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5 December 2016

Keith Marmer named executive director of TVC

Marmer, former chief business officer at Pennsylvania University’s Penn Centre for Innovation, will lead Utah University’s tech transfer office, TVC.

Author: Nicole Idar Lee, reporter

Utah University has hired Keith Marmer, former chief business officer at Pennsylvania University’s Penn Centre for Innovation, to lead its tech transfer office, Technology and Venture Commercialisation (TVC).

Marmer, who has expertise in tech commercialisation, entrepreneurship and venture capital, will take on the roles of executive director and associate vice-president of TVC.

TVC is tasked with transforming Utah University’s discoveries into commercialisable applications. So far more than 270 companies have spun out of the institution, including biomedical developer BioFire Diagnostics, customer data analytics provider Attensity and NPS Pharmaceuticals, which manufactures drugs to treat rare diseases.

The founder and head of four companies, Marmer’s latest creation is SG3 Ventures, a venture capital firm set up in 2015 to target early stage startups operating in the life sciences sector. Before that, at Penn Centre, Marmer led the office’s day-to-day commercialisation activities, leaving a year after he joined to launch SG3 Ventures.

From 2011 to 2014, Marmer directed the technology transfer office at Penn State University’s medical school and served as associate dean for research innovation.

Marmer embarked on a career in university tech commercialisation in 2007, after the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, where Marmer earned a doctorate in physical therapy and a master’s degree in business administration, asked him to serve as its vice-president of technology transfer and business development.

By that time Marmer had established the first three of the four companies he founded and led. The companies are rehabilitation services provider PT Plus, rehabilitation evaluation and injury prevention services company PhysioMetrics, and management consulting firm Infinity Partners, according to Marmer’s LinkedIn profile.

During his tenure at the University of the Sciences, Penn State and Pennsylvania University, Marmer helped found over 40 spinouts, raised tens of millions of dollars in capital for them and brought several drugs and technologies to market. 

Marmer said: “Having only established my venture capital company in 2015, there really was only one variable that could cause me to change career tracks and that was [Utah University].”

“This appointment is a remarkable opportunity for me to not only become a part of the great things that have already been built here, but to also utilise my experience and relationships to help make it the best technology commercialisation operation in the country.”

This goal can be accomplished by creating, establishing and leveraging strategic relationships within and outside the university, as well as by structuring technology licence deals in a “cutting-edge manner” to ensure faster advancement, Marmer added.

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