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Business Development and Technology Manager

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The Office for Technology Commercialization (OTC) oversees all aspects of technology commercialization at the University of Minnesota (UMN), bridging the gap between the lab and the marketplace to connect faculty with companies to achieve results. OTC is charged with aggressively seeking commercial partners to license high-potential technologies. OTC contributes to the University’s strategic positioning goals by making promising University-based technologies available to the public (from discovery to utility) and by maximizing the return-on-investment value of University Intellectual Property. Through marketing and licensing of technology, OTC generates financial returns for the institution from licensing fees (in the form of cash, equity, or other consideration), the royalty rate paid on company revenues, patent reimbursement, and development milestone payments.

The Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) is a non-academic applied research organization whose charter is "to foster the development of Minnesota's natural resources in an environmentally sound manner to promote private sector employment". As a unique asset to the University of Minnesota system, NRRI engages in collaborative, applied research to deliver excellence in science, engineering and economic analysis to support  responsible use of natural resources, economic development, and sound, long-term resource management decisions.

Position Description:

This joint position will be a 50% time assignment as Technology Manager to the University of Minnesota Office for Technology Commercialization and a 50% time assignment as Business Development Manager to the Natural Resources Research Institute at the University of Minnesota Duluth . The position will be housed at the NRRI Duluth facility and will interface with NRRI researchers, UMD departments and University licensing managers and will work with public and private sector groups, governmental agencies and industry.

The Technology Manager position is responsible for a variety of functions including technology and intellectual property strategy, technology marketing and assisting with startup company formation. This position formulates and defines systems scope and objectives through research and fact-finding combined with an understanding of applicable business systems and industry requirements. Decisions are guided by policies, procedures and business plans.  Examples of job duties include engaging with a diverse range of researchers to understand technology, soliciting invention disclosures from researchers and providing training and guidance in commercialization; participating in company visits with researchers; identifying licensing targets for technologies; acting as liaison for past/current/future cases already with OTC and as OTC liaison for sponsored research at UMD & NRRI; supporting technology and license negotiations; and identifying executives or other team members for UMN startups in the region.

The Business Development manager position is responsible for working closely with NRRI leadership and researchers to create and lead strategies to effectively target and pursue funding opportunities relevant to the NRRI mission. This position will establish and maintain relationships with funding partners ranging from federal/state legislatures and agencies to foundations, industry and business interests and will also assist NRRI in building state/federal/industrial consortia. Other job duties include working with OTC to drive spin-off of technologies; engage the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem in partnership with UMD’s Center for Economic Development (CED); and organize grant/funding training for NRRI personnel.

Regional travel will be required with monthly visits to the UMN Twin Cities campus and OTC. Initial training will be furnished over a several week period between Duluth and the Twin Cities. The position will report directly to the NRRI Executive Director in collaboration with the OTC Executive Director. 

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