UCI will be featured prominently at this year’s Innovator of the Year Awards, hosted by the Orange County Business Journal. The keynote speaker at the event, to be held at Hotel Irvine on Sept. 20, is Richard Sudek, chief innovation officer and executive director at UCI Applied Innovation. Sudek’s organization is a dynamic, innovative central hub for the UCI campus, the business community, investors, inventors and entrepreneurs to collaborate and move UCI research from lab to market, with the ultimate goal of commercializing discoveries designed to benefit humankind and have an economic impact. “I am looking forward to speaking at the Innovator of the Year Awards event,” said Sudek, chairman emeritus of Tech Coast Angels and board member of the Angel Capital Association. “It will be a great opportunity to share some perspective on building a world-class entrepreneurial ecosystem to help with the creation of more startups and scale-ups here in Orange County.” Michael Dennin, UCI vice provost for teaching and learning, is a nominee for Innovator of the Year for his work in bringing the Anteater Learning Pavilion to fruition. When officially opened in September, the $60 million interdisciplinary facility will offer classrooms, auditoriums, meeting spaces and active learning environments for all UCI students and faculty.