AUTM Announces UK’s Ian McClure as New Chair

UK's Ian McClure has been named chair of AUTM.
UK's Ian McClure has been named chair of AUTM.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 10, 2022) — Ian McClure, J.D., the University of Kentucky’s associate vice president for research, innovation and economic impact and executive director of UK Innovate, has been named AUTM’s new chair during their 2022 annual meeting in New Orleans. The chair is the official spokesperson for the Association of University Technology Managers, Inc. (AUTM) board and provides strategic leadership in all the board functions.

AUTM is the non-profit leader in efforts to educate, promote and inspire professionals to support the development of academic research that changes the world and drives innovation forward. AUTM’s community is comprised of more than 3,000 members who work in more than 800 universities, research centers, hospitals, businesses and government organizations around the globe. McClure has been a member of AUTM since 2011 and was elected to the board in 2019. He served as chair-elect in 2021 and will serve as chair until February 2023.

Following McClure’s induction as chair, he authored a message to AUTM membership titled "The Road Ahead: Optimism and Tech Transfer," where he said, “My friends and AUTM Members, we deserve to be optimistic. Optimistic about the outcomes our work is generating, about the support our work is garnering, and about the future of our industry, our profession, our craft. There are many reasons for this.” Read the entire message here.

“As chair, I look forward to seeing how AUTM adeptly handles the spotlight that has illuminated tech transfer in recent years, including specifically as a result of the pandemic’s emphasis on moving science to market with rapid pace,” said McClure. “I see the recognition of AUTM’s role in the innovation economy growing and that’s an awesome thing. I am excited for the research commercialization field to grow, expand and diversify, with a focus on inclusive innovation practices. Global policy leaders are recognizing that technology transfer is an important component to global competitiveness, and that bodes well for new investments in commercialization infrastructure and the resulting potential for moving technologies to market for public benefit. The public deserves that."

McClure provides oversight of UK Innovate, which includes the UK Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC), UK Innovation Connect for industry partnerships, Social Innovation, and Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training. He is also an advisory board member for the Oak Ridge Innovation Institute and Launch Blue, a member of the board of directors for the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC), and is the past chair of OVALS, a regional organization of universities for technology transfer. He is a co-founder of Kentucky Commercialization Ventures (KCV), the state-funded and KSTC-managed program providing IP and tech transfer services to all other universities in the state that do not currently have dedicated resources. McClure is a PI or co-PI on three federal grants (NIH, NIGMS and EDA) focused on tech-based economic development.

“I am humbled and honored to step into this role for AUTM,” said McClure. “I’ve been able to see, through fly-high times and through a very challenging pandemic period, the difference having an association like AUTM make in ways that aren’t always easily recognizable. The magnification of the aforementioned spotlight, the training of the research commercialization talent pool, and the guidance and advocacy drumming up the necessary support for this work are all promised and delivered by AUTM to help advance research discoveries to market for public benefit.”

From its inception in the mid-1970s as the Society of University Patent Administrators (SUPA), AUTM has developed best practices for university technology transfer offices and facilitated relations with industry to ensure that inventions with high commercial potential reach the marketplace for the benefit of people everywhere. Along the way, AUTM’s work on behalf of its members has contributed to improved intellectual property protection and the establishment of a profession dedicated to technology transfer.

Today, the results of AUTM’s efforts can be seen in the millions of people who have been treated for conditions ranging from epileptic seizures to cancer and HIV, thanks to the more than 200 drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that started in university laboratories since the Bayh-Dole Act was enacted in 1980.


The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.