2013 Innovation Awards – Visionary – University of Akron

Dr. George Newkome

Vice president for research

Dean of the University of Akron Graduate School

President of the University of Akron Research Foundation


Thanks to the efforts of Dr. George Newkome, vice president for research and dean of the University of Akron Graduate School, the university now offers a library of thousands of resources to hundreds of Northeast Ohio polymer companies.

But that’s not the only thing that makes him a visionary. It’s that he has been able to repeat visionary projects over and over throughout his career. He is consistently asking what he could do to make the path easier for others.

One of Newkome’s first activities at the University of Akron was to work together with Barry Rosenbaum, then technology director at Omnova Solutions, who helped to identify opportunities for shared services between industry and the university.

Omnova Solutions Inc., the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. and Exxon Mobil Corp. all had libraries of polymer books and journals, but had duplicative facilities and staff. Newkome proposed that each company donate its library to the University of Akron so publications could be managed at a central location. This ensured superior service and opening the library to polymer companies.

While at the University of South Florida as vice president for research, Newkome founded dozens of innovative and collaborative programs to benefit the University of South Florida and Tampa. Research funding grew from $22 million in 1986 to $184 million in 2001.

In just a little more than a decade at the University of Akron, Newkome, who is also president of the University of Akron Research Foundation, has led growth in research expenditures from $24 million in 2001 to $58 million in 2012 and fostered the formation of 116 active sponsored research projects.


How to reach: University of Akron Research Foundation, (330) 972-7840 or www.uakron.edu/research/uarf.dot