SARAO is Recruiting a Senior Commercialisation Specialist


The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) is recruiting a senior commercialisation specialist on a permanent contract. The successful candidate will join the Cape Town, Western Cape facility business unit team to monitor the commercialisation of SARAO’s research and development intellectual property (IP). 

Key Responsibilities
  • Develop the overarching commercialisation strategy for IP emanating from SARAO and the other National Research Foundation (NRF) business units;
  • Assist in defining project scope and objectives, involving all relevant stakeholders and ensuring technical feasibility;
  • Analyse project risks and opportunities to ensure all projects are delivered on time and within scope;
  •  Create and maintain comprehensive project documentation;
  • Lead team members in developing and implementing the commercialisation strategy for the SARAO IP portfolio and that of other NRF Business Units;
  • Facilitate funder relationships, identify funding opportunities and prepare funding proposals to secure funding to enable technology maturation & commercialisation;
  • Commercialise IP by identifying suitable licensees, structuring deals and participating in the SARAO team negotiating the terms of license agreements
  • Advise development teams on the appropriate commercialisation instruments, models, and associated business plan development, where applicable;
  • Provide support that stretches over multidisciplinary areas, including techno-economic evaluation, market research, commercialisation strategy development, fundraising, innovation project management, internal and external stakeholder engagement, marketing and the promotion of NRF and technologies, input into IP management gate reviews and supporting IP transactions and sharing of knowledge with regional and national innovation ecosystem;
  • Complete commercial analysis and market research, technology marketing, innovation funding and seed fund management projects.
  • Review and provide support to different units;
  • Refine existing and new products/systems and support development towards production readiness & help new product directions informed by customer needs; and
  • Lead the LED program aligned with SARAO’s strategic objectives in Karoo. 
  • Experience leading, facilitating and developing project scopes/plans;
  • Experience understanding the barriers to commercialisation and the means to overcome them;
  • Demonstrated ability to work on their initiative to establish funded collaborations; and
  • information retrieval, critical evaluation and analytical skills.
Required Knowledge
  • Technology analysis;
  • Market analysis;
  • Technology Transfer;
  • Technology Commercialisation;
  • Fundraising;
  • Marketing;
  • Commercial Law; and
  • Critical evaluation and analytical skills.
Additional Notes

The applicant should have the following skills, abilities, and competencies.

  • Communication skills;
  • Supervisory skills;
  • Emotional Intelligence;
  • Time Management;
  • Project Management;
  • Stakeholder Management;
  • Portfolio Management; and
  • Report Writing.

How to Apply

Applicants should submit a comprehensive CV here before 07 March 2023. Furthermore, applicants should include a letter of motivation indicating their suitability for the position in their applications. In addition, the applicants must provide at least three referees’ names and contact details.

South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF) offers a challenging career and a competitive remuneration package commensurate with qualifications and experience. Also, the NRF is committed to employment equity and redress, and appointments to the position will align with the NRF Employment Equity Plan. In addition, the NRF reserves the right not to make an appointment and will send correspondence to short-listed candidates only.

You can get more information regarding the opening here.

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