with research and development (R&D)-related responsibilities – the ITA and the Virginia Research and Technology Advisory Commission – into the IEIA. The new authority continues the work of the ITA, with the added duty to create a strategic R&D roadmap for the commonwealth.

“The new authority and its board will help accelerate the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT)’s expanded role in new company formation and strategic development of research and innovation priorities,” says Leonard M. Pomata, Virginia’s secretary of technology. “It will help all regions of the commonwealth achieve solid footing in the growing innovation economy.”

In addition to Pomata and Merten, other board members are

Daniel Bannister, President, Bannister Enterprises

Ted Cahall, Chief Technology Officer, AOL, LLC

Eric Hansen, Chairman, CEO/President, Co-founder, Innovative Wireless Technologies Inc.

Wayne Hunter, Managing Partner, Harbert Venture Partners

Ray O. Johnson Sr., Vice President & CTO, Lockheed Martin Corporation

Hooks Johnston, General Partner, Valhalla Partners

Rick Kapani, Managing Partner, Vision360 Solutions

Suzanne H. King, Partner, New Enterprise Associates

Linwood H. Rose, President, James Madison University

Charles W. Steger, President, Virginia Tech

Lydia W. Thomas, Board of Trustees of The George Washington University and retired President and CEO, Noblis Inc.

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