Allyson M. Best has been hired as director of technology management in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at the University of Mississippi.
Best’s duties include managing UM’s intellectual property portfolio, assisting in evaluating the patentability and commercial viability of UM technologies, and negotiating and managing collaboration and commercialization agreements.
“We are the commercialization office for inventions out of UM, and my focus is to connect talent,” Best said. “We license technologies to either existing businesses or to startup companies in order to maximize the impact of our research.”
Best outlined her short- and long-term goals.
“The first step is to continue building our team, and we are actively seeking a new associate director and a licensing associate,” she said. “Then it’s a matter of connecting UM research outcomes with commercial potential to the best people out there who can take it to the market.
“The balance is to make high-risk, capital-intensive decisions while maintaining our commitment to excellence in higher education and community impact.”
Best is a proven leader in her field of expertise, said Josh Gladden, vice chancellor of research and sponsored programs.
“We are so excited for Allyson Best to take on this leadership role in our Division of Technology Management,” Gladden said. “The combination of the technical and interpersonal skills and experience that Ms. Best brings to the table makes her an ideal choice to lead this increasingly important mission of the university.”
Another of Best’s colleagues agrees.
“Allyson is recognized as a leader not only in the local community, where she has served in numerous positions including the chair of the board of directors of the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce, but also internationally within the Association of University Technology Managers,” said Walter Chambliss, interim associate vice chancellor for research and sponsored programs and professor of pharmaceutics and drug delivery.
“She has worked tirelessly for over 20 years to support UM’s research and economic development efforts. Allyson has also been a highly effective mentor to many faculty, staff, students and entrepreneurs.
A Clemson University alumna, Best earned her Master of Business Administration degree from UM in 1996. She joined the university’s staff in 1994 as a project coordinator in the School of Pharmacy. Best became assistant director of technology management in ORSP in 2006 and was promoted to associate director in 2011.
Her Ole Miss tenure includes serving on the boards of directors for the Friends of the Museum, the School of Business Administration’s MBA program and the UM Research Foundation.
Besides serving as a past chair of the board for the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce, she serves as president of the Oxford School District Foundation board of directors. She completed the Mississippi Economic Council Leadership Mississippi course and chaired the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce Leadership Lafayette course for four years.
Best said she is enjoying fulfilling her new duties.
“Oxford, Mississippi is one of the great university communities,” she said. “It attracts talent from all over the world and is known for having an entrepreneurial, research and cultural environment. My service as director is focused on its continued growth.”
By Edwin Smith
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