Economic development staff

Mr. Wayne Szafranski, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Outreach and Economic Development

Mr. Wayne Szafranski is responsible for N.C. A&T’s intellectual property portfolio and technology transfer operations.  He also is responsible for negotiating research relationships and contracts with commercial and federal agency partners.  He represents the university in local, regional and state-wide economic development activities and on the boards of economic development organizations. 

A native of Western New York, Wayne graduated from Clarkson University with bachelors and master’s degrees in chemistry and a certificate in photographic engineering.  He has worked in technical product development and executive positions with several international companies, including Eastman Kodak, CIBA-Geigy Corporation, and Konica Manufacturing USA. He joined N.C. A&T in 2007.

Before joining N.C. A&T, he directed Technology Outreach at Nussbaum, a joint program of N.C. A&T, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship that facilitated technology transfer, commercialization, and business development.

Dr. Laura Collins, Registered Patent Agent and Interim Director of Technology Transfer

Dr. Laura Collins serves as the licensed patent agent for N.C. A&T and as the intellectual property liaison between the Vice Chancellor for DORED and agencies, businesses and law firms hired for patent prosecution and licensing.  She is responsible for reviewing all requests for patent licensing with regard to protection of the university’s intellectual property. She evaluates submissions of preliminary ideas and invention disclosures to determine the feasibility of filing for patents on behalf of principal investigators and the university.  She also works with faculty to evaluate the innovative merit of proposed research programs.

Before joining the Office of Outreach and Economic Development in 2010, Laura spent 10 years with intellectual property law firms.  As a patent agent and scientific advisor, she prosecuted foreign and domestic patent applications on topics, including radiolabeled antibodies, small molecule and biotech therapeutics, microfluidic devices, activated carbons used in electric double layer capacitors, and silicon inks used in printed electronics.  She also conducted inventorship investigations, as well as freedom to operate and prior art landscape analyses. 

Laura earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry from UNC Chapel Hill.  She received undergraduate degrees in chemistry, with honors, and history from Bryn Mawr College.  She is admitted to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and is a member of the American Chemical Society.