GAINESVILLE, Fla. and BOCA RATON, Fla., Feb. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research (Florida Institute) announced today that Rick Wassel has been elected chairman of the board of directors of the Florida Institute, effective January 1, 2016. The board is comprised of business and academic leaders from around the state who share a commitment to the growth of Florida's innovation economy. The organization supports new company creation based on publicly-funded research, and bridges early funding gaps for companies spinning out of Florida universities and research institutions. Mr. Wassel will also serve as chairman of the board of managers of the Florida Technology Seed Capital Fund, a subsidiary of the Florida Institute.
Mr. Wassel is Executive Director, Strategy Office, for the Florida Division of Adventist Health System and Managing Director, IQ Orlando and was appointed by Governor Rick Scott to the Institute Board of Directors in early 2014. He has been with Florida Hospital for 19 years and has served in various leadership capacities with special emphasis in new ventures, strategy, and corporate development. He is a Governance Fellow with the National Association of Corporate Directors, on the Board of the Florida Venture Forum, and is a Strategic Advisor to the FAN Fund and FireSpring Fund.
Other members of the board include:
- Vice Chairman - David L. Day, Assistant Vice President for Technology Transfer and Director, Office of Technology Licensing at University of Florida;
- Treasurer - Hal Valeche, County Commissioner, Palm Beach County, District 1;
- Reneé Finley, Head of GuideWell Innovation, Enterprise Innovation, GuideWell.
"It is a privilege to serve as chairman of the Florida Institute board, and I look forward to leading the continued growth of the organization and the companies it supports," said Mr. Wassel. "Florida universities and research institutions are key drivers of economic development in the state, and these startup companies are developing products to solve some of the world's toughest healthcare and societal challenges."
"This is a critical time in the development of Florida's innovation economy, and Florida Institute board members contribute greatly, not only to this organization, but to the overall wellbeing of the state," said David Day. "Rick has been a valued member of the board since his appointment in 2014, and we look forward to his leadership."
About the Institute
Formed by the Florida Legislature in 2007, the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research is a non-profit organization that works collaboratively with the technology licensing and commercialization offices of Florida's state universities and private research institutions to leverage a $2B+ research base and form investable companies that create clean jobs in new industries that are driving the global economy. The Institute provides company building services, and seed funding through the Florida Technology Seed Capital Fund, to promising Florida startups. Forty-eight companies have been funded to date, and the Institute's economic impact through June 30, 2015 was $379 million, a return on investment of 14 times to the State of Florida.
Chief Operating Officer
Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research
SOURCE Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research