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Our Mission 

Many organizations are seeking to create embedded innovative cultures, entrepreneurial growth and sustained shareholder value.


Whether it is businesses seeking the next product, service or trend, universities seeking to gain commercial impact from their research and intellectual property portfolio, or government agencies seeking to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem.


Arkane Innovation offers the ability to set solid foundations, develop a roadmap and implement a relevant and sustainable strategy.

Similing Team

Who we are

Arkane innovation was founded by professionals with significant global experience in international business, higher education entrepreneurship and technology transfer, corporate innovation, ecosystem development, startup programs and economic development.

We are practitioners who can address the needs of our clients globally including universities, economic
development organizations, government agencies,
businesses, and nonprofits around the world.

Through a rich history of successful initiatives and deep experience, Arkane Innovation has access to our very practical and implementable expertise in building innovation systems. The drive to create, sustain, and improve entrepreneurial activity, commercialization and innovation is a key factor in all economies.

Business Team

Our Team

Through a rich history of successful initiatives and deep experience, Arkane Innovation has access to our very practical and implementable expertise in building innovation systems. The drive to create, sustain, and improve entrepreneurial activity, commercialization and innovation is a key factor in all economies.

Mark Crowell

Co-Founder and President


Bio: Mark provides advice and consulting services in the areas of innovation, engagement, entrepreneurship and translational research to universities, boards, regional and national governing and development authorities, and private industry.

Mark is also Executive Entrepreneur in Residence at the Eshelman Institute for Innovation, UNC-Chapel Hill School of Pharmacy, and a Senior Innovation Consultant for the World Bank. Most recently, Mark was the Vice President for Innovation and Economic Development at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia, where he was responsible for the university’s technology transfer, industry engagement, investment funding, entrepreneurship, and research park operations.

Prior to going to KAUST, he served as founding Executive Director of UVa
Innovation at the University of Virginia; Vice President for Business
Development at the Scripps Research Institute; Associate Vice Chancellor for Technology Transfer and Economic Development at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Associate Vice Chancellor for Technology Transfer and Industry Research at NC State University; and Director of Technology Transfer at Duke University.

Mark was 2005 President of the Association of University Technology
Managers (AUTM), served for five years as Chair of BIO's Technology
Transfer Committee, and was co-chair of the Research Committee of the
APEC Life Science Innovation Forum.

In 2013, Mark received the Bayh-Dole Award from AUTM “in recognition of
his lifetime contributions to advancing academic innovations.”

Dr. Ian Proctor

Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer


Bio: Ian Proctor has spent his career working at the interface of academia,
government and commerce, gaining a detailed understanding of how to
manage for impact at the interactions of research, teaching/training, and
business development, along with the increasing challenges and
opportunities associated with each of these activities within the academic
institutions. Experience in executive roles has allowed him to develop
strategic planning and delivery capabilities and to provide required
leadership and management to meet challenging priorities, targets and


Ian worked at University of Manchester Intellectual Property Ltd (UMIP)
developing a track record for managing projects from initial concept through
development to the delivery of identified aims and objectives; delivering a
number of license agreements with industry which generated returns to the
University and has led on the set-up and financing of spin-out companies,
across a number of industry sectors, including the medical, advanced
materials, energy, oil and gas, and sensors sectors, and has included the
design and transfer of new technology through service providers to end

Ian was Managing Director of Technology Commercialization for Dhahran
Techno Valley Company (DTVC), a new company formed by a number of King
Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) and other stakeholders
to further the technology transfer and commercialization agenda in Saudi
Arabia. It allowed him to develop, refine and leverage networks in the
academic, business and investment sectors – networks which continue to be
critical in ongoing activities in the innovation-based business development
sector. Ian was then recruited to King Abdullah University of Science and
Technology (KAUST) as Director of Technology Transfer. 


Ian works with different types of clients from the World Bank to UK spin-out
companies and with organizations to develop innovation strategies, review IP
project portfolios and speak and an act as a panel member at relevant global
conferences and workshops.

Brian Hayes

 Co-Founder and Chief Consulting and Coaching Partner 


Bio: Brian is an experienced senior executive, chairman and non-executive director. He is currently chairman of Bank of Montreal Europe plc. A former Managing Director and board member of Citibank Europe plc, inter alia, he has also chaired a payment technology the company, was chairman of Dublin City University Educational Trust, chairman of a data science company and chairman of an industry/academic research centre (based in University College Cork,


As well as being a non-executive director, he is a business advisor to industry and mentors the clients of a variety of Government bodies and Universities, including the Industrial Development Authority which promotes foreign direct investment, Enterprise Ireland which supports indigenous industry, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in the Middle East and Royal Gordon University in the UK. 


He was the founder of Citibank’s Innovation Lab and a member of Citibank’s U.S. based Global Innovation Council. He was also appointed by the Irish Government to its research prioritization board. He regularly facilitates strategy, growth and innovation workshops for business and university leaders. 


He has a Master of Science in Investment and Treasury and has also lectured on the Dublin City University Master of Science in Investment and Treasury program for a number of years.

Professor Gordon McConnell

Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer


Bio:  Gordon has significant global experience in senior roles, developing
innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems, supporting economic
development diversification, higher education strategic planning and
implementation and startup programs. This includes supporting the
development of startup accelerators, incubators, co-working spaces and
startup systems for clients. He has developed significant teaching & learning
programs for universities and is has spoken extensively about the interface
between innovation and the future of work and the impact of the 4th
Industrial Revolution on higher education. 


He was a Visiting Director of Innovation role and has the title of (Hon.) Professor of Entrepreneurship at Robert Gordon University in the UK. Gordon was previously VP of Commercial & Regional Innovation at RGU. This involved

supporting the University leadership the development of the university as an innovation-driven entrepreneurial organization. The entrepreneurship
activities in RGU won the Herald Higher Education Award for 'Outstanding
Business Engagement' in June 2019. 


Prior to RGU he was the Head of the Entrepreneurship Center and Professor
of Practice in Entrepreneurship at King Abdullah University of Science and
Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia. During that time he developed
country-wide startup programs, corporate Innovation training for Saudi
companies and launched extensive teaching & learning programs in
innovation, entrepreneurship and the future of work for Saudi university


He was Associate Vice President of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at
Arizona State University, Principal Investigator of the ASU Center of
Excellence in Technology Transfer, which was funded by the US Department
of Defense. Gordon was awarded the title of ‘Arizona Tech Titan’ in 2014 by
the Arizona Business Journal and an Award for Excellence from KAUST in
2015. He was a co-founder of two funded start-up companies the 1990’s and
worked in a number of industry roles including the strategy practice of

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