Singer charged with new role to “build a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation” across campus

Categories : EnterpriseWorks, Research Park
Posted on: December 14, 2020

A prolific faculty entrepreneur who is no stranger to the Research Park and EnterpriseWorks is taking on a new campus leadership role to build a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation across the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Dr. Andrew Singer has been named Faculty Fellow for Research Innovation and Entrepreneurship Strategies in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation.

Over the more than two decades he has been on the faculty at Illinois, he has been a substantial contributor to, and participant in, the vibrant innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem at Illinois.

Andy Singer

Singer has been the founder of several companies, including recent EnterpriseWorks graduate Oceancomm. A previous startup,  Intersymbol Communications, Inc., was acquired by Finisar Corporation (now part of II-VI). He is a consistent participant at the Champaign-Urbana Tech CEO Roundtable.

As the director of the Technology Entrepreneur Center (TEC) in the College of Engineering, Singer forged TEC’s close partnership with EnterpriseWorks. He was part of the team that brought the NSF I-Corps site program to Illinois in 2013, which is hosted at EnterpriseWorks.

As a Faculty Fellow, Singer will develop a strategic plan and implement programs that build a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation across campus. He will develop capital projects that will complement the success of EnterpriseWorks, including the graduation facility and translational research facility.

“Dr. Singer is one of our most innovative faculty members, and he understands entrepreneurship inside and out,” said Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation Susan Martinis. “Andy’s perspective will help coordinate our activities across campus and strengthen programming that supports new ideas, new innovations, and new ventures.”

He will also recommend opportunities to develop related programming within and across colleges and interdisciplinary research institutes and serve as an OVCRI representative with the DPI and Illinois Innovation Network (IIN).

Dr. Singer, who most recently served as the inaugural Associate Dean for Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the Grainger College of Engineering, led the Technology Entrepreneur Center for more than a decade, where he oversaw the creation of the Bachelor’s degree in Innovation, Leadership and Engineering Entrepreneurship and the creation of the Innovation Living and Learning Community, among a host of other innovation and entrepreneurship programs and activities.

He has co-led the Campus Roundtable on Entrepreneurship and is deeply engaged with the Discovery Partners Institute (DPI), teaching classes in Chicago as a part of the Engineering City Scholars program.

As a University of Illinois System Presidential Fellow, he focused on broadening the participation of women and underrepresented groups in innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems. Dr. Singer regularly serves as an expert witness in high-profile patent and intellectual property cases for the United States International Trade Commission and in federal district court.

“I’m thrilled that Andy has agreed to serve in this newly created role—the campus, the community, and beyond will all benefit from his drive and expertise,” Martinis said.