UMass Dartmouth has announced that Phil Adams, who was named interim director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) in Fall River last year, has been named to the position permanently under the title of Assistant Vice Chancellor for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Corporate Engagement.
Adams joins UMass Dartmouth after two stints as CEO of publicly traded companies. He was named Business Leader of the Year in the Entrepreneur category by Worcester Business Journal for his work at Massachusetts-based energy management software firm, World Energy Solutions. Under his leadership, annual revenue grew from $250,000 to $40 million, employment grew from 7 to 130 employees, and the firm had a successful exit to a strategic partner. Adams has also served as an executive and advisor to several other startups.
UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Robert Johnson, who is positioning the university as a catalyst for the development of the Blue Economy Corridor stretching from Rhode Island to Cape Cod, said Adams and the CIE have a critical role to play in that initiative as well as the broader development of a regional innovation ecosystem.
“As a Tier 1 national research university, UMass Dartmouth is leading efforts to catalyze a blue economy corridor that leverages the area’s coastal location and strengthens the entire regional economy,” Chancellor Johnson said. “Phil’s experience in private sector entrepreneurship uniquely qualifies him to connect entrepreneurs and innovators to unleash job-creating activity at the university and across the region.”
“There is tremendous forward momentum at UMass Dartmouth and across the region, and I am excited to help accelerate that momentum,” Adams said. “UMass Dartmouth and the CIE have a critical role to play in supporting entrepreneurs and the business sector, and I am especially excited about working with UMass Dartmouth’s students and faculty to drive the regional economy forward.”
Having graduated several marine technology companies in recent years and incubating several more right now, the CIE is an important driver for the region’s Blue Economy. Adams and the CIE recently hosted the Marine Renewable Energy Conference in collaboration with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. The daylong conference drew more than 100 attendees from across North America.
Under Adams’ leadership, the CIE will strengthen the region’s innovation culture by providing entrepreneurs with shared workspaces, prototyping laboratories, and conferencing spaces. The CIE facility at 151 Martine Street, Fall River is also home to Celldex Therapeutics, one of the region’s leading life science companies.
Among the university’s top priorities for the CIE will be connecting entrepreneurs within the Center and throughout the region with UMass Dartmouth students and faculty. The CIE will also serve as a portal for businesses seeking engagement with the university, working closely with the university research enterprise, colleges, and the SouthCoast Development Partnership.