Technology Transfer Officer
Innovus is the university industry interaction and innovation company of Stellenbosch University (SU). Innovus is responsible for technology transfer, entrepreneurial support and development, and innovation at the University. We manage the commercialisation of the University’s innovation and intellectual property portfolio through patenting, licensing and the formation of spin-out companies. Innovus also houses the University’s Short Courses and Copyright Division. SunCom, the division that commercialises the univeristy’s assets, is also a part of Innovus.
The key responsibilities of the incumbent will be to work closely with other technology transfer members of Innovus on the following key performance areas:
1. Networking and Marketing
- Establishing and maintaining productive relationships with SU’s academic and research community to stimulate awareness of intellectual property issues and commercial opportunities, and to encourage an innovative and entrepreneurial culture within SU;
- Engaging directly and proactively with academic departments to identify SU’s intellectual property with potential for commercial exploitation;
- Setting up meetings and arranging events to market Innovus on and off campus;
- Actively updating Innovus’s social media and website information with news, events information, etc.;
- Establishing and maintaining relationships with the industry;
- Appropriately marketing SU’s intellectual property to identify and engage commercial exploitation partners / investors.
2. Evaluation and protection
- Grasping technical concepts quickly, and translating these into commercially viable proposals;
- Managing a large and growing portfolio of projects to a successful commercial conclusion;
- Assessing the commercial potential of SU intellectual property based on uniqueness and market potential;
- Advising academics on, and executing the best mode of protection for SU’s intellectual property;
- Identifying appropriate routes to exploitation;
- Analysing business opportunities;
- Preparing and recommending optimal deal structuring of potential spin-out companies and/or licence potential.
- Identifying potential industry partners for specific technology commercialisation opportunities;
- Constant and very proactive liaising with the industry in order to facilitate technology transactions;
- Engaging in technology licensing and new venture formation processes, in particular structuring, negotiating and closing deals;
- Working effectively with key stakeholders, assertively influencing them and where appropriate, showing tenacity and persistence in business development situations.
4. Communication and other duties
- Communicating regularly and effectively with other members of Innovus, including regular meetings with the Director: Technology Transfer, to ensure effective management of SU intellectual property;
- Carrying out such other duties relevant to the post holder’s experience as requested by the Director: Technology Transfer.
Working environment (knowledge of special working practices, breadth of management skill required, customer impact, responsibility, efficiency)
- Analysing intellectual property (IP) to identify the best mode of protection. Making recommendations for the protection of IP to the Director: Technology Transfer and to appropriate academic staff;
- Making recommendations for the exploitation of SU IP to the Director: Technology Transfer, and leading the implementation of these recommendations once agreed upon;
- Identifying and engaging suitable commercial contributing partners and investors;
- Engaging in the structuring, negotiation and closing of licensing deals and new venture formation;
- Liaising with colleagues in the Technology Transfer Team and within Innovus and SU to contribute to the development of good practice in technology transfer.
Freedom to act and decision-making (depth of control, supervision received, use of judgement and initiative, analytical ability)
The incumbent will be responsible for contributing to the delivery of a range of outputs including technology disclosures, protection of SU intellectual property, license and investment deals, and new venture formation.
Communication and networking (liaison with others, type and level of communications)
- Daily communication and networking with Innovus transfer staff;
- Daily communication and networking with other Innovus staff, in particular academic staff;
- Routinely communicating and networking with members of various public and private sector organisations;
- Routinely communicating and networking with investors and commercial partners.
- A postgraduate scientific degree or equivalent qualification;
- Proven experience in a technology transfer office at a university;
- Experience and knowledge of general computer programmes (MS Office), especially with regards to recordkeeping and data-capturing;
- Project management experience;
- Good understanding of the Intellectual Property Rights of Publicly Funded Research and Development Act (51 of 2008) and its Regulations, as well as SU’s Intellectual Property Policy;
- Good knowledge of Technology Transfer systems / processes;
- Practical knowledge of commercialisation and investment networks;
- Good business acumen;
- Good organisational skills;
- Good IT skills, including word processing, spreadsheets (Excel), and e-mail;
- Good communication and numeracy skills;
- Excellent interpersonal and influencing skills;
- Proactive self-starter;
- Ability to support others, and to work as part of a team;
- Flexible and cooperative;
- High energy level, good health;
- Willingness and availability to travel as required throughout the Western Cape and occasionally, the rest of South Africa or abroad;
- Valid driver’s licence and own transport.
- A scientific PhD or Business qualification;
- Experience of working within a scientific environment;
- Proven record of deal completion.
Commencement of duties: As soon as possible, but no later than 1 May 2018.
Closing date: 23 March 2018
Enquiries regarding this post: Anita Nel on 021 808 9477, or on firstname.lastname@example.org
Enquiries regarding remuneration/benefits as well as technical assistance with the electronic application process: Human Resources Client Services Centre on 021 808 2753
The University will consider all applications in terms of its Employment Equity Plan, which acknowledges the need to diversify the demographic composition of the staff corps, especially with regard to the appointment of suitable candidates from the designated groups.
The University reserves the right not to make an appointment.
Your application, comprising a comprehensive curriculum vitae (including the names and e-mail address of at least three referees), must reach the University before or on the closing date of the advertised post.
Apply online at www.sun.ac.za/english/careers
The University reserves the right to investigate qualifications and conduct background checks on all candidates.
Should no feedback be received from the University within four weeks of the closing date, kindly accept that your application did not succeed
*If you apply, please state that you saw this at Science in Africa