Univ. of Washington names longtime professor François Baneyx to lead CoMotion innovation center

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François Baneyx. (University of Washington Photo)

The University of Washington named longtime professor François Baneyx to lead its CoMotion innovation center.

Baneyx is currently the Charles W.H. Matthaei Professor of Chemical Engineering; director of the Center for the Science of Synthesis Across Scales; and an adjunct professor of bioengineering. He has held several leadership positions across campus since arriving in 1992, including:

  • Site director of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (2004-2012)
  • Director of the Center for Nanotechnology (2005-2013)
  • Chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering (2014-2019)

In 2015, Baneyx co-founded Proteios, a UW life sciences spinout. He’s also an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences.

Baneyx replaces Vikram Jandhyala, the former CoMotion leader who died in February.

“I am honored to succeed Vikram at the helm of CoMotion and I look forward to helping our incredibly talented faculty and students innovate for the greater good,” Baneyx said in a statement.

CoMotion helps startups through education and access to experts and funding sources. Originally started as the Center for Commercialization (C4C) at the UW’s main Seattle campus, CoMotion evolved a few years ago from a department that mainly helped commercialize ideas born at the university to what it now describes as a “collaborative innovation hub dedicated to expanding the economic and societal impact of the UW community.”

The UW has ranked among the top 10 on Reuters’ list of the world’s most innovative universities for the past several years and cracked the top 10 of the Milken Institute national tech transfer rankings. CoMotion also helped open a makerspace on campus; created an Amazon Catalyst program; and launched the Mobility Innovation Center with Challenge Seattle.

“François is a respected researcher, teacher and innovator with connections throughout academia and industry, as well as firsthand experience with startups,” UW Provost Mark Richards said in a statement. “I am confident that with his interdisciplinary, collaborative approach to his work and leadership, François will build upon CoMotion’s success and further propel the University’s culture of innovation.”



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