Executive Director and Chief Innovation and Corporate Officer, Office of Innovation and Corporate Relations
The University of Oklahoma is seeking an experienced, dynamic, and visionary leader to craft and implement a framework for supporting the University of Oklahoma’s objectives of enhanced technology commercialization, entrepreneurship, regional economic development, and partnerships with private-sector corporations and investors.
The Chief Innovation and Corporate Officer (CICO) is a senior-level administrator responsible for creating and managing the new Office Innovation and Corporate Relations (OICP) that integrates the university’s offices and efforts in technology commercialization, entrepreneurship, and corporate partnerships for sponsored research and education. Reporting to the Vice Presidents for Research and Partnerships at the OU Norman and OU Health Sciences Center Campuses, the CICO will stand up the new OICP with the synergistic goals of:
- Enhancing OU’s ability to engage strategically with private sector companies interested in research and educational partnerships and growing private sector sponsored research at all three of OU’s campuses.
- Working with the Governor’s office, state and local chambers of commerce, the Innovation District, entrepreneurs, investors, and other stakeholders to help attract new companies into the Norman/Oklahoma City and Tulsa metro area to enhance local and regional economic development.
- Enhancing the university’s management of Intellectual property and commercialization of technologies in order to facilitate corporate and private sector engagement and enhanced licensing of OU technologies.
- Working with faculty, staff, and students to grow the local entrepreneurial community on the OU campuses and surrounding communities to enhance the university’s ability to launch new companies based on OU Intellectual Property.
The CICO will work closely with the university’s Office of Advancement and with select offices in the State of Oklahoma to build productive relations between OU faculty, staff and students, and private-sector corporations and to facilitate the establishment of strategic research partnerships in key areas of mutual interest. In addition, the CICO will have expertise in negotiating Intellectual Property (IP) and will serve as the university’s senior IP officer. In this capacity, s/he will work closely with the office of legal counsel, the research offices at the Norman and HSC campuses, and others as appropriate to ensure smooth and timely negotiation of the university’s position relative to potential new IP created through research partnerships with industry. In addition to a focus on research partnerships, and working with OU Online, the CICO will ensure that companies approaching the university through the OICP portal will have access to all that OU has to offer when it comes to online workforce training and development.
In addition, the CICO coordinates technology transfer for the entire university and is responsible for managing all OU technology transfer and commercialization operations. He or she oversees a portfolio of hundreds of pieces of intellectual property, including patents and commercial copyrights, and it is expected that under his or her tenure, invention disclosures, newly issued patents, and new royalty-generating licenses will all increase significantly over current numbers. He or she will build productive relations with OU faculty, staff, and students to facilitate the process of disclosing new inventions, evaluating the potential for, and patenting of new IP as appropriate, and negotiating the licensing of OU IP to third parties.
The CICO leads a staff of professionals including individuals with PhDs, JDs, and MBAs and is responsible for organizational planning, hiring, and evaluation of this staff. The position reports to the OU-Norman and OU-HSC Vice Presidents for Research and Partnerships.
SPECIFIC DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES
The Chief Innovation
and Corporate Officer administers the process and documentation required to
move OU knowledge and ideas from the laboratory to the marketplace through
partnerships with the private sector and industry. In this role, the CICO
assists OU faculty, staff, and student researchers with identifying potential
venture capital funds, industry partners, and other stakeholders for their
work, negotiating IP agreements and maintaining and building strong internal
relationships (research administrations, budget offices, college leadership, faculty
and staff contact, outreach, and informative forums) to advance their work.
Additional specific duties and
- Promotes and builds capacity in intellectual
property negotiation and protection.
- Leads and collaborates on the planning,
development and implementation of strategic initiatives and programs that
support the university's mission of research and creative and scholarly activity,
knowledge advancement, and societal impact.
- Works with appropriate University departments and
assists in the development and application of policies and procedures to ensure
the protection and utilization of OU system intellectual property rights, along
with commercial use of OU intellectual property.
- In collaboration with General Counsel,
interprets laws, regulations, and policies to ensure that the university
complies with university, state, and federal policies and procedures associated
with intellectual property negotiations with companies; grants exceptions to
- Establishes and maintains mechanisms for
working with faculty, staff, and students. Develops and presents industry partnering training sessions.
- Working with the VPRP at Norman and the VPR
at HSC, develops annual industry partnership objectives and provides regular
reporting on progress to milestones.
- Develops and maintains a set of appropriate US
peer programs and associated metrics.
- Works with others at OU to partner with local
and state economic development programs in order to maximize and enhance OU
relations with local industry.
- Master’s degree or higher in a scientific,
business, or other related discipline (MBA, JD, PhD) with at least five years of
- Knowledge and experience with intellectual
property, technology transfer, and licensing.
ability to comprehend scientific and technical systems as well as business
needs. Track record of creativity, flexibility, and initiative in planning,
launching, and executing projects and products for commercial markets.
- Knowledge of
federal, state, and higher education institutional rules and regulations.
- Collaborative mind-set and congenial nature to
network and work effectively with faculty, staff, students, administrators,
outside companies, and other external partners.
- Strong negotiating skills and knowledge of
industry practices, with an ability to participate in, advise and oversee
negotiations, drafting, and execution of agreements.
ability to communicate effectively – to present ideas, both in writing and
orally, in an understandable, non-technical manner, with internal and external
- Ability to
function successfully in a matrixed, collaborative environment.
- Excellent oral/written communication,
presentation, and interpersonal skills.
- Experience with conflicts of interest issues
in an academic environment.
- Industry research experience