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(Little Rock) (AP) – The Arkansas Science and Technology Authority is getting a new president.

Gov. Mike Beebe on Friday named Tim Atkinson of North Little Rock to lead the agency.

The authority’s mission is to advance innovation in science, technology and business in Arkansas.

The 45-year-old Atkinson most recently served as assistant provost and director for sponsored programs at the University of Central Arkansas. Before that, he directed research programs for more than 10 years at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute.

Atkinson starts July 1. He replaces John Ahlen, who has retired.

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