The focus of this position will be collaborating with the Technology Portfolio Manager, Technology Licensing Officer and UMN Breeders to execute various intellectual property and plant testing-related activities in the Ag/Hort IP portfolio. The Plant Material and IP Logistics Manager will facilitate the movement of plant material (IP) from UMN plant breeders & researchers throughout the world to promote testing and commercialization of plant varieties. This position will participate in identification of appropriate channels and partners to shepherd and track plant material from breeders, including through phytosanitary requirements to export and DUS testing, for IP protection.This person will take the lead in negotiating Plant Material Transfer Agreements (pMTAs) as well as service agreements with IP providers and track plant materials and timelines in Tech Commâ™s SalesForce (SF) database. This individual will work closely with the TPM to keep current on Plant IP laws and regulations.
The Plant Material and IP Logistics Manager will report to the Associate Director of the Technology Strategy Group within the Technology Commercialization office.
Salary Range $85,000-$100,000 Competitive salary based on education and work experience
Position Duties and Responsibilities
Plant Germplasm, Testing and IP Logistics - 50%
Collaborate with University Researchers and Biz Dev/Marketing Manager to determine plant germplasm that has potential for commercial testing.
Identify & manage pathways to get plant material from UMN Breeders to partners (US and international), including for both commercial testing and IP filing purposes (law firms, patent agents, nurseries, industry plant IP managers, and DUS testers).
Negotiate and administer plant material testing (pMTA) and plant service provider agreements (engagement agreements).
Facilitate the transfer of materials from breeders to testers and agents; communicate material needs to breeders and availability to testers.
Clearing Plant IP Encumbrances - 30%
Identify and document plant germplasm encumbrances (ie farmers, land owners, universities)
Research and document contractual IP rights granted to non-federal funding sources (ie Commodity groups etc..), communicate information to funding partners, and enter data into Tech Comm information systems.
Negotiate joint ownership and IIA (Inter-institutional) agreements as necessary with germplasm co-owners
Germplasm Tracking & Database Management - 10%
Update Salesforce database for tracking purposes on plant material movement, dates of first sale and timelines.
Track quantities and location of plant testing material worldwide and determine where and how we can share material with testers.
Communicate with testing partners to determine plant material status
Plant Intellectual Property Expertise - 10%
Keep current on US and international Plant IP laws, through collaboration with Technology Portfolio Manager, law firms, and participation in organizations such as CIOPORA (Community of Breeders of Asexually Reproduced Ornamental and Fruit Varieties)
Seek out new IP partners as needed (nurseries, patent agents, DUS testers, law firms), and negotiate engagement agreements
Work cooperatively with other University functions including Venture Center, Contracts, Finance, Sponsored Projects Administration, Office of General Counsel, faculty researchers, and department heads
The Research and Innovation Office (RIO) and Technology Commercialization (Tech Comm) endorses a âœwork with flexibilityâ approach that offers a welcoming and flexible work environment where everyone is inspired to do their best. Work location options include working fully remote, partially remote, or entirely in the office and are based on the work of the position. Some on-site work may be necessary for certain positions, even those designated as fully remote. Because we are a land-grant institution that serves the state, the University will continue to- in most cases- expect employees to live in Minnesota.
This position has been designated as eligible for flexible work profile three. Flexible work profile three is expected to work remotely more than 50% of the time. Your dedicated office space will be in your remote work location. Tech Comm management retains the right to modify flexible work arrangement agreements on a temporary or permanent basis for any reason at any time.
BA/BS degree in related field plus at least six years of strong technical aptitude working experience or an advanced degree in related field with strong technical aptitude experience
Experience and understanding of the agricultural and/or horticulture industry
Familiarity with plant material pathways and needs of breeding programs who move plant material, commercially test, and protect plant varieties globally
Strong, demonstrated, interpersonal and relationship building skills
Strong, demonstrated, written and verbal communication skills
Demonstrated ability to manage complex relationships with multiple partners
Process and detail oriented
Basic understanding of intellectual property (including plant IP)
Experience with plant material testing and/or plant service provider agreements
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.