David Muir, BSc’89, PhD’94, with decades of experience in technology research and development in the private and public sectors, joins Western University as the inaugural Associate Vice-President, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships. He comes to Western from the National Research Council Canada where he served as Director, Research and Development since 2015. Previously he held various technical and managerial roles at 3M Canada.
A two-time graduate of Western University, Muir holds a bachelor’s and doctorate in chemistry.
Muir will oversee WORLDiscoveries, Western Research Parks and will grow a team focused on strategic partnerships with industry, governments, community organizations and social enterprise to commercialize innovations.
WORLDiscoveries is excited for new ideas and growth potential in the innovation and partnerships portfolio. The new envisioned structure of innovation and partnerships is going to create the necessary resource at Western for bringing researchers and industry partners together for the generation of knowledge and technologies.
“It is through partnerships that we create viable routes for translating research and discoveries into products, processes and services to benefit society. We look forward to working with David on realizing the potential of strong partnerships to facilitate commercialization success for Western,” said Souzan Armstrong, Executive Director for WORLDiscoveries.
“The university has a mandate for teaching and research and translating that research into societal impact, whether it’s research in the social sciences and humanities, or research in science and engineering and medicine,” Muir said.
At the same time, governments and industry are eager to bring that innovation to life, he added. “The collaboration among those three entities – industry, academia and government – is critical to advancing the impact in our local and national communities.”
Muir’s new role aligns with the university’s new strategic plan, Towards Western at 150, which calls for forging more, and deeper, world-changing connections.
“Connecting the research we do to policy-makers, to industry and to our broader communities is a key way universities have impact and improve the world around us,” says Lesley Rigg, Vice-President (Research) at Western. “We’re excited to have David work with faculty, students, trainees and with external partners and groups to develop a shared plan for innovation at Western.”
“He brings innovative ideas, is a proven relationship-builder and has significant experience across sectors within the research and development landscape,” Rigg adds.
“I never would have dreamed myself in this role at the time,” Muir stated. “I’m not sure I knew a role like this even existed. But I think we as a university and as researchers now have a broader vision, a vision of the role universities can play in forging a greater societal impact when connecting excellence in research with strong, complementary partnerships.”
Muir begins his role on February 1, 2022.
This article is courtesy of Debora Van Brenk at Western News.