UCAR Foundation Board Targets Commercialization of New Research

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Accelerating its focus on commercializing new research technologies, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research Foundation is welcoming a new chair and two new members to its board of directors.

Wind energy forecasting

An advanced wind energy forecasting system, developed at NCAR and then commercialized, has saved Xcel Energy ratepayers close to $40 million.

We have a great team in place whose members each bring unique business experience to the foundation, along with the ability to drive new technologies in atmospheric observing and forecasting to the marketplace.

Accelerating its focus on commercializing new research technologies, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) Foundation is welcoming a new chair and two new members to its board of directors.

New board member Steve Berens is founder of Boulder-based companies Clear Comfort Water and Energized Strategy and a veteran manager of high-technology start-ups. Eric Drummond joins the board with experience as partner in the Denver-based law firm of Fairfield and Woods and expertise in alternative energy, health IT, and other emerging technology issues. Board member Vivian Dullien, a Boulder-based entrepreneur with experience in commercializing medical products, is the newly elected board chair.

“We have a great team in place whose members each bring unique business experience to the foundation, along with the ability to drive new technologies in atmospheric observing and forecasting to the marketplace,” said UCAR president Thomas Bogdan. “Our board members have their fingers on the pulse of groups across the country that will be interested in weather and climate technologies."

The UCAR Foundation works to commercialize knowledge and technology developed at UCAR and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), which UCAR manages on behalf of the National Science Foundation.

Examples of past commercialization of UCAR and NCAR research include:

  • a wind energy forecasting system that has saved Xcel Energy ratepayers close to $40 million,
  • specialized instrument packages known as dropsondes, which are released from aircraft to provide targeted, high-resolution soundings near storms or in remote regions,
  • a software platform known as E-Hub, developed in conjunction with the University of Colorado Boulder that enables on-demand creation of customizable curricula to individualize instruction in science and other subject areas.

Dullien, who has served on the board for nine years, is an expert at bringing new technologies to market. A principal at Dullien Associates, she specializes in helping start-up medical companies commercialize their products. She also is principal advisor to several commercialization programs through Los Angeles-based Larta Institute.

“I’m looking forward to guiding the board as we bring critical weather and climate science out of the lab and into the marketplace,” Dullien said. “Eric and Steve bring fresh perspectives and extensive networks as we move ahead.”

Berens has more than 20 years of experience in strategy, marketing, sales, and engineering. Before launching Clear Comfort Water and Energized Strategy, he co-founded and helped lead Power Tagging, a smart energy solutions company.

“UCAR and NCAR are widely known for their scientific reputations,” said Berens. “Their expertise and the technologies they produce hold great relevance and deliver an incredible positive impact for future technology adoption.”

Drummond has practiced business law and complex administrative litigation for more than 20 years, focusing his practice in emerging technology, digital health and sciences, and conventional and alternative energy issues. He has represented electric transmission developers; Smart grid, solar, biofuel, wind, and energy efficiency companies; as well as Health IT and major financial institutions.

“UCAR and NCAR are crown jewels in America’s research portfolio,” Drummond said. “I’m excited to support their work furthering the atmospheric and Earth sciences and to help their research scientists translate their cutting-edge work into commercial enterprises.”

The mission of the UCAR Foundation is to accelerate science in the service of society by commercializing UCAR and NCAR knowledge and technology, thereby amplifying the benefits of publicly supported science and creating an independent stream of revenue for UCAR. The UCAR Foundation's board roster can be found at http://www2.fin.ucar.edu/ogc/ucar-foundation-board-directors-officers-and.

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research is a nonprofit consortium of more than 100 colleges and universities offering degrees in the atmospheric and related sciences. UCAR manages NCAR under sponsorship by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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David Hosansky
NCAR/UCAR Media Office
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Bob Henson
NCAR/UCAR Media Office
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