Mohamed Abousalem

Vice President for Research and Innovation

Phone: 408-924-3318


Mohamed Abousalem was appointed in June 2019 as SJSU’s inaugural Vice President for Research and Innovation (VPRI) and the President of the Board of Directors of the SJSU Research Foundation. Mohamed has served in a variety of teaching, research and business leadership positions for three decades. 

In his previous role as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of California Santa Cruz, Mohamed was responsible for the management of the university’s technology transfer, commercialization, and entrepreneurship support programs. Within one year of assuming his role, he developed the innovation and entrepreneurship strategy, revamped the administrative framework for the tech transfer operation, doubled the annual number of invention disclosures, and secured $2.2 million in state funds for entrepreneurship support. Through successful community partnerships, he established a biotech wet-lab incubator in Santa Cruz and a technology startup accelerator in Silicon Valley.

Mohamed’s technical and business management experience is far-reaching and includes positions in academia as well as the non-profit and industry sectors. Prior to joining UC Santa Cruz, Mohamed was the founding chief executive officer of TECTERRA, a Canadian not-for-profit organization supporting innovation and technology commercialization. Under his leadership, TECTERRA invested over $37 million in supporting 200 startup companies across Canada and 25 applied research projects in Alberta, which generated over $325 million in economic impact and prosperity for the entrepreneurs and companies supported, the applied research institutions involved and the community. TECTERRA continues to operate to this day as a flagship innovation support program with significant and growing economic impact.

Prior to TECTERRA, Mohamed had several executive management roles in industry with responsibilities including product development, corporate development, general management, marketing communications, and human resources. In these roles, he developed and launched major technology solutions, strategic alliance programs, and corporate strategies for various worldwide market segments. Mohamed’s earlier research work in the development and application of the global positioning system (GPS) technology was successfully incorporated in the products and technologies of several companies in the USA and Canada.

Mohamed has a B.S. in civil engineering from Alexandria University, Egypt; an M.S. and Ph.D. in geomatics engineering from the University of Calgary, Canada; and an MBA from Santa Clara University. 


The VPRI leads the planning, administration, and evaluation of university research facilities, centers, institutes, and support services, as well as the allocation of funding for research and innovation programs and activities. His team is responsible for identifying, securing, and maintaining extramural funding from governmental agencies, private foundations, businesses, and industry, as well as for developing public-private partnerships that foster innovation and grant collaborations. The VPRI’s vision is to build and strengthen the SJSU administrative infrastructure necessary to support our growing faculty-led research programs to provide the needed experiential learning to all SJSU students. With increased resources, focused training, and efficient support services for our researchers, SJSU will grow its public impact through research, scholarship, and creative activities. 

Virtual Office Hours

The VPRI will be available every Tuesday from noon to 1 pm to discuss process, policy, and resource questions related to research and innovation at SJSU. We ask that you reserve a 20-minute window during these office hours by emailing Minh Chau Barr who will schedule the Zoom room.

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