UNO Research and Technology Foundation Hires Shafin Khan

Shafin Khan HeadshotNEW ORLEANS — The UNO Research and Technology Foundation, which promotes collaboration between the University of New Orleans, public agencies, private companies and other academic institutions to further innovation, has named Shafin Khan as its new vice president of external affairs and innovation. Khan will leverage the assets and expertise at UNO and the research park, the Beach at UNO, a Sandbox for Collaboration, to grow the innovation ecosystem in Louisiana.

“We are very excited to welcome Shafin to our team at The Beach,” said Rebecca Conwell, president and CEO of the UNO Research and Technology Foundation. “He brings an entrepreneurial spirit and extensive experience to drive the culture of innovation amongst UNO faculty, staff, students and alumni. The unique programming Shafin will develop will instill skills to further differentiate UNO graduates in the job market, connect our tenants and UNO alumni closely to University activities, and drive growth of the regional economy.”

As the vice president of external affairs and innovation, Khan will use his experience in academic innovation and research commercialization to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem at UNO. He will work closely with UNO faculty, tenants of the Beach and regional companies to facilitate public-private partnerships. Additionally, he will lead programs on innovation education and startup creation for UNO students and faculty and will connect UNO students with job training opportunities.

“The programs Shafin has envisioned will provide even more opportunities for collaboration between the Beach and our University faculty and students,” said Dr. John Nicklow, president of the University of New Orleans. “These collaborations will inspire creativity and create opportunities for industry partnerships, interdisciplinary education and innovation at UNO. We are excited to get to work with him and the team at the Beach on these important programs.” 

Khan, who earned a Bachelor of Science in biomedical engineering from Tulane University and a Juris Doctor from Loyola University of New Orleans College of Law, grew a biotechnology commercialization program at the New Orleans BioInnovation Center, when he joined in 2012. At the BioInnovation Center, he supported over 100 medical and clean technology startups in bringing their products to market. These companies raised $84 million in funding and created over 300 full-time jobs during Khan’s tenure at the Center. Khan then joined Tulane University’s Office of Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Development in 2017, where he worked to connect university researchers with private companies and helped both faculty and students translate bench research and startup ideas into commercialized products. Khan is a highly sought-after mentor and speaker, serving as a mentor for the National Science Foundation’s Innovation-Corps program for five years and regularly speaking at regional and international innovation conferences.

“UNO has a storied history of supporting the Louisiana economy through innovation and entrepreneurship.” said Khan. “I look forward to creating an environment that harnesses that history and further elevates UNO’s innovation community.” 

To learn more about The Beach at UNO visit

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