Director, Technology Management & Entrepreneurship
Richard has spent over a decade working at the intersection of academia, government, and industry with a strong passion for the commercialization of scientific research. Currently he is the Director of Technology Management at the Impact Centre, University of Toronto. In this role he manages the Impact Centre’s entrepreneur training and support program providing technical and early-stage business mentoring to help student led companies move their technologies from the lab to the world. He is co-creator of the elite Techno program, an intensive hands-on training workshop, aimed at graduate students who are interested in building a company based on their scientific technical training.
Richard received a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Toronto. Following this he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in a Canadian government lab at NRC’s Steacie Institute. He then moved to an industrial position in the U.S. working as a Research Scientist for a technology development company where his role was to translate new technologies into commercial products. He was the Principal Investigator on a number of small business innovation research grants from various U.S. government agencies including the DoD, NIH, NASA, and EPA. The technologies he worked on during this time included early stage ovarian cancer detection, a field deployable traumatic brain injury assessment tool, remote detection of harmful algae blooms and a new methodology for the discovery of high affinity ligands, among others. Richard has an active research program to develop sensor and diagnostic platforms for low-resource settings or point-of-care applications. Currently, his main project is the development of a deployable tool to detect the presence of antimicrobial resistant microorganisms with partners in India.
Richard has extensive experience with the commercialization of science and the creation and management of start-ups. He co-founded Axela Inc., a Toronto based molecular diagnostic company that offers technologies that enable rapid, real time, and multiplexed immunoassays, and nucleic acid and protein microarray analysis. He has played an active role in several startup companies, including mentoring and guiding them through raising funds (both Canadian and US government funding landscapes), pitch development, partnerships, and intellectual property, and has also served as President. He holds positions on a number of Board of Directors including 3 nonprofit organizations (one with a budget over $2 million) and several startup companies.
From this experience he has gained an in-depth knowledge of staging laboratory projects through the process of translating into a product.