Keeping up in a conversation with Chris Buydos requires an ability to think big, to visualize several years in the future and handle the jumble of acronyms that so quickly come tumbling off of her tongue. Chris carries the official title of Economic Development Manager, Office of Economic Development and Real Estate Services, University of California, Riverside, but ask her for a simple description of what she does and she’ll give you a grin and tell you she is the “grout between the tile.”
In this case “grout” is a metaphor representing the relationship building and collaborations Chris fosters between UC Riverside and the business community and
public sector (aka – the tile) as part of UCR’s technology transfer effort.
Chris’s energy and enthusiasm for her work is quickly apparent. She has the ability to see beyond the immediate obstacles and focus on the opportunities ahead. She often cites the sentiments of hockey legend, Wayne Gretzky, famous for his quote “I don’t skate to where the puck is, I skate to where the puck is going to be.” Chris stresses that in her work “we need to be where the puck is going to be” when explaining her role in shaping UCR’s long-term strategy to benefit from the growing opportunities in technology transfer.
For example, the recently opened UCR Technology Transfer Center, a facility located within the 39 acre UCR Research Park, which houses SBDC (Small Business Development Center, part of the IEEP (Inland Empire Economic Partnership) is a key component in creating the environment and relationships for the “grout” to do her work. Phase I of the Research Park is divided into 11 parcels, of which all but one has been purchased for private development. Construction on various office space and laboratories will begin in the next few months to house a host of new technology businesses. Another 17-acre parcel in Phase II will be ready for development within the next few years.
“Getting the ideas and technology from the lab to a commercial application and ultimately to the market can involve a number of critical steps,” notes Buydos. “Very often the individual with the idea or technology needs some level of assistance to make the transfer happen. It can be a space to work in, startup funding and resources, marketing plans or a whole host of other elements. We can make the process easier by creating an environment that anticipates the typical needs and having the information readily available, often getting a business up and operational in 30 days.”
Asked how she defines a success, Chris underscores that it’s the momentum itself that moves the project to the next step that demonstrates the success in her work, which she says is measured in ongoing stages rather than a completion point. Right now she is thinking about where the startup companies in the Research Park will be able to expand to when they have outgrown the current space.
Chris and her husband, Jerry, reside in San Jacinto with their eight-year-old son, Dakota, where Chris also holds a seat on the City Council. She graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, with a bachelor’s degree in community and regional planning and is a certified planner with the American Institute of Certified Planning.
Chris can be reached at email@example.com