About ACIR

Learn more about the Alliance for Commercialization and Innovation Research



At the Alliance For Commercialization and Innovation Research, we recognize that innovation is hard and bringing that innovation to the market and successfully commercializing it is harder still. 

Unfortunately there is no one “magic bullet” that drives commercialization, much less one that guarantees success in the marketplace.  However, we have found that there are many companies, organizations and individuals that have shown that by asking the right questions and consistently using the right tools, innovators can reduce the technical and economic risk of commercialization and increase the chances for success. Bringing those voices and that experience together for the greater good is what ACIR is all about. 

ACIR is a 501 c-3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting economic development and growth through practical commercialization, entrepreneurship and innovation.  Our Alliance is made up of organizations and individuals from both the private and public sectors who share our goals of promoting entrepreneurship, commercialization and innovation worldwide.

Our mission is to promote best practices in innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization, whether in tech transfer offices, techno-parks, incubators, government agencies or by directly assisting startups to successfully enter the market.  Please see “Our Work” for a review of the services we provide.




// Our Team


Erik Azulay

Founder

Erik Azulay is a technology commercialization expert specializing in small business startups and international market strategies. He has worked as a technology analyst for numerous organizations including the state of Texas’ Emerging Technology Fund, the Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization and the city of Austin and has served as a commercial reviewer on numerous National Science Foundation SBIR panels.

A serial entrepreneur, Erik started up and ran a transportation/logistics company based in the Russian Far East port of Vladivostok, handling everything from live tigers to oil drilling platforms.  He has lived and worked in numerous other countries, including Mexico, Spain, Indonesia, South Korea and Ecuador. 

Erik received his Master’s degree in Technology Commercialization from the University of Texas in 2006 and has since worked on commercialization projects in Hungary, Mexico, India, Chile, Korea, Portugal Israel and Egypt, as well as technology transfer and commercialization strategies for weapons of mass destruction facilities in the Former Soviet Union.  Mr. Azulay has B.A. in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania and a M.S. in Technology Commercialization from the University of Texas. He speaks Russian and Spanish.




Linda Wheeler

Director

Linda Wheeler is a retired finance executive of a multi-national Fortune 500 corporation where she was responsible for accounting and regulatory compliance. During her 23-year career with this corporation and its predecessors, she was involved with operation start-ups, domestic and foreign joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions. Linda was also the leader of a process improvement program utilizing workforce teams to analyze, streamline and incorporate best practices in operation and support business segments.

Since retirement, Linda has served as a volunteer adviser to small business entrepreneurs. She has sponsored a free community English language school and educational scholarships for young women in Mexico. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from West Texas A & M University.




John Smith

Affiliation here





John Smith

Affiliation here

Bio goes here, Erik. Don’t forget to check Show this team member below to display this on the About page!





John Smith

Affiliation Here

Bio goes here, Erik. Don’t forget to check Show this team member below to display this on the About page!





John Smith

Affiliation Here

Bio goes here, Erik. Don’t forget to check Show this team member below to display this on the About page!





John Smith

Affiliation Here

Bio goes here, Erik. Don’t forget to check Show this team member below to display this on the About page!




// Advisors


Dr. Ronald Landes

President, Solving Organ Shortage

Mr. Landes founded and led Landes Bioscience, publisher of 50 peer-reviewed life science journals, for 20 years. He is president of the nonprofit Solving Organ Shortage and currently serves on the board of directors and scientific advisory boards for several organizations, including Quantitative Insights, Oncoceutics, p53 Therapeutics and the Georgian Telemedicine Association. He has experience in technology commercialization and has invested in 20 early-stage life science companies in the US, Europe and Israel. Mr. Landes earned a BS in biochemistry from the University of Chicago, an MD from the Medical College of Wisconsin and trained in surgery at the University of Minnesota





Christy Lauridsen


Christy Lauridsen is a business and technology consultant committed to working with governments and firms to overcome innovation hurdles and promote economic growth, education, and employment opportunities in the developing world. Currently with McKinsey & Co. in Silicon Valley, Christy formerly served as a Sr. Business Development M&A Specialist at IBM, where she was also designated a Master Inventor.  She has worked with multiple international innovation programs and in public-private collaboration settings in research, engineering, and business roles.  Christy holds a Master of Public Administration in International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government where her policy research focused on innovation in Colombia. Christy also earned a M.S. in Technology Commercialization from the University of Texas and a M.S. in Computer Science from Colombia University.





Dr. Lara Campbell


Dr. Lara Campbell has been working to promote scientific development and innovation around the world for almost twenty years. She is passionate about helping creative people acquire the resources, understanding and connectivity needed to turn great ideas into innovations with real commercial potential.

In addition to her work with ACIR, Lara serves as the Program Director for the Middle East and Africa in the US National Science Foundation’s Office of International Science and Engineering where she is responsible for facilitating international collaboration by the Foundation and the scientists it supports across her portfolio regions. Prior to joining NSF, Lara was Director of the CUBRC Center for International Science and Technology Advancement (CISTA), where her responsibilities include developing, managing and assessing international research collaborations, especially efforts focused on scientific and economic growth in the developing world. Prior to joining ACIR, Lara was a Senior Program Associate at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) where as part of the Research Competitiveness Program she provided programmatic peer review advice and guidance.

Lara has a particular interest in promoting regional and local networks and collaborations that lead to innovation growth and spent a year (2008-2009) as a Fulbright scholar in the Middle East investigating the factors that will promote dynamic innovation ecosystems in the region.

Lara holds a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Rice University in Houston Texas and a Ph.D. in synthetic organic and bio-organic chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin where she also taught undergraduate organic chemistry and biochemistry as an adjunct faculty member. Lara conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Texas and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the US National Institutes of Health.