NDnano Center meeting

James Thompson from the IDEA Center will be our guest speaker at the Thursday, November 16 NDnano Center meeting. The meeting will be held in 202 LaFortune, beginning at Noon.


James Thompson
Associate Vice President for Innovation
Executive Director, Office of Technology Transfer


"The Notre Dame Model of Commercialization: The Commercialization Engine"


The Commercialization Engine is a value-adding process through which all University of Notre Dame inventions pass after disclosure to the IDEA Center. Its goal is to take early-stage technologies through a process of de-risking and transform them into life-changing and productive applications. This is accomplished by thoroughly understanding inventions, finding their value, determining their market fit, acting on feedback from potential customers, protecting IP, creating a strong business model, identifying milestones, and executing an acceleration plan.


James Thompson is currently the Associate Vice President for Innovation and the Executive Director of the Commercialization Engine Team at the University of Notre Dame.

James has over 17 years’ experience in management, business development, marketing, biotechnology research and quality systems. Most recently James was the Interim Executive Director of the Technology & Venture Commercialization office (TVC) at the University of Utah. While at the TVC, in multiple roles including the Interim Executive Director, Director Engineering Team and Business and Technology Manager, James helped to develop and implement a stage gated, milestone driven commercialization process called the Utah Model of Commercialization or affectionately called the Commercialization Engine. The Commercialization Engine is a system to assisted companies with licenses to university owned technologies successfully commercialize the licensed tech (providing assistance in the areas of strategic planning, funding, problem solution fit, product market fit, recruitment of leadership and more). The system substantially improved both internal and external customer service while increasing the commercialization activity of technologies developed and owned by the University of Utah.

Prior to the University of Utah, James was the Director of Business Development and Director of New Product Development for chemical company (Frontier Scientific) and a research reagents company (Echelon Biosciences). In these companies James released over 200 new products, resulting in an increase of total product offering by 15% and set up collaborations with over 27 entities.

James has also founded four companies, three of which are still in business. Quansys Biosciences, still in business, develops and sells test kits used in the pharmaceutical, clinical and academic research use markets.  PetroBio Tech, no longer in business, distributed a fuel additive and performed services in the oil and gas industry cleaning crude oil storage tanks using a proprietary solvent/surfactant blend. Energy Innovation Services, Inc., currently the President, was founded to commercialize a patented surfactant/solvent blend + water conditioner in the oil/gas industry. The Company is focused on manufacturing products and working with distributors to provide the service to oil/gas operators. Finally, Allerief, Inc., currently the President, is focused on developing an over the counter remedy to reduce severity of food-specific allergic reactions.

James has an MS and BS in Biology from Utah State University and an AS in Biology from BYU-Idaho.