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MSU Foundation hires Jeff Smith as new Director, University Corporate Research Park

MSU Foundation hires Jeff Smith as new Director, University Corporate Research Park

Posted: Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Author: Aaryn Richard
Category: Foundation News

MSU Foundation Hires New Director of University Corporate Research Park Commitment to Corporate Research Partnerships Driving Demand

Lansing, MI –The Michigan State University Foundation ( announced today, that it has named Jeff Smith, as its Director for the University Corporate Research Park (UCRP). Smith will start his new position Feb. 16th.

As Director, Jeff will serve as the business development executive of the UCRP and is responsible for the ongoing development and management of the Research Park. The position requires working closely with other MSU initiatives and Regional partners, like Spartan Innovations, MSU Technologies, and LEAP. Smith will bring these collaborative abilities, political relationships, and strategic planning, as well as real estate development experience to provide facilities that nurture, promote, and support technology transfer and commercialization activities at Michigan State University. The Director of the UCRP is a newly created position under the purview of the MSU Foundation, led by Executive Director David Washburn. “We are excited to have him.” Washburn stated, “He’s a good guy all around”.

As Director, Smith will oversee coordination of development and funding of infrastructure with all relevant University and governmental units as well as the lending community, in addition to continuing to develop new programs and events to help the Lansing Region become a hub for entrepreneurs. “I am eager and honored to work with the University to leverage research and attract new corporate partners to this market. What a great opportunity for companies to develop collaborative linkages with the nation’s premier land-grant university and all of its competitive resources.” Smith said.

Smith joins the MSU Foundation following his role as the Director of the New Economy Division at LEAP, where he oversaw programs to develop entrepreneurship and innovation in the Lansing Region, including Business Incubation, Acceleration, Programs and Events. Prior to joining LEAP, Jeff spent 4 years as Project Manager for New Economy Initiatives for the City of East Lansing, as well as staff of the Lansing Regional SmartZone. “I’m looking forward to continuing to expand the economy in the community I live in, on behalf of the University.” Jeff lives in East Lansing, with his wife and 2 children. Jeff received his bachelor’s and his master’s degrees from Michigan State University, and began his career as a Market Analyst with Anderson Economic Group in East Lansing.


About the Michigan State University Foundation

Established in 1973 as an independent non-profit, the Michigan State University Foundation is committed to the commercialization of cutting-edge technologies invented by MSU faculty, staff, and students. The MSU Foundation’s overarching goal is to support research, innovation, and entrepreneurship at the University. Additionally, the MSU Foundation operates Spartan Innovations, Red Cedar Ventures, Michigan Rise, and the University Corporate Research Park. More information on the organization’s notable achievements, services, leadership, and history are available at