We must translate our discoveries and innovations to the world. The paths for bringing ideas from a university to society have evolved significantly over the past several decades. The traditional technology transfer to an industrial research lab is increasingly being replaced by translation through the creation of a new venture, be it a commercial start-up or a non-profit. Government funded research is becoming more translational, with numerous agencies that have been historically focused on basic research now venturing into the applied research space. This demands a change in how we move through the translational path, yet not at the expense of doing broad-based fundamental research.

RPI excels at fostering entrepreneurs. In fact, Harvard economist Raj Chetty’s Opportunity Insights group ranks RPI third nationwide in terms of the percentage of our alumni who have become inventors, trailing only MIT and Carnegie Mellon. Indeed, much of Troy and the region have come to life, in part because of the companies founded by our alumni.


As an institution, we need to do everything possible to help our current students and our faculty carry their ideas into the marketplace. That means using our convening power vigorously, to bring together the financial and intellectual capital to help our entrepreneurs. We need to think creatively and flexibly about partnerships that can launch our innovations into the world. Finally, we need to bring out the natural entrepreneurship that exists among our students, faculty, and staff, including the excitement and reward of taking risks, whether that be in forming a new company or pursuing challenging solutions to complex problems facing society.

By educating so many brilliant young people who start and staff local businesses, RPI already plays an important role in regional economic development. However, we also have the opportunity to do even more.

Chair: Jonathan Dordick, Institute Professor, Office for Research  
Vice Chair: Jason Kuruzovich, Associate Professor and Director of the Severino Center, Lally

  • Clint Ballinger, Lecturer, Lally
  • Michael Bivens, Senior Advancement Officer, Institute Advancement
  • Bonnie Blumer, Director of Marketing and Partnerships, Rensselaer at Work
  • Selmer Bringsjord, Professor, Cognitive Science
  • Sandra Brown, Associate General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel
  • Philip Bruce, Director of the CCPD, Student Life
  • Christopher Cioffi, Associate Professor, Chemistry and Chemical Biology
  • Alexander Connor, Graduate Student  
  • Craig Cook, General Counsel and Secretary of the Institute, Office of the President
  • Steven Cramer, Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering
  • Chanaka Edirisinghe, Acting Dean, Lally
  • Ava Gallagher, Graduate Student
  • Matthew Grill, Associate Director of EIS, DotCIO
  • Bob Karlicek, Professor, ECSE
  • Eric Ledet, Professor, Biomedical Engineering
  • Timothy Miles, Undergraduate Student, Class of 2024  
  • Anqesha Murray, Graduate Student
  • Brett Orzechowski, Lecturer, Lally  
  • Kelly Reardon, Associate Program Director of the Severino Center, Lally
  • Louis Trzepacz, Dean of Student Success, Student Life

  • What is our current inventory of activities that support translation?
  • What more should we do on campus to support translation?
    • How should this be organized?
    • How do we promote entrepreneurial activities and risk taking?
    • How do we support new ventures from RPI students, faculty, and staff across all segments of the Rensselaer community?
  • How is translation linked to research and education?
    • How does this go beyond entrepreneurship education?
    • What are the clear links to RPI’s major research investments?
  • What is needed in the region to support translation?
  • How do we foster relationships with the start-up community?
    • Do we establish a venture fund, and if so, under what policies?
  • What are the needed resources?
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