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WSU Research Innovation and Entrepreneurship Review

Innovation and Entrepreneurship at WSU

External review aims to clarify and support innovation and entrepreneurship activity

Innovation and entrepreneurship are aligned with WSU’s land grant mission to conduct research and outreach that benefit Washington’s economy. In the summer of 2016, Vice President for Research Christopher Keane commissioned the External Review of Innovation and Entrepreneurship to assess the current environment around these activities, and to determine the opportunities and challenges involved in strengthening that environment.

The review was led by Glenn Prestwich, Chancellor’s Distinguished Visiting Professor at WSU and Presidential Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, and Special Presidential Assistant for Faculty Entrepreneurship at the University of Utah. Dr. Prestwich assembled a team who conducted a questionnaire and interviews of tenure and tenure-track faculty, as well as site visits to WSU units in Spokane and Pullman that do work related to innovation and entrepreneurship.

The review identified six broad topics, each with recommended actions to encourage research engagement among faculty, students, businesses, non-profits, community groups, and startups. The recommendations will enable WSU to define for itself what success in improved innovation and entrepreneurship means, and to determine how best to achieve that success.

Below you can view the report, and the team who will drive implementation based on the recommendations.

View the report and recommendations


Meet the Implementation Team

Brian Kraft
Director Innovation and Industrial Research Engagement, 509-335-3959

In addition to his director role at the Office of Research, Brian Kraft is director of business development in the College of Arts and Sciences at Washington State University.  Within these roles he is tasked with developing privately sponsored research and enabling entrepreneurial faculty efforts focused on translational research. Specific WSU programs Brian is currently running include the Scholarly Knowledge, Innovation and Leadership Development Program (SKILD), which aims to provide technical graduate students experience in technology opportunity assessment. The Entrepreneurial Faculty Ambassadors (EFA) Program, which aims to connect innovators across campus to disseminate lessons learned in how faculty can effectively engage the private sector and propagate new areas for collaborative and cross-disciplinary translational research. In addition to these programs Brian is part of the teaching team for the WSU I-Corps site, a training program for technology entrepreneurship funded by NSF.

Brian holds undergraduate degrees in Biology and Chemistry, a PhD in Chemistry and has served Washington State University in roles ranging from technology evaluation to programmatic development over the last twelve years.

 Monika Moo-Young

Monika Moo-Young
Manager of Strategic Partnerships, Innovation and Industry Research Engagement

Monika Moo-Young help build strategic partnerships for the Office of Research in the Tri-Cities Region.  Monika has more than 20 years of public and private consulting expertise in the U.S. and Asian markets. With this role, she is tasked with executing strategies for developing industry relationships with local, regional, and international organizations that support student and faculty entrepreneurship, and innovative research and outreach activities from WSU.  In this role, she supports the director of Innovation and Industrial Research Engagement and the vice president for research to develop and implement strategies that enhance WSU research partnerships.

Monika is a doctorate candidate in communications and information systems at Robert Morris University. She holds a M.S. in computer information systems from University of Phoenix, and a B.S. in management information systems from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Additionally, Monika completed a Management Development Certificate Program in supply chain management from Dartmouth University.

Rachelle Rozsonits
Assistant Director, Innovation Partnerships and Programs
WSU Office of Commercialization, 206-219-2420

Rachelle Rozsonits works to enhance the visibility of WSU research, innovations and startups to the Puget Sound area organizations, and develop partnerships between industry and WSU researchers. Rachelle supports WSU faculty and staff on Washington trade association boards headquartered in the Seattle area, such as Life Science Washington and the CleanTech Alliance and represents WSU on their planning committees.

She is a two-time graduate from WSU; completing her BS in genetics and cell biology in 2010 and a Professional Science Masters (PSM) in molecular biosciences in 2013. Her passion is increasing public knowledge of current science and helping researchers to better communicate their research to those outside of their field.

Heidi Medford, Ph.D.
Technology Licensing Associate
WSU Office of Commercialization, 509-358-7874

Heidi Medford handles the health sciences intellectual property portfolio for the WSU Spokane campus. As the first OC representative dedicated to Spokane, Heidi is working to increase visibility of the office, as well as create a conduit between WSU researchers and the local entrepreneurial community. Community involvement and faculty enrichment efforts are in addition to her primary duties, which focus on protecting intellectual property and identifying licensing and commercialization opportunities for technologies coming out of WSU.

Heidi has two degrees from WSU; she completed her B.S. in nutrition and exercise physiology in 2010, and successfully defended her PhD dissertation with the WSU College of Pharmacy’s pharmaceutical sciences program in 2014. Heidi is passionate about creating opportunities to keep the local talent coming out of the nine Spokane colleges and universities close to home, as well as helping to build infrastructure to attract others to the area.


Washington State University