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SETU Waterford offers a broad range of academic programmes from levels 6 to 10 on the national framework of qualifications across Business, Education, Engineering, Health Sciences, Humanities, Science and Computing.

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Dr. James O'Sullivan PhD MBA BSc


TTO Manager
Technology Transfer Office

School/ Department:

Research, Innovation & Graduate Studies - Technology Transfer Office


+353 0 51845592

Room Name/ Num:

IT Building 2.09 Walton IT Building


Main Campus


My Biography

  • I am an ambitious and career focused individual who is keen to apply strong commercial skills and technical experience to challenging roles.

  • I focus on the commercialisation of technology and the development of entrepreneurs/small to medium enterprises (SMEs). I deliver specialist management training services and provide support for business incubation, intellectual property (IP) commercialisation, and technology commercialisation expertise which are of increasing relevance to the Irish economy focusing on regeneration, innovation and value added components of industries. 

  • I work creating, developing and advising on regional and national government policy to achieve the successful implementation of technology commercialisation programmes for economic expansion and job creation.

  • I have the necessary commercial skills required to lead technology transfer within academia – clear communication, valuation of concepts, legal understanding and technical expertise. 

  • I revel in working with entrepreneurs and academics to generate commercially valuable output from basic, applied and industrial led research.  I have a personable character, easily forging and maintaining strong relationships and I have enjoyed this aspect of past roles.


Research fellow at Trinity College Dublin (07/1999 to 05/2000):
I led the management, design and start up of a new clean room facility for the Magnetism and Superconductivity group under Prof. J.M.D. Coey.  Responsibilities included supervising the research of several Ph.D. students in new areas of R&D, liaisons with suppliers and university/industrial partners, and teaching undergraduates.  A subsequent achievement, resulting from the new areas of R&D (spin electronics), was that this group has received SFI funding of ~€7 M to advance their research. Brief examples of experience:

  • EMERGE programme - I led the TCD research on the EMERGE programme. EMERGE was an European project based on the collaboration between three industrial partners (Rhodia, Philips and Magnetfabrik Bonn) and three research laboratories (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique CNRS (Laboratory Louis NEEL), Trinity College of Dublin TCD, Vienna University IATP). This three years project used statistical set-ups to reduce the number of samples to be realised and tested.  Several patents were developed on the back of this work.

  • Networking - I facilitated the networking between the research group and third parties spin outs such as Magnetic Solutions who were important in the commercialisation of various projects.



  • Commercial acumen - I have worked extensively in IP development and commercialisation.  I have led in excess of 50 entities (from entrepreneurs to large established enterprises) in the past decade in the development of commercial products/services through start-ups, licensing, partnering and spin-outs.  My mentoring has provided extensive support and encouragement. I have developed essential skills working across many sectors, assimilating information quickly, identifying the key elements and translating this into action all of which are critical to achieving commercial success.

  • Ambassador - I continually provide education to academia, SMEs and multinational clients in the development of their capabilities, collaboration potential and understanding of the value chain for commercialisation of IP.  Including the development within academia for releasing value which cannot be exploited without overcoming some of the potential commercial issues.

  • Technical knowledge – I have deep specialist knowledge of the technology sector in particular advanced manufacturing, advanced materials, semiconductors, ICT, energy and devices.  This knowledge and expertise is used to gain deep market insight, understand trends and opportunities and successfully develop business cases and proposals. My knowledge has been applied to resolve complex problems, devise novel solution and stimulate the commercialisation process.  I am inquisitive by nature and have put mechanisms in place to ensure IP is identified and captured through education, engineering and enforcement.  I continue to develop knowledge through the attendance of conferences.

  • Project Management - I have finely tuned project management skills and I am a Prince2™ Practioner which is critical in the commercialisation process from taking blue skies thinking through the translation processes to prototyping and product development.  This expertise has supported my work in the design and successful implementation of several large scale IT based business transformations.

