University of Alberta

Innovation Coach

MED Dean Administration

Competition No.  -    A104433943
Closing Date  -    Will remain open until filled.

The Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta is a premier academic health sciences centre, dedicated to advancing health through teaching, research and patient care.

Part of the Faculty's strategic planning efforts involve fostering a culture of innovation in health and wellness with the aim to generate transformational improvements in health and care. To do this, we have created an 'Innovation Framework' to support innovation, product development and entrepreneurship by our faculty members and trainees. The Faculty's new Innovation Coach will play a pivotal role in the Faculty's Innovation Framework and will lead the ‘Commercialization and Company Creation’ portfolio and initiatives. The position will provide expert information and mentorship to faculty members seeking to translate their research findings into commercial products and to create companies.

The successful applicant will be a seasoned entrepreneur and will have significant knowledge and expertise in the field of health innovation, the landscape of business development/support programs, commercialization and company creation. They will assist in the development of a thriving culture of innovation in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.

The Innovation Coach is a direct report to the Dean, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta, and works in partnership with the Faculty's Executive Director of Innovation. The position is outward reaching and relates to a diverse group of provincial and federal stakeholders that includes university (academics, entrepreneurs and senior executives), Alberta Innovates, Alberta Health Services, the Government of Alberta (Ministry of Health; Ministry of Economic Development and Trade), TEC Edmonton, potential investors, and multi-national pharmaceutical and diagnostics companies.

Responsibilities include:

  • Work with Faculty members who have received funding awards from Alberta Innovates, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Genome Canada and elsewhere, to ensure that the tangible value and commercial potential created by the research is captured
  • Develop an inventory of early-stage innovations with commercialization potential and provide advice to our researchers to foster these forward
  • Develop and manage the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry’s component of the 'Health Innovation Incubator' in Enterprise Square; connect Faculty entrepreneurs and spin-out companies to the incubator
  • Secure meaningful one-on-one mentorship from corporate Canada (pharmaceutical, diagnostics, medical device, digital health companies) for each Faculty spin-out company; define the mentorship relationship so that it is meaningful and sustainable
  • Develop and manage the JLABS-POD@ALBERTA initiative that will connect Faculty researchers and entrepreneurs to JLABS and J&J Innovation
  • Work with J&J Innovation (USA) to create a competitive mentoring program for academic entrepreneurs and trainees 
  • Showcase Faculty research and technologies to biomedical industry for the purpose of partnership
  • Work with Faculty's academic entrepreneurs to understand their research and business objectives and provide intelligence, advice and support across all domains of business development
  • Investigate and assess the commercial viability of various technologies, technological concepts and products and services arising from the Faculty
  • Function as a 'portal of entry' into business funding opportunities available through provincial and federal agencies (Alberta Innovates, MITACS, Ministry of EDT, TEC Edmonton, etc.)
  • Coordinate and advise on company formation when feasible
  • Support development of 'business, product, commercial and services' plans and strategies for company leads and academic entrepreneurs
  • Assist with recruitment of Board members and executives for companies
  • Facilitate growth opportunities for companies
  • Coordinate appropriate Intellectual Property review
  • Provide educational experiences to Faculty members (seminars, workshops) to inform researchers about business and commercialization best practices with the goal of building a commercialization/innovation culture on campus
  • Establish a training and exchange program with industry partners for our graduate students and entry level faculty
  • Create a program of communication and activities for Faculty spin-out company leads
  • Contribute content regarding commercialization plans/strategies to grants and funding bids on behalf of our academic entrepreneurs and their innovation
  • Develop and implement a process and metrics to track progress and impact of entrepreneurship, commercialization and education activities provided by this role (program evaluation)  

The successful candidate will be a seasoned entrepreneur who has (in the past) created and led a successful company in the health sciences sector. They will fully understand the innovation product life cycle and will provide expert advice on research requirements, product development, the regulatory environment, technology transfer, commercialization approaches, financing and more – to the Faculty’s academic entrepreneurs. The individual will themselves possess a strong network of external partners/colleagues in the biotechnology industry including those in the pharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostics and/or health analytics sector. In addition, the Innovation Coach will be skilled in project management, mentoring, and professional relationship building. The position requires a PhD in biomedical sciences.  

In accordance with the Sessional and Other Temporary Staff agreement, this position has a term length of one year, with the possibility of extension, offers a comprehensive benefits plan found at www.hrs.ualberta.ca and an annual salary range of $65,906 to $109,772. Salary will commensurate with experience and qualifications. 

How to Apply

Apply Online

Note: Online applications are accepted until midnight Mountain Standard Time of the closing date.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. If suitable Canadian citizens or permanent residents cannot be found, other individuals will be considered.

The University of Alberta is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.