Mike Cassidy joined Emory University in October of 2018 in a new position designed to provide vision and leadership in promoting biomedical innovation and enhancing the university’s economic engagement in the Atlanta region and beyond. As director of the new Emory Biomedical Catalyst, Cassidy leads efforts to enhance innovation, entrepreneurship, and development of intellectual property.
Previously, Mike engineered and led the emergence of the Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) as one of the nation’s premier organizations for technology-based economic development. In his 25-year tenure with GRA, Mike developed the vision and charted the strategic direction of the public-private organization, expanding its role and the potential of university research and entrepreneurship as a strategy to grow Georgia’s economy. He generated broad-based support for GRA’s mission, building and sustaining the nonprofit’s powerful relationships with companies, economic development organizations, universities, and leaders at the local, state, and national levels. In 2009, he co-founded the GRA Venture Fund, LLC, a public-private investment fund that invests in the most promising startups launched around scientific discovery at Georgia’s research universities.
On the national level, Mike has been instrumental in strengthening the policy and practice of technology-based economic development. As a member of the SSTI board of directors, he played a defining role in launching the Innovation Advocacy Council, which advances the cause of public investment in scientific research and entrepreneurship. Mike has advised technology-based economic development organizations throughout the U.S and frequently speaks and contributes opinion pieces on the workings and issues of American innovation and entrepreneurial science. Mike serves on the boards of the SSTI, the Health Care Ethics Consortium, The Primary Care Innovation Fund, the Global Center for Medical Innovation, Atlanta Emerging Markets Inc., Georgia’s Bio/Med Investor Network and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. He is a Past Commodore of the Lake Lanier Sailing Club. He holds a master’s degree in Technology and Science Policy from Georgia Tech and a BBA in Marketing from Georgia State University.