Rick Huebsch, who has served as the executive director of UMN Technology Commercialization since 2018, has been appointed associate vice president for research, technology commercialization. The appointment began on June 5, 2023. Leading an experienced Tech Comm team and leveraging the inventions and ideas of University faculty and staff, Huebsch has been responsible for a successful tech transfer enterprise, including more than 230 startup companies launched since 2006, and a thriving licensing and patent portfolio that saw a record number of patents issued to University inventors last year.
As AVP for technology commercialization, Huebsch now serves as the senior leader responsible for the overall strategic direction, management, and administration of the technology commercialization operations for the five University of Minnesota campuses and the University’s collaborative research centers throughout the state. In leading this function, the AVP also oversees personnel and financial operations of the Tech Comm organization, including a new gap funding initiative that Huebsch has helped to formulate; manages the University’s Discovery Capital investment program and Venture Center; and provides leadership in coordinating activities with University of Minnesota Foundation and the Corporate Engagement Center. Huebsch also oversees several efforts designed to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) among Tech Comm staff and the research communities they serve, including sponsoring a DEI Working Group, co-sponsoring a Women Innovators Conference, and targeted outreach to underrepresented innovators.
Huebsch serves as an external representative on national and global organizations such as AUTM, University Industry Demonstration Partnership (UIDP), and the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA). Huebsch also works closely with University Government and Community Relations to advance the University’s interests at the federal and state levels. In Minnesota, Huebsch serves on the state's Launch Minnesota Advisory Board and maintains robust partnerships with many Minnesota-focused organizations, including the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Medical Alley, Greater MSP, MNSBIR, and the Mayo Clinic Office of Entrepreneurship. On the industry front, his position plays a leadership role in coordinating industry–university partnerships across the system, with a key role in industry sponsored research matters through the University’s MN-IP program, in partnership with Sponsored Projects Administration.
Huebsch joined the University's Technology Commercialization team in 2008 after 20 years of software industry experience including roles in software engineering, technology strategy, and executive management with Minnesota and California software companies, including Control Data, OpenVision Technologies, Veritas Software, and Symantec. He received a BS in computer science and mathematics from the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse