Executive Director, Innovation and Commercialization Office (Grant-Funded)

Odessa, Texas
Oct 08, 2020
Executive Administration Jobs
Other Executive Administration
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

The University of Texas Permian Basin welcomes applicants for the position of Executive Director, Innovation & Commercialization. The Executive Director will lead UTPB’s Innovation & Commercialization Office, which has university-wide responsibility for facilitating the transfer of university discoveries to the public through the market, and for fostering connections between UTPB inventors and entrepreneurs with prospective external collaborators. The Executive Director will enhance strategic research alliances with private- and public-sector partners looking to innovate and enhance knowledge translation that leads to commercialization of UTPB discoveries and inventions.

Developing and implementing a comprehensive strategic plan, the successful candidate will work to further increase commercialization of UTPB intellectual property and technology transfer, including enhancing and leading the growth and promotion of an intellectual property pipeline and the process of commercialization. The incumbent will manage and promote the operations of ICO, including marketing and administering programs and services internally with faculty and other researchers and with external audiences. ICO will have organizational oversight to coordinate and/or support activities of several initiatives on the UTPB campus. The initiatives primarily housed on the main UTPB main campus (Odessa) include: Blackstone Launchpad and the Roden Center for Entrepreneurship. The initiatives primarily housed at the Midland campus include: Texas Water and Energy Institute, Advanced Manufacturing Center, UTPB Incubator, MakerSpace, and Co-working Space. A collaborative initiative under this umbrella is with the UT-Austin IC2 Institute. The Manager of Technology and Commercialization will be a direct report and administrative assistants will be assigned to facilities under the ICO.

ICO works to establish partnerships between research and industry, providing access to resources including but not limited to capital, financial and UT System legal counsel, as well as business connections. The successful candidate will oversee technology transfer services, including but not limited to invention disclosure, patenting and other protections, as well as licensing and start-up assistance, with the goal of producing economic and societal benefit born from the commercialization of UTPB and UT Systems intellectual property.


• Provide leadership and oversight of innovation and commercialization operations for the whole campus

• Develop and implement a strategic plan to facilitate productive research-based partnerships; lead and support the development of a culture of innovation at UTPB

• Ensure that the ICO operations are integrated and coordinated so that researchers are supported by service-oriented employees responsible for promoting innovation and commercialization; support faculty innovation by developing and maintaining simple and clear processes that support inventors 

• Ensure a responsive and engaging process that links faculty researchers with opportunities and the needs of potential external partners

• Establish and track metrics that illustrate UTPB’s support and successes in tech transfer 

• Engage, foster, develop and grow strategic partnerships and collaborations that enhance the University’s research competencies, reputation and economic impact 

• Serve to connect and support diverse stakeholders in developing and commercializing transformational science • Develop and maintain relationships with external public- and private-sector entities including federal and state agencies, national research centers, foundations, business, and industry

• Represent the university to external agencies and constituents

• Attend and represent the University at national meetings concerning technology transfer, commercialization, licensing and intellectual property

• Provide input representing the university on proposed regulations and monitor national trends in research; benchmark peer institutions’ interpretation of regulations and methods of meeting similar obligations

• Manage multiple ongoing projects with differing degrees of complexity and varying scales

• Collaborate closely with other offices and provide leadership across the University to develop integrated approaches to tech transfer, commercialization, licensing and intellectual property

• Ensure exceptional support of UTPB’s research community in order to catalyze the commercialization process and protect the institution and its research community from risk

• Collaborate closely with other UTPB offices and its leadership to develop integrated approaches to external funding for research

• Work with VPR Communications staff to enhance internal and external communications about the university’s commercialization and tech transfer processes and successes

• Support growth and program development by external grants

• Analyze reports, data and activities

• Other duties, as assigned

Required Qualifications:

• Advanced Degree with a minimum of three years of experience leading technology commercialization, including commercialization of university-based discoveries and academic-industry partnerships

• Must have additional industry experience – ideally, leading commercialization efforts

• Proven record in negotiating, closing and stewarding complex agreements; and, demonstrated success in identifying and developing a broad base of new innovation funding sources

• Entrepreneurial spirit and a strong strategic vision as well as excellent communication skills, proven competence in driving consensus and building effective working relationships, an ability to capitalize on opportunities, strong business acumen, and an understanding of academic and scientific research and innovation

• In-depth knowledge of technology commercialization, licensing, and entrepreneurship

• Experience in supervision and management of staff

• Excellent critical thinking, data analysis, presentation, communication, negotiation, organizational, and relationship-building skills; self-motivated/driven with the propensity for superior judgment and discretion

• Strong computer skills, including proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint

• Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively with team members, faculty, students, alumni, administrators, outside counsel, and nonscientists

• The ability to pass a criminal background check

Preferred Qualifications:

• Preference will be given to those who have direct experience in research, technology development, and/or business analysis in addition to knowledge of intellectual property development, patent, copyright and trademark law, and business incubation. Experience with these activities in a university setting will be considered advantageous

The University offers an excellent compensation package which includes a broad range of employee benefits including free health insurance (employee only) as well as a generous retirement program. We invite you to learn more at www.utpb.edu.


All applicants must submit a UTPB electronic application in order to be considered.  Link to posting at the UTPB Careers site: https://utpb.peopleadmin.com/postings/2733. 

Please include all required documents with your submission.

Unofficial transcripts of all college work are acceptable for purposes of the application. Official transcripts are required upon hire.

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Women and underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

UTPB participates in e-Verify.