Michael F. Malone has been honored as one of the 2013 Innovation All-Stars in higher education by the Boston Business Journal and Mass High Tech. Malone is the vice chancellor for research and engagement at UMass Amherst and is also the Ronnie & Eugene Isenberg Distinguished Professor of Engineering. The awards were given to two individuals and 15 companies at a ceremony and reception held in Boston on Nov. 20. Malone has played a key role in encouraging innovation in research and education at UMass Amherst.
Most recently, he helped secure $95 million in state grant funding from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center to outfit the campus’s newest science facility, the Life Sciences Laboratories, which will house three unique translational life science centers.
Operating as the UMass Institute for Applied Life Sciences, the centers enhance the campus’s engagement with industry by linking academic leaders in their field with regional industry strengths.
Malone was the main catalyst in the 2011 launch of the UMass Innovation Institute (UMII). Designed to quickly and efficiently move UMass technologies and scientific capabilities into the real-world economy, UMII has successfully broken down barriers that keep public/private research collaborations from realizing their full potential.
Malone also established the UMass Innovation Challenge to assist and reward students and young alumni who want to pursue novel business ideas, develop a technology into a marketable product, or have a new approach to a difficult problem or compelling opportunity. Since 2005, the business plan competition has awarded more than $500,000 from private sponsors to 69 different student-led teams, many of which have gone on to commercial success.
Malone joined the faculty in 1980. He was director of the Process Design and Control Center, head of the chemical engineering department, dean of the College of Engineering, has been a visiting scientist at the DuPont Company, and has consulted and taught extensively for industry in the U.S. and abroad. (December 2013)