Technology Translation Director

Massachusetts, United States
28 Nov 2018
End of advertisement period
26 Dec 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

Duties & Responsibilities

The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University was formed based on the recognition that breakthrough discoveries cannot change the world if they never leave the lab. The Institute’s mission is to discover the biological principles that Nature uses to build living things and to harness these insights to create biologically inspired engineering innovations to advance human health and create a more sustainable world.  
Since its launch in 2009, the Institute has developed a new model for innovation, collaboration, and technology translation within academia, breaking ‘silos’ to enable collaborations that cross-institutional and disciplinary barriers. Institute faculty and staff engage in high-risk research that leads to transformative breakthroughs. The biological principles uncovered are harnessed to develop new engineering solutions for medicine and healthcare, as well as non-medical areas, such as energy, architecture, robotics, and manufacturing. 
The Institute’s technologies are translated into commercial products and therapies through collaborations with clinical investigators, corporate alliances, and the formation of new start-ups. This translation pipeline is driven by a unique internal business development team, including entrepreneurs-in-residence who bring domain-specific expertise, that works closely with academic faculty, students and fellows, as well as with the Institute’s Advanced Technology Team (ATT), a group of expert technical staff who have extensive prior industrial experience in product development, project and team management. The ATT members help build and lead integrated technology development teams focused on high-value applications and they catalyze communications and interactions across the Wyss Institute to ensure that the institute members remain at the leading edge of technology translation.
Reporting to the Wyss Institute’s Director, the Technology Translation Director will be responsible for the management of all business development and translation efforts, as well as the management of the Institute’s research and development activities. More specifically:

  • Managing all Institute business development and technology commercialization activities, in close collaboration with Harvard University’s Office of Technology Development (OTD).
  • Integrating technology development and business development activities at the Institute by working with the Institute Director to align staff, faculty, and collaborators around the Institute’s mission and goals.
  • Working collaboratively with the Institute’s Director and Administrative Director and the Institute’s Board of Directors to develop the Institute’s long-term strategy.
  • Working with Institute Core and Associate faculty across all Institute collaborating institutions to implement and manage all research and development efforts at the Institute.
  • Overseeing day-to-day research operations, including supervision of the ATT members and other technical staff and development and mentorship across numerous functional and technical areas.
  • Developing and maintaining valuable close working relationships with corporate partners and potential investors.
  • Supporting the Institute Director in philanthropic fundraising efforts that include individual, corporate, and foundation donors.

Basic Qualifications

Advanced degree required. 10 or more years of experience including demonstrated success in leading organizations in a complex environment; relevant experience involved with licensing, technology transfer, corporate partnering, business development, or business incubation in an industrial and/or academic setting.

Additional Qualifications

Demonstrated track record of leadership and management within a world-class technology-focused organization. Ability to work with and align cross-functional teams towards heightened execution of an organizational mission. Understanding of patent law and technology transfer. Strong network in the Boston area and beyond among academia, investors and industry. Previous experience in fast paced, startup environments. Highly effective communication and people skills, comfortable with external visibility. A talented mentor, particularly of aspiring entrepreneurs, scientists, and engineers. Self-starter and action focused. Team player and an unequivocal people person with strong work ethic, who can work with individuals of all types, functions and roles and responsibilities. Demonstrate a can-do mindset and be able to inspire others towards the achievement of goals. Effective at working with, guiding, and mentoring staff at all levels. Ability to collaborate and thrive in a wide range of leadership and leadership styles (academic, industrial, government). Profound curiosity and a willingness to learn and expand oneself. Scientific or technical educational background and/or professional experience. MBA strongly preferred. Experience working in the academic/non-profit sector is a plus.

Additional Information

This is a retained search through Park Square Executive Search. Please send all resumes, cover letters, and correspondence to Bruce Rychlik: bruce@parksquare.com.

Job Function

General Administration


Wyss Institute


USA - MA - Boston


Wyss Institute

Time Status



00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Salary Grade


Pre-Employment Screening

Credit, Criminal, Education, Identity

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.