Douglas Hutchings, CEO and co-founder of Fayetteville solar tech startup Picasolar Inc., has been named director of the nonprofit Arkansas Research Alliance’s (ARA) ARA Academy of Scholars & Fellows. The appointment was effective July 1.
“The growth and maturity of the ARA Academy made it clear that someone of Douglas’ talent and experience was needed to accelerate the impact of the Academy,” ARA President and CEO Jerry Adams said in a statement. “I have known Douglas for many years, and I am very excited with his addition to the ARA team. He will make an immediate and long-term difference in ARA’s ability to leverage university research to improve the economic future of Arkansas and our nation.”
Hutchings said he will remain with Picasolar in his current role, with “a lot of exciting things” on the horizon. Picasolar is affiliated with the Arkansas Research & Technology Park at the University of Arkansas.
“I have always been a big fan of ARA and all their work,” Hutchings said. “Arkansas has world-class researchers and my role with ARA will be to explore how best to expand the impact of the Academy members.”
The ARA Academy was founded in 2016 and is comprised of ARA Fellows and Scholars from the state’s five major research universities (University of Arkansas, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Arkansas State University, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff), plus the U.S. FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR).
Since its inception, the ARA Academy has expanded to nearly 30 members, bringing together many of the state’s top researchers for collaboration and idea-sharing.