Senior Technology Licensing & Business Development Officer, Plant Varieties – Cornell University

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

The Center for Technology Licensing is Cornell University’s technology transfer office. They manage Cornell technologies from Cornell’s Ithaca campus, Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell Tech, and Cornell AgriTech in Geneva.

The Senior Technology Licensing & Business Development Officer will be instrumental in furthering Cornell’s plant variety licensing efforts. Cornell University’s College of Agriculture & Life Sciences has a long and productive history as an institution known for successfully introducing novel plant varieties with improved disease and insect resistance and cold tolerance to the public.

Cornell™ Grapes

Since 1888, Cornell viticulturists have introduced more than 45 new table, juice, and wine grape varieties adapted to cool-climate growing regions. Cornell University offers research and educational facilities that positively impact not only local winery businesses and tourism, but also present the world with novel varieties that can provide a sustainable future.

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About the Role

The Senior Technology Licensing & Business Development Officer, Plant Varieties will join the Life Sciences Team in the Ithaca office to manage and grow Cornell’s portfolio of plant varieties and their associated intellectual property rights, including plant patents, plant variety protection, and trademarks.  Extensive proactive interaction is required with Cornell’s plant breeders, potential licensees, patent and contract attorneys, industrial scientists, and senior business development executives.  The professional is responsible for:

  • Assessing new plant varieties developed at Cornell for commercial potential and available protection under federal statutes and international agreements as may be appropriate;
  • Using personal contacts and professional experience to target potential licensees to market and license new plant varieties;
  • Leading the drafting and negotiation of terms and conditions of all legal documents needed to complete the licensing of Cornell plant varieties and their associated intellectual property rights for commercial development;
  • Engaging, developing and serving as the primary liaison to Cornell’s plant breeders, while working closely with the Intellectual Property Officer and plant breeders to develop appropriate intellectual property protection strategies;
  • Supervising and managing the Specialist for Plant Varieties and Research Materials and ensuring proactive monitoring of all agreements, due diligence requirements, and upcoming milestones;
  • Actively participating in the training and mentoring of Fellows, Practicants, and student volunteers in Life Sciences;
  • Representing CTL at professional meetings, and showcasing the plant portfolio at technology trade.

The Successful Candidate

  • Master’s degree in life sciences, preferably in plant sciences and/or horticulture, with three to five years of industry experience or hands-on management experience in an academic technology transfer office managing plant varieties, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Forward thinking, team player with prior experience assessing inventions, developing business and negotiating contracts in the technology transfer field.
  • The professional is expected to manage and solve problems in challenging situations independently with limited supervision.
  • Proven ability to interact with a wide range of people in a professional and ethical manner, including faculty, students, business development professionals, and lawyers.
  • Excellent communication skills – listening, presenting, and writing – with proven sensitivity and ability to manage confidential information.
  • 5+ years of experience in an academic technology transfer office preferred.  Previous supervisor experience highly desirable.


Senior Technology Licensing & Business Development Officer Applicants

Cornell 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, a non-confidential deal sheet, and any questions to:

Lisa Rooney, Recruiter

Glen Gardner, Recruiter

Dave Winwood, Recruiter

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

About Ithaca, New York

From Cornell’s website: Cornell’s main campus in Ithaca, NY provides all of the experiences of a traditional college campus, set against the backdrop of a beautiful, welcoming city. With a wide variety of opportunities and unique offerings at every turn, it is a campus so inviting you need to see it for yourself!