Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute




David Barbe, director of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) in the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, has been named a 2011 Innovator of the Year by The Daily Record, university officials announce today.

Barbe accepted the award during a reception at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Md.

Innovator of the Year honors Maryland businesses and/or individuals who have had a positive effect and tremendous impact in Maryland.

In 2000, Barbe set out on a mission: build a culture of entrepreneurship in the Clark School of Engineering and an infrastructure at the university to teach entrepreneurship, help faculty and students launch new ventures, and accelerate tech product development in Maryland companies.

He gathered a team of visionaries, including Martha Connolly, director of the Maryland Industrial Partnerships program, Dean Chang, director of Mtech's venture programs, and James V. Green, Mtech's director of entrepreneurship education.

Together, they systematically assembled an entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem that is one of the most comprehensive of any university in the country.

In 2000, Mtech had five programs. The institute now has:

  • 30 distinct initiatives to foster entrepreneurship and innovation at the university and in the region

  • 25 entrepreneurship courses (compared to zero in 2000), with more than 1,000 enrolls annually, offered to students ranging from middle school, high school, undergraduate, graduate, and executives

  • UMD's first Minor in Technology Entrepreneurship (launched fall 2011), open to students of all majors

  • two living-learning entrepreneurship programs for undergraduates and a scholarship program for students transferring from Prince George's Community College

  • two seed funds to support entrepreneurs

  • a full lab-to market infrastructure to help tech entrepreneurs build companies, including:

    • entrepreneurship courses at all levels

    • a prototype lab for very early stage entrepreneurs

    • a venture accelerator with dedicated staff to help students and faculty launch new technology companies

    • an incubator (Maryland's first) for early stage ventures, with two companies, Martek Biosciences and Digene Corporation, both sold for more than $1 billion, and PAICE LLC, which developed the hybrid-electric drive technology that "drives" Toyota and Ford hybrid vehicles

    • Maryland's longest-running program for tech product development, conceived by Barbe in 1987, Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS), has helped Maryland companies to develop products generating more than $21.6 billion in revenues, added thousands of jobs to the region, and contributed to successful products such as Martek Biosciences' nutritional oils, Hughes Communications' HughesNet, MedImmune's Synagis, Black & Decker's Bullet Speed Tip Masonry Drill Bit, and CSA Medical's Spray Cryotherapy System

    • UMD $75K Business Plan Competition, now in its eleventh year, with five multi-million ventures emerging from the competition and two Inc. 500 companies

    • UMD Technology Startup Boot Camp (the model for the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance's nationwide Invention2Ventures series), an intensive, one-day workshop on how to successfully launch tech companies, now in its eleventh year, attracting more than 500 entrepreneurs annually

    • free monthly open office hours for any entrepreneurs

    • Biotechnology Research and Education Program to support bio companies

    • Citrin Fellows Program, which supports master's and doctoral students pursuing research in the broad area of sustainability who also commit to concurrently building a company around their technologies

  • An international incubator for companies outside of the U.S. that want to have a presence in Maryland and collaborate with the University of Maryland

The institute's programs have had a $25.7 billion impact on the economy and helped create or retain more than 5,000 jobs.

Barbe received B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from West Virginia University in 1962 and 1964, respectively. In 1969 he received a Ph.D. degree from The Johns Hopkins University in electrical engineering.

After positions at Westinghouse and the Naval Research Laboratory, he began a six-year tenure in the Office of the Secretary of the Navy, first as the assistant for electronics and physical sciences and later as director of submarine and ASW Systems. He joined the University of Maryland in 1985 as executive director of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) and professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Barbe was awarded the rank of Fellow of the IEEE in 1978 for his pioneering work on charge coupled device imagers, now used in digital cameras, camcorders, fax machines and numerous defense and medical applications. He has published and presented over 100 technical papers in the area of electronics and electro-optics and was an IEEE Electron Devices Society National Lecturer in 1988.

Barbe's achievements have been recognized with some of the top national awards, including the Olympus Lifetime of Educational Innovation Award in 2008, the American Society of Engineering Education Outstanding Entrepreneurship Educator Award in 2003, and Stanford's Price Foundation Innovative Educators Award in 2001.


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