CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Mark Wdowik, the head of technology transfer efforts at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, is leaving.

Wdowik has accepted a position as vice president of technology transfer at Colorado State University. His last day at UNC Charlotte is July 14.

“My family and I are headed back to Ft. Collins, CO. where I’ll be handling Colorado State University’s tech transfer, partnerships, and start-up activities,” Wdowik told WRAL Local Tech Wire. “It has also been a pleasure collaborating with so many smart, innovative and helpful folks here at UNCC, the greater Charlotte community, and across the state.

“I will most certainly miss UNCC, Charlotte, and all of the wonderful folks whose paths have crossed mine over time,” he added. “It’s with mixed emotions that I am leaving. My family and I lived in Ft. Collins and Boulder for 8 years during the ’90s. I was presented with a wonderful new opportunity, in a place where my children had been born.”

Wdowik, an engineer, built and sold a business while living in Colorado. He later launched his technology transfer efforts, taking a job at the University of Kansas. He started UNC Charlotte’s Office of Technology Transfer’s efforts in May of 2000.

Ruth Burnett, an associate in the UNC Charlotte office, will serve as acting director.

The university has scheduled a send-off gathering for Wdowik on July 12 at 3 PM in the faculty and staff dining room.

In the last five years, the OTT has spun off 18 companies, which are all still in business and remain in the Charlotte area. Among them are Analytica, which is developing predictive virtual models of drug effectiveness; BioTrackers, which is using a common bacterium to find contaminants and pollutants in water; and SoyMeds, which is developing edible vaccines. The office has also secured more than $8.5 million in venture capital and $600,000 in external and government contracts, created more than 50 jobs, transferred 47 technologies to industry and received 20 patents.

A 2002 study by the Association of University Technology Managers looked at how universities leverage their research dollars — in other words, analyzing what they produce per dollar received. In that survey, UNCC ranked second in inventions disclosed and in start-ups formed; third in patents filed and in patents issued; and fourth in licenses issued.

Last fiscal year, UNCC received $26 million for research from businesses, foundations and the government, and through March of this year had received $22 million.

The Office of Technology Transfer has four staff members. Companies may approach UNCC asking if university faculty can supplement their own internal research. Other times, faculty members may have developed patents or intellectual property on their own (with the help of grants), and OTT contacts firms to see if they are interested in it or want to negotiate for licensing rights.) OTT staff also helps faculty members with the patent process and provides some initial pointers if they want to begin their own firm.

Wdowik has also been very active in the annual Five Ventures business plan competition put on at UNCC.

UNCC Office of Technology Transfer: