George Baxter will leave Edinburgh Innovations this spring to become UC Davis’ inaugural chief innovation and economic development officer.

George Baxter receives the GUV Tech Transfer Office of Year 2021 award

George Baxter (right) collects the GUV Tech Transfer Office of the Year 2021 award from Mawsonia’s CEO James Mawson

George Baxter, chief executive of Edinburgh Innovations, the tech transfer office of the University of Edinburgh, will join the University of California, Davis to become its inaugural chief innovation and economic development officer.

Baxter is set to start in his new position on April 29, 2024. Among his responsibilities will be overseeing the new Aggie Square Innovation District in Sacramento, which is currently under construction. Its phase one is due to open early in 2025.

His departure comes after more than seven years of leading Edinburgh Innovations. The office won the Global University Venturing Tech Transfer of the Year in 2021.

Baxter has also been a member of international tech transfer collaboration TenU and will be a familiar voice to Global University Venturing readers — his contributions to date have included multiple episodes of the Beyond the Breakthrough podcast and insights for a feature on the Scottish ecosystem.

Baxter said: “I am excited to be joining UC Davis at this critical time. The quality and breadth of research here is world-renowned and the Aggie Square development will help to transform innovation and enterprise activities. I’m looking forward to joining my new colleagues and moving to beautiful California.”

Gary May, chancellor of UC Davis who created the new position and selected Baxter, added: “I’m thrilled that George will join us in this key new position to further expand and strengthen our educational, research and service mission.

“He has dedicated his career to entrepreneurial leadership and commercialisation. He has deep connections with building networks across financial, business and academic sectors. I’m confident that he’ll help UC Davis improve our entrepreneurial efforts with renewed vigour and lasting outcomes for both the university and for our community.”

Thierry Heles

Thierry Heles is the editor of Global University Venturing, host of the Beyond the Breakthrough interview podcast and responsible for the monthly GUV Gazette (sign up here for free).