The head of a Mayo Clinic branch that commercializes its patents and inventions is moving on to a new position with the city of Aurora, Colo.

Steve Van Nurden, chairman of Mayo Clinic Ventures, has been hired as the president and chief executive officer of the Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority in Aurora. That means he will be in charge of developing the 180-acre Colorado Science + Technology Park.

He will start his new job in May.

"Steve is the partner we need to fulfill the promise of the bioscience industry park. His working relationships span nationally and internationally, which will be a great advantage for us," said Steve Hogan, the mayor of Aurora and an FRA board member, in Wednesday's announcement.

Van Nurden has a long history of managing intellectual property created by Mayo Clinic employees, which includes research, patents and inventions. Beside licensing or selling those things to companies, he also helped shepherd the launch of Mayo Clinic-owned biotech firms.

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"Steve has been part of establishing 45 new companies based on Mayo Clinic inventions and intellectual property during his time at Mayo," Mayo Clinic spokesman Karl Oestreich said. "Mayo Clinic will begin a national search to replace him as chair of Mayo Clinic Ventures."

Van Nurden, whose office is in the Minnesota Biobusiness Center, has worked closely with the city of Rochester to attract and keep technology companies here.

He said at a recent conference about economic development and biotechnology that Rochester needs the three M's — money, market and management — to make it an attractive location.