1) Managing Consultant at PA Consulting Ireland (2007 to 2011)

As a member of PA’s senior team I am responsible for developing and winning business, the delivery of projects and negotiating commercial arrangements. I lead PA’s Science, Technology and Innovation account in Ireland. This work involves the development of strategies for commercialisation of SME’s IP including robust research & analytics, application of commercial models, business case planning and stakeholder engagement.  While in this role I have developed significant executive relationships across academia, the public and private sectors, for example - Tyndall, CRANN and DKIT; Forfás, Enterprise Ireland and the Science Foundation Ireland;  and FEXCO, Intel and Siemens respectively.  Brief examples of experience include:

  • Enterprise Ireland Innovation Programmes – I lead innovation programmes for SMEs for Enterprise Ireland on sectors such as Managed IT Services and Business Process Outsourcing. I am currently working with Enterprise Ireland on the PA led entrepreneur programme (Propel).  I provide training and awareness sessions on aspects of IP to ensure the translation from bench to boardroom.  My mentoring includes assistance with IP strategies, market strategies, product definition, regulatory issues, business strategies and management requirements.  One of my key strengths is raising awareness of key issues within these companies from innovation capability to sustainability to developing commercial models.  I continually liaise with senior staff of Enterprise Ireland in aspects of patenting and commercialisation of these SMEs.

  • Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices - I led the development of the long term strategy for CRANN relating to the development of a sustainable funding mechanism.  This work also included the development of high level best practice frameworks for process and procedures relating to IP management.  This work identified the relevant supports and potential external sources for sustainable funding based on the future IP development potential.

  • Department of Trade and Enterprise - I led the ICT Strategy for Northern Ireland (http://www.matrix-ni.org/downloads/matrix_vol3_ict.pdf) across industry and academia which was a foresight programme to identify the capability and map this against the exploitation potential for various ICT sub markets.  This work contributed to the development and implementation of policies for the commercialisation of research in ICT.

2) Strategy and Business Transformation Consultant at Accenture UK & I (2004 to 2007):

As a senior strategy consultant within Accenture’s UK practice I led projects to redeveloped organisations through IT and process transformation.  Key to this role was my ability to rapidly understand and diagnose commercial intricacies, conduct detailed business analysis and prepare business cases incorporating research and industry leading recommendations.  As a result I am an expert in putting procedures, policies and systems in place to drive organisations.  Brief examples of experience:

  • Lloyds TSB Insurance - I developed the business case and analytical model to provide a detailed understanding of the ‘As Is’ business process and validation of the ‘To Be’ business process benefits to support a ICT led business transformation.  The NPV savings over 4 years are expected to be in excess $120 M.

  • Barclays Bank - As functional architect I provided sector insight, stakeholder management, technical analysis and requirement gathering expertise in the development of a new ICT system for Barclays mortgage securitisation.  I developed the processes and procedures for future use of the system.

3) Senior Technologist at Aviza Technologies (2000 to 2004):

I lead the research and commercialisation of innovative technologies across the ICT sector through the development of semiconductor & MEMs technologies and the commercialisation of these technologies. I was involved leading over 50 customer-facing projects and I led the development of three major R&D projects over four years. I developed significant industrial blue chip client relationships through quality research, process demonstrations, process field support and consultancy. Brief examples of experience:

  • Commercialisation of R&D - I have worked with academia, the internal R&D and legal teams to develop four commercially successful patents (i) US2005269200(A1), (ii) US6933099(B2), (iii) US2004214417(A1), (iv) US2003091937.  I developed a system for the capture of IP within the company.  This work provided a sound basis for my understanding of working with academia for the commercialisation of IP and negotiating licensing agreements.

  • Secondments - I worked onsite in North America and Europe with industrial partners to produce commercially valuable IP for enterprises such as Ulis and Philips.

  • Collaborations - I led several industrial programmes with universities and industrial partners to identify commercial opportunities and direct research to release commercially valuable IP.