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Martin Schmidt to oversee MIT’s industry-facing offices

Associate provost will oversee Technology Licensing Office and Office of Corporate Relations; retains duties around space planning.
Martin Schmidt
Martin Schmidt
Photo: Tony Rinaldo

Martin Schmidt, an MIT professor of electrical engineering and associate provost, will lead two offices that serve as important connections between industry and the faculty and staff at MIT who conduct industry-sponsored research: the Technology Licensing Office (TLO) and the Office of Corporate Relations (OCR), which includes the Industrial Liaison Program. The change was announced to the MIT community today in an email from President L. Rafael Reif outlining this and other administrative changes.

As associate provost, Schmidt manages the Institute’s space and its budgets for capital projects. He will maintain that responsibility as he takes on his new duties.

The TLO, which manages the patenting, licensing, trademarking and copyrighting of intellectual property developed at MIT, currently reports to the vice president for research. The OCR, which currently reports to MIT’s Office of Resource Development, works to foster relationships between companies and MIT.

In his email to the community, Reif cited Schmidt’s experience as “a manufacturing entrepreneur in his own right.” Schmidt consults with industry in the commercialization of technology and is a co-founder of a number of companies that are commercializing products enabled by microelectromechanical systems. Schmidt also recently served as the faculty lead in the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, a White House–led task force of government, industry and academic leaders charged with charting a path toward a renaissance in American manufacturing.

“Professor Schmidt already serves as a point person for many MIT faculty who either conduct or are interested in conducting industry-sponsored research,” Provost Chris Kaiser said. “By making this change, we can give a wider part of MIT’s entrepreneurial ecosystem the benefit of Professor Schmidt’s talent for establishing relationships that move MIT-born innovation into the marketplace. I am thrilled that he has accepted this responsibility.”

Schmidt received his BS degree from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his SM and PhD degrees from MIT. Since 1988 he has been a faculty member in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. From 1999 to 2006 he served as the director of the Microsystems Technology Laboratories.

Schmidt is the co-author of more than 80 journal publications and 120 peer-reviewed conference proceedings. He is also an inventor on more than 30 U.S. patents.

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