Professor Fiona Murray is the Associate Dean of Innovation at the MIT Sloan School of Management, William Porter (1967) Professor of Entrepreneurship and an associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. She is also the Co-Director of MIT’s Innovation Initiative. She serves on the British Prime Minister’s Council on Science and Technology and has been awarded a CBE for her services to innovation and entrepreneurship in the UK.
Murray is an international expert on the transformation of investments in scientific and technical innovation into innovation-based entrepreneurship that drives jobs, wealth creation, and regional prosperity. She has a special interest in the commercialization of science from idea to impact and the mechanisms that can be effectively used to link universities with entrepreneurs, large corporations and philanthropists in that process.
Through her leadership role in the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program, she engages many global regions in designing and evaluating the policies and programs that shape vibrant innovation ecosystems: prizes competitions, accelerators, and proof of concept funding programs. She is particularly interested in new organizational arrangements for the effective commercialization of science, including public-private partnerships and patient capital/venture philanthropy.
In her recent scholarship and writing, Murray has emphasized the ways in which women and under-represented minorities are engaged in innovation ecosystem, and the ways in which different approaches to evalutating early-stage ideas can overcome the unconscious bias that she has documented in entrepreneurial funding. Her work is widely published in a range of journals, including Science, Nature, New England Journal of Medicine, Nature Biotechnology, American Journal of Sociology, Research Policy, Organization Science, and the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.
Murray received her BA ’89 and MA ‘90 from the University of Oxford in Chemistry. She subsequently moved to the United States and earned an AM ’92 and PhD ’96 from Harvard University in Applied Sciences. She brings her deep appreciation of R&D to an understanding of global innovation economy and to the ways in which the next generation of global innovators should be educated. She teaches IDEA Week (Innovation-driven Entrepreneurial Advantage) to the MIT Sloan Executive MBAs and recently started the REAL course – Regional Entrepreneurial Acceleration Lab - which gives students practical and academic insights into the design and development of innovation ecosystems around the world. These courses encourage cross-campus collaborations that move scientific discoveries closer towards marketable products and allow for students from different stakeholder perspectives to understand the broader ecosystem. She also has a particular interest in the entrepreneurial education of scientists and engineers, and in the role of women in entrepreneurship.
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Boston is ranked the top city of the global innovation economy. Fiona Murray, Associate Dean of Innovation at MIT Sloan, spoke with Comcast Newsmakers to discuss how Boston acquired this status, what it means, and how she helps other regions boost their own economies.
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