It has a new name and a new leader. What was once known as the Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Management Office at Berkeley Lab will now be known as the Innovation and Partnerships Office (IPO). And leading the new effort will be Elsie Quaite-Randall, the Lab’s new Chief Technology Transfer Officer.
Quaite-Randall comes to Berkeley Lab after seven years as Executive Director for the Industry Liaison Office at McMaster University in Canada where she led a team of nearly 20 professionals engaged in IP asset management, proposal development, industry engagement, start up formation and outreach and education.
With over a decade experience as a research PI and 14 years of technology transfer experience, she has developed a deep understanding of the challenges facing technology transfer, industry engagement and public-private partnerships in research-intensive institutions.
“We think Elsie will bring an ability to tie the Lab’s technology commercialization to private sector needs,” said Berkeley Lab Deputy Director Horst Simon. “We’re looking forward to her creating new models for Berkeley Lab’s successful development of technology and making Berkeley Lab best in class in the commercialization space.”
One of her first assignments will be to work with Lab leadership to better integrate industry-sponsored research into the tech transfer commercialization chain with the goal of better serving our researchers and creating a more welcoming and coordinated “one stop” environment for industry partners.
Quaite-Randall began her research career in biochemistry and molecular biology as a post-doc at Brookhaven, then moving to Argonne to work as a PI in protein biochemistry and structural biology. It was during her time at Argonne that she became interested in the business aspects of commercialization and became intrigued by the process of moving innovative research results into commercial products through tech transfer. She switched full-time from research to tech transfer at Argonne, gaining experience and skills working in both the Legal Department and the Office of Technology Transfer.
“Having spent much of my career working on improving how science and technology can be transferred to the public for the public good, I’m thrilled to be joining the Berkeley Lab, known internationally as the gold standard in big scientific research,” Quaite-Randall said. “I look forward to working on new models and strategies we can use in synergy with the traditional methods of IP licensing, new company formation, partnerships and knowledge transfer. The new name, Innovation and Partnerships Office (IPO), aligns well with this new direction.”
Quaite-Randall holds a B.Sc. in Biology and Ph.D. in Agricultural Biochemistry from The Queen’s University, Belfast, N. Ireland. She also earned an M.B.A. from North Central College in Illinois and is a licensed U.S. patent agent.
Quaite-Randall begins work in early June and replaces Cheryl Fragiadakis, who retired last year after 28 years with Berkeley Lab. The Lab’s Chief Counsel, Jeff Blair, will continue to serve as the interim department head until Quaite-Randall’s arrival.