The University of Alabama (UA) seeks an experienced Director for its Office for Innovation and Commercialization (OIC) within the Office for Research and Economic Development. This position, reporting directly to the Assistant Vice President for Research and Technology Agreements, is a full-time 12-month administrative position at UA. The primary mission of the Office for Research and Economic Development is to encourage research, instruction and public service through support of faculty and UA personnel in the pursuit and administration of externally funded grants and contracts, in compliance with the requirements established by Federal and State laws, sponsor rules and regulations, and UA policies and procedures. The Director of OIC requires an experienced professional with excellent communication skills and expertise in intellectual property assessment, commercialization and new business start-ups based on university intellectual property. The Director will be a key member of a team focused on implementing a comprehensive program of supporting innovation, technology transfer, commercialization and economic development activities. This position is vital to UA and will be joining at an important time, since both the Office for Research and Economic Development (ORED) and UA have recently launched Five-Year Strategic Plans that jointly articulate UA’s vision for its research and economic development missions.
UA, having doubled in size since 2002, has been the nation’s fastest-growing flagship university. UA currently enrolls more than 38,500 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, and now attracts more than half of its students from out-of-state. Additionally, in recent years UA has invested $2.5 billion in campus buildings and infrastructure, including over $400 million in world-class research facilities. As part of the Peter Bryce Campus acquisition, UA also has significant land and facility holdings available for allocation to the research mission. External grants and contracts for research, instruction, service and fellowship reached record levels for UA in fiscal year 2018 and have grown by 85 percent over the last five years. In December 2018, the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education designated UA as a Very High Research Activity doctoral university or “R1.” This is the nation’s highest level of research activity for institutions that grant doctoral degrees and places UA among the most elite, public or private, research universities in the United States. With the new Vice President for Research and Economic Development starting in January 2019, UA has placed a much greater focus on business engagement with the goal to become the ‘go to’ university for public-private partnerships.
On June 1, the Office for Research and Economic Development launched its Five-Year Strategic Plan to help facilitate the growth and impact of the research enterprise.
The Strategic Plan focuses on growing and developing faculty as well as significantly increasing the size and impact of research and scholarly activity. The ORED plan has six strategic themes including research environment, research institutes, transformative initiatives, translating intellectual property, economic and business engagement, and assessing progress and impact. The major goal of the Economic and Business Engagement theme is to develop strong partnerships with external stakeholders, especially industry, in order to increase the number of sponsored projects and, at the same time, create career opportunities for UA students through these partnerships.
• Provide oversight, supervision and management for activities within OIC • Effectively manage partnerships with outside IP and technology consultants and/or firms • Review and evaluate invention disclosures and manage the prosecution of all patents • Engage with faculty and UA employees to inform them of, and encourage participation in, technology development opportunities • Represent OIC and UA at various local, state and national meetings • Oversee the development and implementation of marketing plans to identify prospective industry development partners for UA owned inventions • Use a variety of resources to analyze business practices and financials of interested prospective business partners • Assist in the development of criteria and processes to assist faculty and students in determining whether UA-developed intellectual property is more suitable for licensing or a start-up venture • Originate, draft, negotiate, and manage a portfolio of agreements, including Material Transfer Agreements, Confidential Disclosure Agreements, licenses, etc. • Develop and conduct educational programs designed to train UA employees about technology transfer issues, such as invention disclosures, patents, licensing and confidential information • Promote increased awareness of the importance of patents and encourage submission of invention disclosures at an early stage of development • Manage the IP Gap Fund Program • Manage, market and coordinate the Tide Research Partnership (TRP) Program • Chair the UA Intellectual Property Committee and fulfill its charge to assess and evaluate the scientific, technical, and commercial potential of UA intellectual property • Collaborate with other UA economic development units within ORED and across campus • Perform other related duties as assigned.
• Master's degree and five (5) years relevant experience or Bachelor's degree with ten (10) years relevant experience in the strategic management of intellectual property • Working knowledge of intellectual property law, major areas of scientific advancement, technology marketing, investment strategies, and business law and processes • Demonstrated organization, leadership, interpersonal and communication skills through successful outcomes in academic, industrial or governmental positions • Evidence of being goal-oriented, ability to multitask, prioritize, and manage time effectively • History of successful and effective staff management and professional development
In addition to meeting the required qualifications, the preferred candidate will ideally have one or more of the following:
• PhD or JD • Prior successful experience working in and/or managing a technology transfer office or unit • Prior experience working in a comprehensive research-intensive university environment or government research organization • Experience with Inteum and I-Edison electronic administration systems • Involvement in national associations relating to intellectual property and technology management
Application materials should include: 1) a full and updated resume, 2) cover letter summarizing the interest in the position and how the minimum qualifications and any preferred qualifications are met, and 3) a list of four references with full contact information. However, references will only be contacted after written consent of the candidate.
Background Investigation Statement: Prior to hiring, the final candidate(s) must successfully pass a pre-employment background investigation and information obtained from social media and other internet sources. A prior conviction reported as a result of the background investigation DOES NOT automatically disqualify a candidate from consideration for this position. A candidate with a prior conviction or negative behavioral red flags will receive an individualized review of the prior conviction or negative behavioral red flags before a hiring decision is made.
Equal Employment Opportunity: The University of Alabama is an Equal Employment/Equal Educational Opportunity Institution. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment or volunteer status without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, age, genetic or family medical history information, disability, protected veteran status, or any other legally protected basis, and will not be discriminated against because of their protected status. Applicants and employees of this institution are protected under Federal law from discrimination on several bases. Follow the link below to find out more. "EEO is the Law" Poster
Internal Number: 510187
About University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
As the state’s flagship university, The University of Alabama family has always focused on being the best. After all, we are The Capstone of Higher Education. Founded in 1831 as the state’s first public college, The University of Alabama is dedicated to excellence in teaching, research and service. We provide a creative, nurturing campus environment where our students can become the best individuals possible, learn from the best and brightest faculty, and make a positive difference in the community, the state and the world. You’ll like what you find here. Become part of The University of Alabama family.