Director of Biotechnology Incubator
Southern Research (SR) is a translational research institute that transforms ideas into innovation, and innovation into jobs and economic opportunity. SR recently unveiled a new strategic plan centered on making Birmingham and Alabama national biotech centers of excellence in partnership with Alabama academic institutions, policymakers, educators, and economic development organizations.
Southern Research is at a pivotal moment in its 80-year history. At the start of 2022, SR launched a new strategic plan focused on translational research in the life sciences. SR will invest over $150 million in this new strategy, including development of new facilities, platforms, and programs. We believe in the power of SR and our partners to unlock the immense potential of Alabama's biotech ecosystem to spur economic development, create jobs, and draw investment. Downtown Birmingham sees over $700M in extramural biomedical research every year, including over $300M from the NIH, in large part due to the contributions of Southern Research and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. We are on a mission to translate our R&D volume into investment and jobs for Alabamians.
Critical to this strategy is the development of commercialization infrastructure to bring new inventions to market. Among other commercialization programs, Southern Research is planning the launch of a biotechnology incubator, which will provide below-market wet lab space and entrepreneurial support programming to biotech startups. The Director of the Incubator will be responsible for the end-to-end leadership of the program, which will launch in January 2024. If you are looking to take the reins on a transformative program for Birmingham's emerging biotechnology ecosystem: this role is for you. We are looking for an energetic and nimble executor who thinks critically, relishes details, effectively collaborates with a diverse array of stakeholders, and has demonstrated an interest in scientific research, commercialization, and economic growth.
- Strategic Planning
- Co-develop the strategic plan for the Incubator, including refining and operationalizing the business plan, financial model, prospective organizational structure, legal & operational considerations, including systems, processes, and facilities
- Co-develop other mission-critical launch activities, such as the development of new branding and marketing materials
- Oversee building and construction teams responsible for creating the incubator space
- Plan and coordinate a market launch for the Incubator in Q4 2023
- Assist in the development of selection criteria for startups and oversee the sourcing, recruitment, and onboarding of startups to the program
- Assist in the development of first-in-class programming to support biotechnology startups in the Incubator, including but not limited to workshops, coaching sessions, networking events, community building offerings, etc.
- Assist with the identification and pursuit of licensing opportunities, funding sources, or other partnerships for Incubator companies
- Development and Growth
- Engage with founders to understand company needs and develop relationships that drive company growth and success
- Upon growth of the Incubator, hire a team of other incubator managers to help operate the incubator facility and support startup companies
- Works directly with Chief Business Officer and other SR executive leaders to identify, shape, and prioritize objectives across strategic projects relevant to commercialization and startup growth
- Coordinates with members of SR's growing Business and Commercialization division to identify common objectives and opportunities, including with SR's Business Development team, the Alabama Drug Discovery Alliance, a prospective seed investment fund, and other initiatives
- Represents Southern Research externally at community events
QUALIFICATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS
- Advanced educational degree, certification, or commensurate work experience in biomedical sciences, pharmacology, chemistry, finance, or a related field
- Experience writing grants, preferably SBIR and STTR or other commercialization-related grants
- Strong ability to communicate scientific and business strategy concepts, including through memos, reports, and slide decks
- Comfort in a dynamic work environment, collaborating with stakeholders across divisions of the organization
- Ability to promote new programs (i.e. Incubator) through social media and other channels
- Familiarity with building financial models, pitch decks, and other materials to support licensing and partnership opportunities
- Experience with building teams to support a common goal
- Willingness to travel to build startup pipeline and/or industry, venture capital partnerships
- Passionate about translational research, commercialization of new technologies, and innovation-driven economic development
ABOUT SOUTHERN RESEARCH
Southern Research (SR) represents a bold vision for an enduring industry-university partnership that advances research and discovery in life sciences and engineering. As we celebrate our 80th anniversary, we are making transformational decisions to reinvigorate the institute by focusing our efforts to attract, retain, and develop top talent, and ultimately create jobs through translating ideas into innovation, and innovation into economic opportunity.