Industry liaison officers work with educational institutions and industry
to promote partnerships for research and curriculum development. They try
to get commercial funding for university researchers so that new technologies
can be invented and developed.
Some industry liaison officers also consult with government and acquire
government contracts. Many of these officers bring in millions of dollars
a year for research.
Industry liaison officers are involved in public speaking. They go to meetings,
negotiate with officials and make public presentations. They focus on building
relationships with people from industry and academia.
International travel could be involved.
Industry liaison officers deal with licensing, patents, royalties and matters
around intellectual property law. Those who manage departments need skills
in budgeting, goal development, strategic planning and more. They may also
be required to recruit, hire, supervise and terminate employees.
Bernadette Oreski is the manager of biomedical technology transfer at a
university. She says industry liaison officers have a counterpart in industry.
"If I am researching a patent, my counterpart at the company would be conducting
their own patent research," says Oreski.
Industry liaison officers who are specifically working with industry to
determine industry's needs might be called research industry officers. People
holding these positions typically establish liaisons with industry to determine
a company's research needs. Then they consult with university researchers
to determine if there is an interest in conducting research to meet that specific
"We are different from technology managers because we come in at the beginning
of the cycle," says Pamela Freeman. She is the research partnerships officer
at a university. "Technology managers look for commercial opportunities for
technologies that are already invented."
According to Freeman, this occupation can be suitable for people confined
to a wheelchair. People who are visually impaired could do the work if they
are able to use devices that allow them to read and write, use computers and
access the Internet.