North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T) might not be able to beat Clemson in football (but, on a good day, who knows?) – however, they recently named a new vice chancellor of research and economic development that they did manage to nab from the South Carolina university known for it its football excellence.

NC A&T has hired Eric Muth, Ph.D. away from Clemson in a move expected to help the university secure more patents and grant money in the future.

Former Guilford County Commissioner Ray Trapp, who now works as director of external affairs for NC A&T, said Muth’s hiring should help continue what has been very nice recent progress. Trapp said the university should see a good deal of grant funding this year from the state.

“When the state passes a budget…” Trapp added.

NC A&T like, a lot of organizations and local governments, is waiting for the state to pass a 2018-2019 budget.

In the meantime, Muth assumes leadership of a research program that’s already seeing significant momentum. For each of the past three years, it’s set institutional records in funding – most recently $64 million in fiscal 2018-2019.

There’s a lot of excitement about Muth coming onboard. When he was at Clemson, Muth chaired the Intellectual Property Committee along with his other duties – such as serving as the associate dean for research and graduate studies and teaching psychology.

As a faculty researcher, Muth published over 100 scientific papers and articles and he also helped bring $8 million in funding to Clemson from the National Institutes of Health, the Office of Naval Research, other federal agencies and a host of private corporations. NC A&T is hoping to see more of that type of funding.

During Muth’s time at Clemson, the school gained more recognition as a research institution, and, according to the Carnegie Foundation’s university classifications, it moved into the top category of national research campuses.

Muth also has significant experience in the private sector: For about 10 years, he was the co-owner of Bite Technologies – a startup that was based on technologies Muth helped invent. One product, the Bite Counter, is a device worn like a watch that tracks the number of times someone raises their arm during a meal – thus helping the person track how much he or she is eating.

NC A&T Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Beryl McEwen said Muth’s hiring should help the university advance in several key areas.

“As a land-grant research university with growing interests in a broad range of scientific areas, we are interested in building on our success over the past few years and moving to a new level of competitiveness and impact,” McEwen stated. “Dr. Muth has the experience and vision to help our faculty researchers accelerate our progress toward those goals, and we look forward to his leadership in this key dimension of our university.”

Earlier this year, NC A&T created three new “Centers of Excellence” to advance research in cyber-security, advanced manufacturing and entrepreneurship. The university also recently announced that it will be the lead institution in a new NC Department of Transportation Center of Excellence in autonomous vehicles.