Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Researcher and Entrepreneur Named Director of Georgia Center of Innovation-Life Science

Georgia’s Centers of Innovation program recently named Stacy Williams, Ph.D., the director of Georgia Center of Innovation-Life Sciences, with offices at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta and at the Georgia Department of Economic Development in Atlanta. Williams’ background in academia and as an entrepreneur will strengthen the center’s role as a critical resource for the life sciences industry across all of Georgia.

“Stacy’s experience as both a researcher and an entrepreneur will help the Center of Innovation-Life Sciences connect with the industry,” said Ken Stewart, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), which directs the Centers of Innovation program. “The Centers of Innovation are a key component in growing Georgia’s strategic industries.”

Williams brings extensive entrepreneurial and research experience to her new position at the center. After earning a Bachelor of Science with a chemistry major from the University of Georgia and a doctorate in inorganic chemistry from Carnegie-Mellon University, Williams launched a science toy company and invented a crystal growing kit for children. She received a patent on the kit in 2004 and marketed it via children’s websites and a major retailer.
Williams’ experience also includes securing intellectual property rights and navigating the product approval process for retail sale. As an inventor who has been on both sides of the patent process, she understands first-hand the conception to commercialization process.

“Stacy Williams is well equipped to assist the center in its goal to expand statewide,” said Sterling Wharton, director of the Centers of Innovation. “Her experience in both academia and in business as an entrepreneur will help connect Georgia’s life sciences industry with the tools it needs to grow.”

The Center of Innovation-Life Sciences is housed on the campus of The Medical College of Georgia in Augusta and provides statewide strategic industry expertise while accelerating growth among Georgia’s life sciences and biotechnology industry across the state. For more information about the center, please visit lifesciences.georgiainnovation.org.

The Centers of Innovation (COI) program focuses on six areas of strategic industry growth and expansion: agriculture, aerospace, energy, life sciences, logistics and manufacturing, located respectively in Tifton, Eastman, Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah and Gainesville. COI's services include access to deep industry expertise and university-level research; product commercialization, and client connections to key state resources. For more information, visit www.georgiainnovation.org.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is the state's sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry and small businesses, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, and promoting the state as a location for film, video and music projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development.
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