WPI Appoints Terry Lopaka Adams as New Director of Technology Commercialization

Terry Lopaka Adams, an accomplished leader in intellectual property protection, management, and marketing in both the commercial and academic sectors, has been named director of Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s (WPI) Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC).

Adams will work with WPI faculty researchers, staff members, and students to identify, protect, and commercialize intellectual property while also encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship at the university, which had research expenditures of more than $60 million in 2023. Adams also will manage a growing portfolio of more than 60 active intellectual property licenses plus relationships with nearly two dozen start-up companies that have spun out of WPI. He begins his duties today.

“I am excited to join WPI as the new director of technology commercialization and to be part of an institution known for its innovation and commitment to advancing technology,” Adams said. “I look forward to leveraging my knowledge and expertise to enhance and expand the technology commercialization program, aligning it with WPI’s mission of driving positive change through cutting-edge research, innovation, and entrepreneurship.”

Adams was most recently head of technology transfer at Howard University, where he secured multiyear funding to establish business pitch and accelerator initiatives, built a program to identify technology partnerships and spur start-up businesses, and implemented an intellectual property management system. Previously, Adams was assistant vice president and head of the technology intellectual property function at Nestlé S.A in Vevey, Switzerland. Earlier in his career, Adams held a number of management and executive positions at Kimberly-Clark Corp., Dial Corp., and Procter and Gamble. He is listed on the IAM Strategy 300 World’s Leading IP Strategists and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering at Howard University.

Adams replaces former OTC director Todd Keiller, who retired from WPI in 2023 and was instrumental in supporting and growing the innovation portfolio to its current level. 

“WPI’s commitment to purpose-driven research is continuing to expand and produce remarkable interdisciplinary collaborations and discoveries,” said Bogdan Vernescu, vice provost for research. “We are delighted that Terry is joining WPI at this time of growth to lead tech transfer, which is critical to ensuring that the inventiveness of WPI faculty and student researchers translates into solutions that advance the economy and improve lives.” 

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