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Commercialization Manager (Manager, Life Sciences –NOC 0212)

Technology Transfer and Scouting

Close Date
11 Aug 2017
MaRS Innovation

Reports to: Director, Technology Transfer and Scouting;

Department: Technology Transfer and Scouting;

Terms of Employment: Permanent Full-Time;

Salary Range: $90,000-$100,000 annually, plus eligible for 10% bonus;

Benefits: Health, Dental, Life Insurance, LTD, AD&D, Relocation Assistance (as required), Employee

                Assistance Program and Group RRSP;

Number of Direct Reports: No Direct Reports;

MaRS Innovation Business Address: 661 University Ave, Suite 465, Toronto, Ontario

MaRS Innovation is the commercialization agent for 15 of Ontario’s leading academic institutions including the University of Toronto and its affiliated research hospitals, York University, and Ryerson University. Supported by the Government of Canada through the Networks of Centres of Excellence, by the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Centres of Excellence, and by its members, MaRS Innovation is a transformational partnership that turns research strengths into commercial opportunities through industry partnerships, licensing and company creation. MaRS Innovation represents over $1.47 billion of R&D funding annually, a portfolio of 60 companies, $160M in outside risk capital, and is credited with creating over 400 jobs.

MaRS Innovation works collaboratively with the technology transfer offices at each member institution; our Technology Transfer & Scouting Department provides an additional level of on-site consulting services to some institutions with limited internal technology transfer resources. With a growing emphasis placed on commercialization by funders and other stakeholders in the academic setting, technology transfer is, and will continue to be, a critical function for each of our members.  

Position Summary

  • Reporting to the Director, Technology Transfer & Scouting at MaRS Innovation and working closely with the Office of the Vice-President, Research at St. Michael’s Hospital, the Commercialization Manager will carry out a variety of activities to identify, protect and commercialize technologies arising from research at St. Michael’s Hospital and its Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute
  • The incumbent will be required to work from multiple locations in Toronto, including St. Michael’s Hospital 4 days per week

Key Job Responsibilities

  • Educational and Support Activities:
    • Establish relationships with researchers and develop high-level of understanding of investigator interests at St. Michael’s Hospital
    • Advise academic researchers on the commercialization process, including support on collaborating with industry partners and other academic institutions
    • Identify translational funding sources and support researchers in the development and preparation of commercialization-related grants
  • Commercialization Strategy Development:
    • Identify IP assets, assess the defensibility of such IP and, at a high-level, identify potential freedom-to-operate concerns
    • Preliminary assessments of market potential (i.e. total addressable market size) and competitive landscape (participants and trends in the market) – both with the objective of estimating risk and reward potential
    • Develop commercialization strategies that are consistent with the hospital’s intellectual property policies, including recommended scope of licenses and startup companies
    • Identify appropriate industry partners and establish contact with executives to prepare licenses and collaborative research agreements
    • Identify collaborative translational research opportunities between St. Michael’s Hospital and other MaRS Innovation members
  • Startup-Related Activities:
    • Promote the commercial use of new technologies and hospital assets that may lead to new business ventures, particularly those where the employee-inventor may also act as an entrepreneur
    • Incubate early-stage projects towards key de-risking milestones and support evaluation of such projects by MaRS Innovation for company creation
    • Advise on and critique business models with the objective of ensuring a return on the hospital’s background IP
    • Establish technology transfer framework between St. Michael’s Hospital and startups, i.e. develop and negotiate the license agreement for background IP (copyright, know-how, patents)
    • Participate in the negotiation of a shareholders’ agreement as the hospital’s business representative, ensuring appropriate governance, board representation and equity position for St. Michael’s Hospital
    • Negotiate sponsored research agreements with the startup, on behalf of the hospital
  • Industry Liaison Activities:
    • Advocate on behalf of researchers conducting industry sponsored research 
    • Act as the point of contact for the negotiation of all business and intellectual property related terms and conditions for all translational research partnership-related contracts
    • Monitor committed projects including budgets and outcomes, manage correspondence and monitor compliance with commercialization agreements
  • Intellectual Property Activities:
    • Engage patent counsel to protect potentially patentable, commercially relevant intellectual property resulting from research at the institution
    • Manage the IP docket ensuring timely response to inquiries related to patent filings, prosecution and maintenance

Internal Contacts

  • MaRS Innovation senior management team and staff
  • MaRS Innovation Technology Transfer & Scouting (MITTS) staff

 External Contacts

  • Office of the Vice-President, Research at St. Michael’s Hospital
  • Researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital and its Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute
  • St. Michael’s Hospital clinicians, legal and operations staff

Education/Technical Requirements


  • Undergraduate degree in a technical field; and
  • Graduate degree in a technical field and/or business (MBA or equivalent)
  • At least 6 years of related experience
  • At least 3 years of experience in academic technology transfer
  • Demonstrable knowledge of the medical sciences either through academic or professional experience


  • PhD
  • Technology transfer experience in a hospital environment (with institution-owned IP)
  • Product development or equivalent technical or business development experience in the medical sciences
  • Prior experience in partnership development and negotiation of related agreement.

 Personal Requirements

  • Curiosity about advancements in technology, entrepreneurship and innovation in general.
  • Proven ability to deal with confidential material and sensitive partnership/alliance issues with diplomacy and discretion.
  • Excellent oral, written communication, networking and interpersonal skills.
  • Strong computer, analytical, creative problem-solving and organizational skills.
  • Ability to work independently with minimal guidance and supervision, and function in a team.