Amir Naiberg, LLM
Associate Vice Chancellor for the UCLA Technology Development Group
President & CEO of UCLA Technology Development Corp.
University of California, Los Angeles
Amir Naiberg serves as Associate Vice Chancellor, and President & CEO of UCLA Technology Development Corporation. He leads the UCLA Technology Development Group, a campus wide resource that serves as a Gateway to Innovation, Research and Entrepreneurship at UCLA. Additionally, he leads the UCLA Technology Development Corporation as Chief Executive Officer and President, a non-profit technology company wholly-owned by UCLA focused on better protecting and optimizing the discoveries and inventions developed through UCLA research. Mr. Naiberg also works in concert with several on campus incubators and accelerators to further advance innovation, entrepreneurship and research at UCLA.
Prior to joining UCLA in August 2016, Mr. Naiberg worked at Yeda Research and Development Co, Ltd., In Rehovot, Israel, the technology transfer company of the Weizmann Institute of Science. Since 1959 Yeda has generated the highest income per researcher compared to any other TTO worldwide. At Yeda, he served for ten years as CEO, following five years as General Counsel. He led the organization’s growth in licensing and business partnerships, while building an entrepreneurial ecosystem with local incubators, investors, and the Israeli government. Mr. Naiberg is one of the founders of the Israel Technology Transfer Organization (ITTN), a non-profit organization that unites various technology transfer offices throughout Israel. Before joining Yeda, he worked for a private law firm specializing in intellectual property, privacy and cyberspace law. Mr. Naiberg holds law degrees from the Hebrew University School of Law and the University of Connecticut School of Law.
What experience do you have working on or with a strategic Board of Directors?
In my current position, as well as the CEO of Yeda, I report to a board with a fiduciary duty to the university. In addition, I was a board member and Chairman of the Israeli Teach Transfer Organization. I serve on the advisory board of Biocom LA, and a board member at the Alliance for Southern California Innovation.
Please include a brief description of your volunteer experiences within AUTM.
I spoke and chaired in numerous panels during Annual Meetings.
Why do you want to join the AUTM Board of Directors?
I believe we are at a critical crossroads of our profession; pressures are mounting from all constituencies for more achievements while our negotiating powers reduce. AUTM should lead discussions around the value of tech transfer for our institutions and society. Without the ability to show how we create value I’m concerned that alternative models will replace the good work we are doing.
Have you served in a volunteer leadership role for other organizations? If so, please explain.
I served as Co-Chairman, Israel Technology Transfer Organization (ITTN) which serves as the umbrella organization for Israel’s technology transfer companies. I serve as a board member Alliance for Southern California Innovation, the goal of the Alliance is to nurture and accelerate the growth of a technology epicenter in Southern California. I also work closely with the UC Board of Regents to change and improve Innovation Transfer and Entrepreneurship (I&E) activity in the UC system.
If elected by the Membership to the Board, would you consider serving as Chair? Please explain.
I will consider it after serving as a board member for at least one year. The duties and time obligations of the Chair are not clear to me.
Please share personal strengths that you believe would be valuable to the AUTM Board and/or the strategic direction of the Association.
I’m a seasoned tech transfer professional with many years of experience managing successful organizations. I can help AUTM navigate through complex professional development issues as well as questions of policy and legislation.
What special experience do you have in driving and implementing a strategic plan?
During my tenure at UCLA, I completely turned around a dormant organization and transformed it into a leader in quantity, quality, and efficiency. TDG monetized UCLA’s royalty streams for approximately $1.5B, was recognized by the Milken Institute as the number one university in startup creation. In addition, we built the largest academic-industry conference in Southern California — LABEST.
How do terms of the position (both responsibilities and time commitment) fit with your other responsibilities? Will you have any conflicts of commitment between your full-time position and your volunteer time on the AUTM Board?
I will be able to manage my full-time position and my volunteer activity for AUTM.
AUTM is committed to addressing issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion both on the Board and on behalf of our Members. Briefly describe how your experiences can contribute to the Association’s growth in this area.
I bring experience from two different continents as well as personal experience of migrating with a family across the ocean. In UCLA we are very mindful and deliberate about EDI and are exploring ways to build programs that will enhance the participation of underrepresented communities in I&E activities.
Advocacy for the innovation ecosystem is something AUTM has promoted recently. How do you think AUTM should continue to be involved?
AUTM should publish the success of our activities in all channels of social media. An emphasis should be given to show how products coming from academic labs improve the world. The medium should be should catchy posting is social media in addition to a longer glossy annual report.
Is there anything else you would like AUTM Members to know about you before they vote?
I believe that my experience in Tech Transfer will help to promote professional development and advocate for the important work we are doing.