Meet the VPRI

Mohamed Abousalem.

Mohamed Abousalem was appointed in June 2019 as SJSU’s inaugural Vice President for Research and Innovation (VPRI) and the President of the Board of Directors of the SJSU Research Foundation. 

In his role, Mohamed leads the planning, administration, and evaluation of university research facilities, centers, institutes, and support services, as well as the allocation of funding for research and innovation programs and activities. His team is responsible for identifying, securing, and maintaining extramural funding from governmental agencies, private foundations, businesses, and industry, as well as for developing public-private partnerships that foster innovation and grant collaborations. 

The VPRI’s vision is to build and strengthen the SJSU administrative infrastructure necessary to support our growing faculty-led research programs to provide the needed experiential learning to all SJSU students. With increased resources, focused training, and efficient support services for our researchers, SJSU will grow its public impact through research, scholarship, and creative activities. 

Mohamed serves as Chair of the California State University (CSU) Council of Chief Research Officers, where he is leading efforts to leverage the power of the 23 CSU campuses through shared best practices and leveraged opportunities for faculty. Mohamed was appointed by the California Governor on the Board of Directors of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) representing the CSU system, where he offers CIRM the full education and research strengths of the CSU to forward their mandate to conduct stem cell research and deliver cures to all the people with unmet medical needs. Mohamed is also a member of the Knight Foundation Community Advisory Council, where he helps drive initiatives that are important to the city of San José through programs that benefit the people who live, work, visit, and study in it. Additionally, he serves on the Board of the Bay Area Science and Innovation Consortium (BASIC), where he helps address key issues and opportunities affecting the technology-led economic growth of the Bay Area.

In his previous role as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of California Santa Cruz, Mohamed was responsible for the management of the university’s technology transfer, commercialization, and entrepreneurship support programs. Within one year of assuming his role, he developed the innovation and entrepreneurship strategy, revamped the administrative framework for the tech transfer operation, doubled the annual number of invention disclosures, and secured $2.2 million in state funds for entrepreneurship support. Through successful community partnerships, he established a biotech wet-lab incubator in Santa Cruz and a technology startup accelerator in Silicon Valley.

Mohamed’s technical and business management experience is far-reaching and includes positions in academia as well as the non-profit and industry sectors. Prior to joining UC Santa Cruz, Mohamed was the founding chief executive officer of TECTERRA, a Canadian not-for-profit organization supporting innovation and technology commercialization. Under his leadership, TECTERRA invested over $37 million in supporting 200 startup companies across Canada and 25 applied research projects in Alberta, which generated over $325 million in economic impact and prosperity for the entrepreneurs and companies supported, the applied research institutions involved and the community. TECTERRA continues to operate to this day as a flagship innovation support program with significant and growing economic impact.

Prior to TECTERRA, Mohamed had several executive management roles in industry with responsibilities including product development, corporate development, general management, marketing communications, and human resources. In these roles, he developed and launched major technology solutions, strategic alliance programs, and corporate strategies for various worldwide market segments. Mohamed’s earlier research work in the development and application of the global positioning system (GPS) technology was successfully incorporated in the products and technologies of several companies in the USA and Canada.

Mohamed has a B.S. in civil engineering from Alexandria University, Egypt; an M.S. and Ph.D. in geomatics engineering from the University of Calgary, Canada; and an MBA from Santa Clara University. 

To schedule a meeting with Mohamed, visit his Virtual Office Hours page. 

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