Governor Edward Rendell has appointed Dr. Robert J. Kumpf to serve on the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority (BFTDA) board of directors for a period coinciding with the remainder of the governor's term.
The BFTDA is one of the largest single state technology development programs in the nation, and it provides financial and technical assistance to businesses, entrepreneurs, communities, local governments, educators and non-profit organizations in the commonwealth. The BFTDA oversees five programs: Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Technology Development Grants, University Research Grant Program, Venture Investment Program and the Keystone Innovation Zone program. For the period from fiscal year 2005 until fiscal year 2009, the BFTDA has invested a total of nearly $220 million in these five programs.
Dr. Kumpf is Chief Administrative Officer for Bayer MaterialScience LLC (BMS). In addition, he is a member of the company’s North American Leadership Team, with responsibility for regional business support and administration.
He has held research, product development and technical marketing positions in various Bayer business units and central research. In his most recent position as vice president of Future Business, he led the BMS group responsible for developing materials of the future by focusing on innovation-driven polymer products, next generation trends and new complex technologies.
Kumpf joined Bayer in 1988 as a research chemist after graduating with a doctorate degree from the Materials Science and Engineering Department at The Pennsylvania State University. He currently holds 20 U.S. and European patents and has published 21 articles in various scientific journals.
Kumpf is a member of the board of directors of the Pennsylvania NanoMaterials Commercialization Center, having previously served as chairman of the board. In addition, he is a member of Penn State University’s Material Science and Engineering Advisory Board, the national board of the Industrial Research Institute and the Carnegie Science Center Sci Tech Initiative Advisory Board.
Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with nearly 15,100 employees at 30 sites around the world and 2008 sales of 9.7 billion euros. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical, and sports and leisure industries.
The mission of the Pennsylvania NanoMaterials Commercialization Center is to promote and support the commercialization of nanomaterials research for new and enhanced products critical to the U.S. economy and manufacturing base. The Center builds upon Pennsylvania’s excellence in advanced materials research, development and manufacturing, and it acts as a new model for a public-private partnership among government, universities, entrepreneurs, small and large companies to accelerate the transition from nanomaterials invention and innovation to new products and new companies. The Center’s university partners include Carnegie Mellon University, Lehigh University, The Pennsylvania State University and the University of Pittsburgh.