Industry Liaison Officer  What They Do

Insider Info

dotIndustry 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.

dotIndustry 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.

dotInternational travel could be involved.

dotIndustry 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.

dotIndustry 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 need.

"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."

dotAccording 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.

At a Glance

Work with educational institutions and industry to promote partnerships

  • Some of these officers also consult with government
  • You could travel internationally for this job
  • A background in business or applied science is good