Texas Tech University

Gramm Named to Executive Committee for APLU's Commission on Economic and Community Engagement

George Watson

November 19, 2021

Kimberly Gramm

Gramm serves as the Associate Vice President for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Texas Tech.

Kimberly Gramm, associate vice president for Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the Office of Research & Innovation (ORI) at Texas Tech University and the chief operating officer of the Innovation Hub at Research Park, has been named to the Association of Public Land-grant Universities' (APLU) Commission on Economic and Community Engagement's Executive Committee.

The commission brings together administrative, engagement, extension, research, communications, government affairs and other professionals from APLU member universities and systems across North America. This group is responsible for planning, executing or communicating the work of member institutions in economic development and community engagement with a focus on talent and workforce development; innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development; and placing development through public service, outreach, extension and community engagement.

“It's a privilege and honor to serve with esteemed leaders of universities across the nation on behalf of Texas Tech,” Gramm said. “Providing insights and perspectives from West Texas while supporting the commission on economic and community engagement is near and dear to me as we look forward to creating opportunities to benefit Texans through the development of a thriving innovation and entrepreneur ecosystem.”

Members of the executive committee are responsible for guiding the commission with the support of the APLU Office of Economic Development and Community Engagement (OEDCE). The executive committee is responsible for providing oversight of standing committees and input to the OCEDE on projects and initiatives being conducted by the APLU. The committee also is tasked with elevating and promoting the profession, practice and impact of economic and community engagement across other APLU offices, councils and commissions.

Together, the OEDCE and the commission spearhead collaborative projects with national and international peer organizations, think-tanks and national government policy stakeholders as well as with APLU offices, councils, and commissions.

Gramm was named associate vice president in October 2019. In that role she is responsible for developing and coordinating the team at Texas Tech focused on innovation, engagement, knowledge transfer, commercialization, entrepreneurship and economic development. She works closely with Vice President for Research & Innovation Joseph A. Heppert, as well as faculty and industry to develop a strategy in support of economic engagement for ORI.

In her role, Gramm oversees three critical areas of innovation and research – the Office of Research Commercialization, the Innovation Hub and the Small Business Development Center – with the goal of delivering an integrated approach to the innovation ecosystem at Texas Tech.

From 2016 to 2019, Gramm served as the senior managing director of the Innovation Hub. She has extensive experience in strategic planning, economic development planning, academic and workforce development and research commercialization activities, including economic and business development, technology venture startups, angel and venture funding, entrepreneur/innovation academic programming, public-private partnerships, government and external relations and strategic collaborations.

She demonstrated success and leadership in leading the 501(c)(3) initiative for a Lubbock innovation district and created 12 new programs in ideation, commercialization and acceleration to support the mission of the Innovation Hub at Research Park. Gramm has been a principal investigator for federal, state, industry and economic development grants worth more than 12 million since 2013 and has helped more than 279 startups that have raised more than 470 million to get off the ground. Her National Science Foundation I-Corps and Department of Commerce EDA Regional Innovation Series grants have created new opportunities for faculty, students and the community to access resources to develop innovations and fund startups in West Texas.

Under her watch, Texas Tech has recently developed a collaborative agreement with Innosphere Ventures, which works closely with technology and startup entities and universities across the U.S., such as the Innovation Hub, to advance technologies to commercialization, turn startups into successful businesses and make connections between investors, business leaders and corporate partners. Texas Tech also recently launched a collaboration with Seraph and the Lubbock Angel Network (LAN) to develop the research park's first venture capital fund, the Seraph Hub Fuel Fund, designed to accelerate business success of high-tech startups and emerging companies in the agriculture sector that can scale and provide return to investors.

Gramm was recently re-appointed to the board for the State of Texas' Product Development and Small Business Incubator (PDSBI), a revolving loan program administered by the Texas Economic Development Bank within the Governor's Office of Economic Development Finance Division at the direction of the PDSBI Board. Its purpose is to aid in the development, production, and commercialization of new or improved products and to foster and stimulate small business in the state. She was originally appointed to the board in 2019.

Gramm currently is working toward her doctorate in the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources.