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Executive Director, Intellectual Property, Innovate Calgary

Job ID: 27466
Location: Main Campus
Updated April 13, 2023

This job posting is no longer active.

We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta.
The City of Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Districts 5 and 6.

Position Description

Innovate Calgary


About Innovate Calgary 

Innovate Calgary supports researchers, innovators, and companies from the University of Calgary across Alberta and beyond. Our mission is to guide the development of innovation-driven enterprises on behalf of the University of Calgary and government partners, maximizing the economic and social impact their work has on our city, province, and the world.


  • As the University of Calgary’s innovation agent, we assist researchers and clinicians with translational and commercial needs, including research partnerships, management of intellectual assets, patenting and licensing of technology, healthcare systems navigation, and company formation, incubation, and seed investment.
  • Working with partners, we support Alberta-based SMEs with IP services, from awareness and strategy to financial support for implementation. 
  • As a partner in the development of the University Innovation Quarter (UiQ), we manage two themed accelerator hubs (Health & Life Sciences and Social Innovation). With partners in the Calgary Innovation Coalition, we manage the Energy Transition Centre in downtown Calgary, the business centre of Alberta’s Energy industry.

How We Work
Innovate Calgary has 50 full-time permanent staff and works collaboratively with external advisors and partners in the delivery of services to achieve our goals and those of our stakeholders. In addition to a central corporate group, we operate with four stakeholder-facing business groups: 

  • Intellectual Property – IP services for UCalgary researchers and SMEs in Alberta
  • UiQ – Accelerator services both at the University and in downtown Calgary
  • UCeed – Investment fund management ($18M AUM); today, we have five funds - health, child health, social, student-managed all-tech, and energy
  • IMPACT – Health systems navigation for SMEs

Position Summary
We are seeking an exceptional candidate to lead the Intellectual Property group. The Executive Director will report to the President and CEO. In addition to IP leadership, the Executive Director will have responsibilities in all phases of office operations, including business development, industry partnerships, technology licensing, and startup creation. We are seeking candidates with either a life sciences or energy background. 

Primary Tasks and Responsibilities 


  • Develop and lead our suite of IP programs to support UCalgary researchers and SMEs in Alberta;
  • Lead and develop a team of IP professionals, including training and management of staff;
  • Participate in the UCeed investment process and provide due diligence support on IP matters;
  • Integrate internal IP programs to support key partners; and 
  • Develop and report on our IP portfolio.


  • Advance innovations to market through research partnerships, licensing, and company creation;
  • Develop business opportunity and commercialization plans for innovations, research consortia, and startup ventures;  
  • Negotiate terms and conditions of contractual agreements;  
  • Provide advice and assistance to university and government authorities regarding intellectual property rights and commercialization practices; and 
  • Mentor university researchers and entrepreneurs in all phases of research administration, intellectual property management, and innovation commercialization. 

The Executive Director works closely with staff, external patent counsel, entrepreneurs, investors, inventors, senior university administrators, and corporate partners. The position requires excellent communication, decision-making, and organizational skills; market-based analytic judgment; the ability to prioritize and monitor multiple competing deadlines; and excellent interpersonal skills to work with a diverse constituency of higher education, government, and business personnel.  

  • Advanced degree from an accredited college or university; 
  • Ten years of management experience; 
  • Understanding of scientific and legal principles upon which to base business decisions; 
  • Expert knowledge of intellectual property laws and business practices; 
  • Skilled in negotiating terms and conditions of contractual agreements; and
  • Refined negotiation and strategic thinking skills for sustained high-level interactions to source and close deals. 


  • Ph.D./MBA; and 
  • Business development experience in a commercial environment. 

Interested applicants should forward their cover letter and resume to [email protected]

We thank all applicants for their interest; however, we will only contact those we need further information from or who are being considered for an interview.

Application closing date: Open until candidate is found

Innovate Calgary is an equal opportunity organization committed to building and fostering a fair and inclusive community that values diversity and encourages respect for all. We welcome applicants across any race, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, Indigenous status, or any other legally-protected factors. We recognize the value of identifying and removing barriers for any applicants interested in participating in our programs. Please contact us at [email protected] to start a conversation about the different accommodations available.