Director, Commercialisation – Macquarie University in Australia

Please note: this job has already been filled by Gardner Innovation Search Partners.

Macquarie University in North Ryde, Australia was established in 1964 as a bold experiment in higher education. Built to break from traditions and work in tandem with industry, they strive for the extraordinary by challenging convention and embracing different views.

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The Office of Commercialisation leads the identification, assessment, protection and commercialisation of the University’s intellectual property assets and is responsible for developing and implementing the University’s commercialisation strategies and initiatives.

As one of Australia’s leading research universities, the office brings together the best minds in industry, research, and academia. With their team of experts, state-of-the-art facilities and ability to make influential connections, the Office of Commercialisation helps researchers and faculty gain a competitive edge in the market.

The Office of Commercialisation sits as part of the portfolio of the Pro Vice-Chancellor Research, Innovation and Enterprise, which collectively provides strategic and operational leadership on all matters relating to research and development, consultancy, innovation, translation, commercialisation, entrepreneurship, start-up company incubation and corporate partnerships. The role oversees the implementation of processes that advance and sustain relationships in the interests of the University and its partners.

Read more about the office at

Director, Commercialisation Duties & Responsibilities:

The Director of Commercialisation will provide strategic direction, advice and training on all aspects of intellectual property and technology commercialisation; develop, drive and implement commercialisation strategies and initiatives aligned to the University’s strategic research priorities; and develop and implement frameworks, policies, procedures and processes to govern intellectual property creating impact.

Key accountabilities include:

  • Lead the management, transfer, uptake and commercialisation of University intellectual property, actively liaising with relevant University governance and management structures
  • Lead a team of technology transfer and intellectual property management professionals, achieving outstanding client service and meeting office KPIs.
  • Develop, implement and oversee the continual improvement of frameworks, policies, procedures and processes to govern intellectual property and ensure data integrity and adherence to all legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Negotiate commercial and contractual terms for complex intellectual property and commercialisation matters.
  • Establish new relationships and grow existing relationships with relevant industry organisations and the investment community to enable the identification of commercialisation opportunities, promotion of University innovations and delivery of expected commercialisation outcomes.
  • Support commercialisation efforts and entrepreneurship within the University’s research community, including through education and training.
  • Act as a University representative in the negotiation of contracts involving intellectual property and commercialisation matters.
  • Lead the business development and project management activities of individual commercialisation opportunities (focusing on the expertise area) with respect to researcher liaison, assessment and evaluation of innovation notification opportunities.
  • When commercialisation is a valid path forward, lead IP protection, pitching, structuring and negotiation of agreements pertaining to desired commercialisation outcomes (such as straight licences, Options to Licence, university spinouts and sale of IP assets).
  • Conduct due diligence on IP ownership and potential industry partners.
  • Provide specialist advice and expertise to stakeholders in the areas of deal structuring and term sheet negotiations.
  • Manage post-agreement-compliance.
  • Oversee the continual improvement of University frameworks, policies, procedures and processes to govern intellectual property and its management.
  • Provide expert advice to the Pro Vice-Chancellor Research, Innovation and Enterprise and other university stakeholders on all aspects of technology transfer and intellectual property management and commercialisation.
  • Provide expert input into the preparation of the University’s internal reports and submissions to external agencies.
  • Provide expert advice to, and actively participate in, University committees relating to intellectual property and commercialisation.
  • Promote awareness of intellectual property and its commercialisation to the University community and provide training to researchers
  • Develop and manage the office budget, which is approximately ~$1.3 million.
  • Comply with relevant EEO and WHS regulations.
  • Perform any other duties as required and as appropriate for this classification.


The total remuneration package offered for this position is $200-250,000 AUD (~$140,000-175,000 USD) inclusive of a minimum of 10.5% paid into a superannuation fund (this is a legislative requirement)..

Here is the Macquarie University Director, Commercialisation Position Specification with further details.

Director, Commercialisation Qualifications

The ideal candidate will possess the following skills, knowledge, and experience:


  • Postgraduate qualification and/or equivalent experience in a field of relevance.
  • Advanced knowledge of the higher education and innovation sectors.
  • Knowledge of relevant government systems, structures and funding opportunities relating to commercialisation.
  • Extensive experience in identifying, evaluating and commercialising IP, technologies, products and services.
  • Knowledge of university-related spin-out and start-up company formation, governance and management
  • Superior knowledge and understanding of commercialisation, intellectual property, deal structuring and negotiation.
  • Strong working knowledge of due diligence, conflict of interest identification, ethics and code of conduct policies and guidelines.
  • Excellent interpersonal, relationship building, influencing, negotiation and team working skills, with the ability to interact and communicate effectively and sensitively with individuals from a range of backgrounds and at all levels within a complex organisation.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills for a range of audiences including preparing communications and reports for an executive audience.
  • Experience developing and managing budgets.
  • A strong understanding of university research culture and a proactive approach to customer service.
  • Ability to work to deadlines.


  • Proven ability to lead, manage and inspire a team.
  • Strategic and strongly analytical mind-set, capable of identifying competitive advantage and converting this into commercial success.
  • Experience working with academic researchers and external partners, including previous experience and understanding of research, learning and teaching in a university context.

Role specific conditions

  • Occasional domestic and international travel
  • Criminal check
  • The role requires an in-person presence at the MQ Campus for the majority of business hours

Director, Commercialisation Applicants

Macquarie University has exclusively retained Gardner Innovation Search Partners to manage this search. Gardner Innovation Search Partners is the top technology transfer recruiter in the world, and is committed to presenting a diverse slate of candidates who possess the skills, expertise, and enthusiasm to thrive in this role.

Interested applicants should send their resume and any questions to:

Lisa Rooney, Recruiter
(740) 251-7390

Gardner Innovation Search Partners is committed to diversity in both people and ideas. Read more about our commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Living in Australia

What is it like living and working in Australia?

  • Australian residents have access to universal healthcare.
  • Nearly all of Australia’s main cities are considered some of the top livable destinations globally.
  • It is one of the easiest countries to obtain citizenship.
  • It is home to some of the most unique animals in the world!

Macquarie University is located on the Wattamattagal Campus within the Macquarie Park Innovation District (MPID) in North Ryde, a suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. One of Australia’s major business districts, the MPID is home to many multi-national corporations such as Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Oracle, Dimension Data and Honeywell.