CTTO Director – Closed


March 2013
Recruitment of a Director of the Central Technology Transfer Office (CTTO)

IUA CTTO Director Newspaper Advert


A core function of Universities in Ireland is to undertake research in order to underpin the production of high calibre undergraduate and post graduate students and also to support the development of the country. In order to maximise the economic impact of this research within Ireland, it is essential to have in place structures and other supports to ensure that Intellectual Property and knowledge which arises from the research is identified, developed towards commercial objectives, protected and transferred to new or existing indigenous and foreign businesses with the aim of creating employment and wealth in Ireland.

The recently published Government Report ‘Putting Public Research to work for Ireland’ details national policy in relation to the protection and exploitation of intellectual property arising from publicly funded research undertaken by public research organisations, including in collaboration with industry. This policy, which it is envisaged will evolve dynamically, will be given effect through the national research and commercialisation infrastructure.

A significant development in that regard is that a new Central Technology Transfer Office (cTTO) is being established on a collaborative basis between Enterprise Ireland (EI) and the Irish Universities Association (IUA).

The IUA, in collaboration with Enterprise Ireland, is appointing a Director of the cTTO office. The person appointed will be a senior person with strong industry background in technology transfer who will lead the cTTO and will coordinate the work of the IUA with the work of EI in this area.

 Role Purpose:

To drive the implementation of recommendations in the report “Intellectual_Property_Protocol_Putting_Public_Research_to_Work_for_Ireland” and in particular to fulfil the role of cTTO as set out in Appendix III of that report.

In addition, the cTTO will act as overall custodian of the IP framework and, in this regard, work closely with the individual Technology Transfer Offices of each Research Performing organisation in Ireland to enhance industry interaction and facilitate knowledge transfer (see appendix III of report).


 Systems to support industry-RPO engagement:

  • Deliver a consistent and predictable approach to IP commercialisation and to the implementation of the IP Protocol, in order to make engagement with the public research system attractive to Industry;
  • Support the negotiation and operation of commercialisation agreements between industry and RPOs, monitor the performance of the National TT system, and ensure compliance with Government policy on research commercialisation;
  • Deliver an efficient and productive IP system which supports and stimulates Industry- RPO engagement, and complements the wider commercialisation role that exists within Enterprise Ireland;
  •  Agree, an annual work plan including performance metrics, with their line manager and the board of Enterprise Ireland, and deliver on this work plan and metrics;
  •  Maintain the National IP commercialisation policy and licensing framework, in consultation with the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation;
  • Develop and Maintain standard documents (e.g. model term sheets and model contracts), definitions, criteria, terms, and templates) to support common commercial approaches; in particular documents associated with further developing the National IP Management Requirements and standard terms associated with multi-party collaborations;
  •  Support all parties in following a consistent interpretation of these documents, processes and definitions of terms and in achieving compliance with these practices throughout the system;
  •  Actively promote and support and the marketing of, Ireland’s RPO’s as a resource for Industry.

Industry engagement with public research:

The cTTO office will;-

  • Act as a central point of contact for companies looking for specific IP opportunities and, where requested, guide them to the most appropriate RPO or expertise;
  • Provide help and guidance to companies new to industry RPO collaboration;
  • Advise on the status of IP within the system nationally as well as what IP is readily available for commercialisation;
  • Create open and active dialogue with Industry groups on regular basis, and maintain broad liaison with Industry;
  •  Promote multi-party collaborations involving multiple RPOs and/ or multiple companies;

Engagement with TTO’s:

  • Manage the administration of the Technology Transfer Strengthening Initiative under the direction of the board of Enterprise Ireland;
  • Monitor the performance of the RPO system in relation to the targets and metrics and in particular those established under the TTSI 2 initiative;
  • Maintain and develop effective links with the TTO offices in Irish RPO’s;
  •  Work closely with these TTO’s to share of best practice and to ensure the consistent adoption and interpretation of National policy to implement change and ensure consistency between different elements of the TT system;
  • In collaboration with the Universities’ existing structures, promote access technologies and academic talent that exists within the RPOs;
  • Raise awareness of, and promote success arising from, IP and commercialisation with a view to promoting greater collaboration with industry in relation to commercialisation;
  •  Support TTOs in the development and implementation of best practices for IP Management processes;
  • Supports the TTOs in implementing changes, sharing good practice and ensuring consistency between those TTOs which are further ahead in implementing the requirements and others;
  • Organise continuous professional development and training for TT Managers and Executives;
  •  Facilitate dispute resolution, as the need arises.

Requirements for the Post:

The cTTO will need inspiring leadership, facilitating an active and open dialogue with RPOs and industry groups on a regular basis. They will need to be capable of understanding the different stakeholders’ perspectives and balancing their different interests and aspirations while bringing coherence to the implementation and evolution of policy, and ensuring that the performance of the system as a whole is enhanced.

Consequently the cTTO Director will need to be able to demonstrate the following skills and capabilities:

  • Strong practice based knowledge and experience in intellectual property and technology transfer, spanning industry and public research organisations including academic institutions;
  •  Strong leadership capability with a proven track record of influencing and negotiating to deliver on a strategy;
  • Drive, tenacity and proven capacity for implementation and the delivery of agreed metrics;
  • Proven relationship management and networking skills;
  • Credibility with both industry and the academic community, based on a proven track record;
  • An ability to lead, manage and motivate high-performing teams within a collaborative structure to ensure the delivery on targets;
  • Knowledge of national and international funding systems for research and commercialisation;
  • Appropriate academic and professional qualifications with substantial and broad experience of dealing with technology transfer and technology management in industry or academia;

Reporting Arrangements

The Director will report, on a day to day basis, to the head of the Research and Innovation Division of Enterprise Ireland in relation to the operation of the cTTO. The cTTO will be based at EI’s headquarters in Dublin.

A core feature of the position is the need to work within a collaborative structure spanning both direct reports within EI, and the Commercialisation Directors and related executives within EI’s research and commercialisation function, as well as the various university stakeholders and other RPOs throughout Ireland. In relation to the universities and IUA, the relevant stakeholders include the Directors of Technology Transfer, the Vice Presidents for Innovation, the Vice Presidents for Research and the University Chief Officers (Presidents/Provost).

The Director will have particular regard to the fact that a central aspect of the role will be to coordinate and drive the implementation of key recommendations made by the Intellectual Property Implementation Group (IPIG) and agreed by Government. As many of these recommendations relate directly to specific policies and practices within the third level sector in Ireland, the Director will, through the established structures of the IUA ensure full and appropriate briefing of, and consultation with, university management in the outworking of those recommendations.

The cTTO Director will also provide reports as required from time to time to the Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Innovation via Technology Ireland.

Consistent with the collaborative approach between IUA and EI, the Director will report on a regular basis to the Council of the IUA through its Chief Executive on relevant issues regarding the development of the national technology transfer system.

Principle Conditions of Service


The position is offered on a four year specified purpose contract, and subject to a period of probation and meeting on-going performance requirements.

The person appointed will abide by standard EI practices and procedures in relation to their conditions of service in EI.


The salary for the position will be commensurate with the seniority of the position reflecting approved rates of remuneration applicable to senior staff in the university sector.


The person appointed will become a member of the IUA Pension Scheme which is a Defined Contribution Scheme funded on the basis of a five percent employee / ten percent employer contribution, with the capacity for further employee contributions if desired.

Annual Leave


Applications to:

Please forward a detailed CV and cover letter demonstrating the competencies and experience listed below by post or email to: Jennifer Cleary, H.R. Manager, IUA, 48 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.

Email: jennifer.cleary@iua.ie

The IUA is an equal opportunities employer.