Innovation Expert Retires After Two Decades with Tech Transfer, INVO

By Roger AndersonApril 6, 2017

Becky Crump didn’t invent hard work, but she may have had a hand in the patent.

As associate director at the Innovation and New Ventures Office (INVO), Crump has helped Northwestern faculty bring their creative innovations to the marketplace for nearly two decades.

Her name is associated with more than 1,200 inventions and 400 licensing agreements originating at the University. Well known successes with chemist Tobin Marks and biomedical engineers David Kelso and Vadim Backman have led to practical applications in printed electronics, HIV testing, and cancer screening, respectively.

At an April 3 retirement celebration in her honor, Northwestern faculty, staff, and friends celebrated Crump’s accomplishments, as well as her integrity, compassion, and persistence — even when she was confronted by the most difficult challenges.

“No matter how busy Becky was, she would always take time to think and to do research — the best person I have ever seen doing forensics — before returning with a robust and fair plan for all involved,” said Alicia Löffler, associate provost for innovation and new ventures, associate vice president for research, and INVO executive director. “Becky has been my compass since I arrived at INVO and her unwavering principles, good heart, and honesty have had a tremendous impact on so many of our lives.” 

Crump first came to Northwestern in 1986 to begin work on her PhD. As a graduate student and then one of the first employees with the Tech Transfer office, she helped lay the groundwork for INVO. In retirement, she plans to relocate to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and travel the world.

"As I reflect on what my time at Northwestern has meant to me, I keep coming back to how fortunate I am to have worked with and learned from so many great people," says Crump. "It has truly been a pleasure to have been surrounded by brilliant scientists and engineers as well as the dedicated staff across the University."