University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations
 

October 20, 2005
Contact: Jennifer Ekman, USA Office of Public Relations, (251) 460-6360

USA Appoints New Director for USA Technology and Research Park

The University of South Alabama has appointed William Ker Ferguson as the new director of the USA Technology and Research Park, effective Oct. 1.

As the former director and chief executive officer of The University of Western Ontario Research and Development Parks in Canada, Ferguson has a wealth of experience and capabilities to develop the USA Technology and Research Park, said USA Senior Associate Vice President for Research Robert Galbraith.

“Ker has a wealth of experience and capabilities to draw from to help develop the USA Technology and Research Park in Mobile,” Galbraith said. “We are pleased to have him on board.”

At Western Ontario, Ferguson was instrumental in managing 100 percent occupancy in the main campus-based Technology Park and later developing a second research and development park in collaboration with local government, industry and academia.
 
 
Former director and chief executive officer of The University of Western Ontario Research and Development Parks was appointed as the new director of the USA Technology and Research Park.

“I am excited to have this opportunity and to work with a diverse range of professionals and other interested parties to achieve mutual economic development goals, while preserving the interests and mission of the USA tech park,” Ferguson said. “Mobile is at the center of the Gulf Coast Interstate 10 corridor, and the opportunity for collaboration between industry and the research community at the regional universities provides a synergy that will ensure the future of the USA tech park.”

USA President Gordon Moulton said, “We are pleased to add a person of Ker Ferguson’s capabilities to our research and economic development team. He will develop industry connections, new collaborative research projects and workforce training activities.”

Moulton said the USA Technology and Research Park offers enriched education of local citizens and the creation of technologically advanced, economically beneficial and environmentally sustainable jobs.

Born in Michigan, Ferguson has spent most of his life in Canada and Scotland. He obtained both his undergraduate and master’s degrees in business administration from the Ivey School of Business, Canada’s premier business school.

Throughout his career, Ferguson has worked primarily in the financial sector, including corporate banking and real estate. He also has worked in the small business sector, as a partner in taking a start-up situation to national organization and industry leader in less than three years, with offices in London, Vancouver and Montreal.

In 1996 he joined The University of Western Ontario in their new Technology Transfer Offices, where he helped bring new technologies to market. While at The University of Western Ontario he was asked to assist with managing the research park and undertook both roles for a period. Later, he became director of the research park on a full-time basis. Since then, he has reorganized park activities both operationally and strategically and has positioned the research park as a regional force in technology based economic development.

Under Ferguson’s management, The University of Western Ontario Research and Development Park has more than doubled its asset base and he also opened a second research park campus as a joint venture between the university and a neighboring local municipality.

Ferguson and his wife, Cindy, have twin daughters currently attending college in Canada. Ferguson’s hobbies include sports such as golf and sailing. He also was a former varsity coach in hockey.

For more information about the USA Technology and Research Park, visit
southalabama.edu/usatrp, e-mail Ferguson at wkferguson@usouthal.edu, or call him at
(251) 460-6384.



About USA Technology and Research Park:

The USA Technology and Research Park, launched in April 2002, is a major economic development initiative of the University of South Alabama. The Park brings University resources and the technology business community together in a single location that expands educational opportunities for students, provides new research relationships for faculty and offers fresh growth prospects for businesses focusing on information technology, engineering and biomedicine. The Park is a focal point of high-technology economic growth for Mobile and the Upper Gulf Coast. It was developed with the assistance and support of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, which named the University its “Innovator of the Year” in recognition of the Park’s creation.

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