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Business/Technology Development Manager, University of Minnesota-Duluth/NRRI


Business/Technology Development Manager, University of Minnesota-Duluth/NRRI

Position Background

This role is a shared position within the University of Minnesota (UMN) System, with alignment to both the Office for Technology Commercialization (OTC) and the Natural Resources Research Institute at UMN-Duluth, and will reside in Duluth Minnesota.

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 Summary

This diverse Business/Technology 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.

Job Duties and Assignments:

  • 20% Time, Emphasis NRRI — Identify and execute strategies pertaining to targeting and pursuit of grant opportunities for NRRI; develop and help execute strategies to assemble state, federal, industry consortia to pursue grant funding. Solicit new industry/business opportunities for NRRI. 
  • 15% Time, Emphasis OTC — Engage with a diverse group of NRRl/UMD researchers & faculty to solicit invention disclosures (patents, trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights, etc.); provide commercialization training and guidance to researchers & faculty; ensure appropriate handling of disclosures at OTC,
  • 15% Time, Emphasis OTC — Responsible for IP-related aspects of external sales, professional services, sponsored research, grants, SBIR’s and other grants.
  • 15% Time, Emphasis NRRI — Engage private business entities to to participate with NRRI in grant-funded research and coordinate team activities.
  • 15% Time, Emphasis NRRI/OTC — Drive entrepreneurial/spin-off opportunities from NRRl/UMD to commercialize solutions and actively participate in entrepreneurial ecosystem in coordination with CED.
  • 10% Time, Emphasis OTC — Manage the IP portion (grants, licenses, etc.) of collaborative R&D projects.
  • 5% Time, Emphasis OTC — Participate in weekly conference calls and monthly visits with OTC at UMN-TC campus.
  • 5% Time, Emphasis NRRI/OTC — Host regular workshops pertaining to commercialization in concert with NRRl/CED/UMD – both internal to UMN and external to the communities.

Required Qualifications

  • BA/BS degree with coursework in science, engineering or related field, (Chemistry, Engineering, Physics, Data Science, etc) with at least 8 years of experience including industry and related.
  • Hold a valid driver’s license.
  • Ability to have a flexible schedule and to travel regionally on a regular basis (up to 20%).

Preferred Qualifications

  • MS/MBA degree with coursework in science, engineering or related field, (Chemistry, Engineering, Physics, Data Science, etc) with business management training or experience.
  • 5+ years industry or equivalent experience.
  • 2+ years’ experience in a business development area and/or entrepreneurial roles
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; ability to make decisions consistent with organizational mission
  • Demonstrated experience in identification and pursuit of grant and funding opportunities and preparation of grant proposals, with a track record of success of proposals
  • Marketing and/or technical sales experience
  • Experience in technology licensing
  • Demonstrated experience to lead by influence, contribute as leader and/or collaborator; experience building networks and demonstrated experience to collaborate and work effectively in a diverse and multidisciplinary team environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to initiate and manage business relationships.
  • Demonstrated working knowledge of Intellectual Property (IP) strategy.
  • Demonstrated experience in strategic thinking and ability to simultaneously manage multiple, multidisciplinary projects.
  • Demonstrated ability to set goals and meet metrics; familiarity with project management.
  • Excellent written & verbal communication skills; demonstrated skills in writing, editing and organization of data.

To apply, please visit this link.