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Yoky Matsuoka, one of the new entrepreneurial fellows at the UW

The University of Washington has been trying for years to spark more creative thinking when it comes to business formation, encouraging professors, faculty and students to find their inner entrepreneur. And a new program announced today could help accelerated those efforts. The University of Washington’s Center for Commercialization today announced an Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellows program, revealing eight inspirational leaders who have played a key role in starting new companies or creating new technological breakthroughs.

“The University of Washington is dedicated to maximizing our contribution to the Washington state economy, and the impact of our research. We’re immensely proud of the achievements of those chosen as UW Presidential EFFs,” said interim UW President Dr. Phyllis Wise. “UW researchers will conduct more than a billion-and-a-half-dollars in federally funded research this year.”

Here are the UW faculty fellows for 2011:

–Daniel Chiu, assistant professor, department of chemistry, college of arts and sciences.

–Joel Durand, professor, school of music.

–Oren Etzioni, professor, department of computer science and engineering, college of engineering.

–Vikram Jandhyala, professor, department of electrical engineering, college of engineering.

–Carla Grandori, research associate professor, department of pharmacology.

–Rodney J.Y. Ho, Gibaldi professor and director of DNA sequence and gene analysis, department of pharmaceutics, school of pharmacy.

–Yoky Matsuoka, associate professor, department of computer science and engineering, college of engineering.

–Buddy Ratner, professor and director UWEB, department of bioengineering and department of chemical engineering.

The UW, under the direction of vice provost Linden Rhoads,has been trying to move research and inventions out of the lab and into commercial businesses. UW research has generated more than 2,200 patents and provided the basis for more than 250 new companies, Rhoads said.

“The program is one element of our campaign to foster an entrepreneurial culture across the University,” said Rhoads.

The fellows will be charged with helping to guide entrepreneurial programs at the state’s top research institution as well as serving as mentors to other faculty.

Separately, the UW announced five new members to its entrepreneur-in-residence program, a program designed to tap knowledge in the Seattle business community. They are:

–Lars Johansson, a former Microsoft executive, active Cleantech angel investor and the co-chair of Northwest Energy Angels.

–Ronald Berenson, a medical oncologist who founded biotechnology companies HemaQuest Pharmaceuticals, Xcyte, and CellPro.

–Terri Butler, a 20-year technology veteran awarded patents for innovation in electrostatic printing and advanced materials while at 3M Company.

–Henry Berg, a director at A3 Alliance, whose background includes start-up efforts focused on mobile devices and patented work on collective intelligence business forecasting tools.

–Stephanie Amoss, a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience in the healthcare and medical device industries.

John Cook is co-founder of GeekWire. Follow on Twitter: @geekwirenews and Facebook.

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