UCI News

UCI names new chief innovation officer, Beall Applied Innovation executive director

Errol Arkilic is a nationally recognized leader in technology transfer, entrepreneurship

August 26, 2021
UCI names new chief innovation officer, Beall Applied Innovation executive director
“As UCI’s chief innovation officer and Beall Applied Innovation’s executive director, I will build on the success of our first seven years and expand participation in entrepreneurship across campus and beyond,” says Errol Arkilic. Courtesy of Errol Arkilic

Irvine, Calif., Aug. 26, 2021 — Errol Arkilic, a nationally recognized leader in technology transfer and entrepreneurship, has been named chief innovation officer at the University of California, Irvine and executive director for UCI Beall Applied Innovation (BAI). He will start Oct. 1.

As chief innovation officer, Arkilic will oversee campus entrepreneurial engagement with community and corporate partners, intellectual property stewardship, a robust licensing and marketing program, and outreach/external relations connected to entrepreneurship and industry collaboration. He will also lead UCI Beall Applied Innovation, a dynamic platform which supports and offers resources to faculty, innovators and entrepreneurs. BAI plays a critical role in building the modern and inclusive American dream by accelerating discoveries that matter, providing entrepreneurs what they need to succeed, and promoting a powerful and potent economy in Orange County. 

“Since I arrived at UCI eight years ago, I have made it a priority to ensure that UCI would be central to the development of Orange County’s innovation economy,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman. “Over the years, Beall Applied Innovation has surpassed my highest expectations, and I am confident that with Dr. Arkilic’s appointment as its second director we will continue to accelerate our commitment to transformative research and the development of regional strategies that make UCI a cornerstone of Orange County’s present and future prosperity.”

Arkilic comes to UCI having played leading roles in entrepreneurial achievement in both the private and public sectors. He has served since 2014 as co-founder of M34 Capital, a private investment company that supports seed and early-stage projects from academic and corporate research labs. In this role, he focuses on turning federally funded research projects into companies across a broad range of technologies and geographies and is an active board member for several startups.

Arkilic also works as an advisor and an instructor at University of California, Berkeley. Since 2015, he has been a senior adviser for its National Science Foundation Innovation Corps node, providing commercialization assistance across campus, including capital formation, intellectual property strategy and team building. Since 2017, he has taught a course on lean transfer in which he helps teams formed around UC Berkeley intellectual property explore business models.

Previously, he was the founding and lead program director for the NSF I-Corps program, heading the effort from its inception in 2011 to 2013. Also at the NSF, from 2003 to 2011, he was the lead software and services director for the small-business innovation research and small-business technology transfer programs.

Arkilic earned a Ph.D. in aeronautical/astronautical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a founder of RealIndustry.org, a nonprofit dedicated to entrepreneur education for science and engineering graduates.

“Our future prosperity depends on our ability to innovate, turning new knowledge into products and services that create value for society,” Arkilic said. “In fact, innovation has always been an essential element of the American dream – and never more so than now. As UCI’s chief innovation officer and Beall Applied Innovation’s executive director, I will build on the success of our first seven years and expand participation in innovation and entrepreneurship across campus and beyond.”

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Errol to the team at UCI Beall Applied Innovation,” said Don and Ken Beall. “As only the second leader of this organization, he has a unique opportunity to build on the great foundation that has been developed over the last seven years and accelerate UCI BAI’s trajectory toward becoming a best-in-class translator of research-based innovations and developer of entrepreneurial ecosystems. Errol’s broad experiences and expertise will allow him to foster deep and early collaborations with industry and government partners to maximize the impact of UCI innovators’ and researchers’ work to benefit society.”

Don Beall is chair emeritus of the UCI Beall Applied Innovation board and retired chairman/CEO of Rockwell; and Ken Beall, his son, is chair of the UCI Beall Applied Innovation board and managing member of Dartbrook Partners LLC.

“As the innovation ecosystem in Orange County continues to grow, evolve and strengthen, the local companies, entrepreneurs and innovators will benefit from a knowledgeable and visionary partner such as Dr. Arkilic and the team at UCI Beall Applied Innovation,” said Jinny Lee, vice president of exploration and strategic marketing at Edwards Lifesciences and a UCI Beall Applied Innovation board member. “As we seek to attract more innovation-focused companies and job opportunities to Orange County, we look forward to working with Dr. Arkilic to help chart that pathway to the future.”

About UCI Beall Applied Innovation

Founded by Chancellor Howard Gillman in 2014, UCI Beall Applied Innovation is a dynamic platform that supports and provides resources to faculty, innovators and entrepreneurs. BAI plays a critical role in building the modern and inclusive American dream by accelerating discoveries that matter, providing entrepreneurs what they need to succeed, and promoting a powerful and potent economy. It does this by creating connections between UCI and industry, including entrepreneurs seeking access to university inventions and talent, large corporations looking to tap the school’s research capabilities, and investors wanting to financially support promising new companies.

UCI Beall Applied Innovation moved in 2019 from a 46,000-square-foot facility into a three-story, 100,000-plus-square-foot building in UCI Research Park. The new space better addresses the needs of campus innovators, entrepreneurs and the Orange County ecosystem. UCI’s cutting-edge research holds the potential to improve and save lives. UCI Beall Applied Innovation ensures that the most impactful, life-enhancing discoveries and inventions are transferred to the market and into the hands of the people who need them the most. At last count, UCI had supported the development of more than 3,500 inventions (over 1,200 of them active) and managed the issuance of more than 900 U.S. patents (over 600 of them active).

In 2019, UCI received a multimillion-dollar gift from The Beall Family Foundation, led by Donald R. and Joan F. Beall. The largest portion of the gift benefited the campus’s entrepreneurial and innovation platform, which was then renamed UCI Beall Applied Innovation.

About UCI’s Brilliant Future campaign: Publicly launched on Oct. 4, 2019, the Brilliant Future campaign aims to raise awareness and support for UCI. By engaging 75,000 alumni and garnering $2 billion in philanthropic investment, UCI seeks to reach new heights of excellence in student success, health and wellness, research and more. UCI Beall Applied Innovation plays a vital role in the success of the campaign. Learn more by visiting https://brilliantfuture.uci.edu/beall-applied-innovation-2.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is ranked among the nation’s top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 224 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $7 billion annually to the local economy and $8 billion statewide. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu. 

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