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Iowa State University Digital and Precision Ag Bio Sciences Platform Chief Technology Officer in Ames, Iowa

Position Information:

Position Title:Digital and Precision Ag Bio Sciences Platform Chief Technology Officer

Job Group:Contract

Required Minimum Quals:PhD in relevant scientific discipline10 years of experience developing bioscience technical innovations for commercial application.

Preferred Qualifications:Demonstrated ability to create and work towards a technological vision.Excellent interpersonal skills and proven collaborative leader in order to work and elicit cooperation across a diverse range of stakeholders.Results‐driven, creative, commercially oriented leader with demonstrated ability to set and manage priorities.Understanding of project management discipline, with demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously.Excellent written and verbal communication skills.Experience working in industry, particularly in a product development and/or entrepreneurial role.Experience in the Digital and Precision Ag area

Job Description:Iowa State University is looking for a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) who will lead efforts to identify and accelerate the development of new technologies and innovations with strong commercial potential in the Digital and Precision Ag platform and related areas. This person will also serve as a driver for developing interfaces between the university and industry in these areas to facilitate technology development and support collaborations. The CTO will possess and/or develop a deep understanding of innovations being developed within universities and throughout industry that have commercial potential in the Digital and Precision Ag platform spaces. The CTO will also work in close partnership with Iowa Innovation Corporation (IIC) staff to vet and prioritize those opportunities for commercial development in Iowa. The CTO and IIC partners will provide support of and guidance to prioritized ventures.

The CTO will:

  • Understand the technologies/innovations being developed within the Regents universities and scout for relevant innovations being developed anywhere within Iowa.

  • Serve as a focal point at Iowa State University for industry to partner with and collaborate with researchers in this area.

  • Lead technical vetting and prioritizing of innovations as potential commercial opportunities.

  • Provide ongoing technical product development guidance to prioritized ventures, ensuring that timely progress is made against commercial development milestones.

  • Understand the university resources and expertise that could be of value for any developing ventures in the Digital and Precision Ag platform platform and, with IIC staff, develop and manage processes through which these resources can be accessed.

  • Serve as a member of the IIC leadership team.

In partnership with IIC staff, the CTO will:

  • Develop and implement strategies for translating new innovations in Digital and Precision Ag platform to commercial products.

  • Vet and prioritize for ongoing IIC support, technologies/innovations based on their combination of technical potential and commercial viability.

  • Guide prioritized ventures towards commercial development.

  • Build and maintain relationships among platform researchers at the universities and with industry partners and coordinate (as well as conceive) joint activities and projects.

  • Serve as primary contacts into their assigned platform.

This position could be part time or full time based on the candidate's availability.

Department/Program & College Description:

Iowa is adopting a more aggressive, formalized approach to organizing for economic development in the bioscience sector, focusing on four technology platforms: biobased chemicals, digital and precision agriculture, vaccines and immunotherapeutics and medical devices. The Iowa Innovation Corporation (IIC;, a public-private partnership formed to promote economic development in the state, is fostering development of robust cohesive innovation ecosystems within each of the platforms. Success will require an evergreen pipeline of commercially oriented innovations and university engagement is central to delivering on this need. This position, focusing on the Digital and Precision Ag platform, will be central to the success of this strategy.

Iowa is uniquely positioned to be a leader in D&PA given its national leadership in row crop and livestock production and its robust production agriculture company ecosystem, e.g. crop/animal breeding, seedstock production, agricultural machinery and equipment. Iowa State University has significant strengths in plant and animal sciences, engineering and data sciences. Its Plant Sciences Institute has achieved global prominence in predictive plant phenomics, including the development of agricultural sensors. Its graduate program in agricultural engineering has been ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report.

This position will reside at Iowa State University, capitalizing on the outstanding research strengths in D&PA. Founded in 1858, Iowa State University ( is the largest public university in the state with nearly 35,000 students. Iowa State University is a member of the Association for American Universities, an invitation-only organization of the 65 top public and private research institutions in the U.S. and Canada. In FY20, Iowa State University attracted $253M in external research funding. Iowa State University’s scientific breakthroughs are poised to help grow and diversify Iowa’s economy.

Department Unit/Website:

Appointment Type:Regular with Term Appointment (Fixed Term)

Number of Months Employed Per Year:12 Month Work Period

Time Type:Full time

Pay Rate Type:Salary

Pay Grade:Contract

Application Instructions:

To apply for this position, please click on “Apply” and complete the Employment Application. Please be prepared to enter or attach the following:

1) Resume/Curriculum Vitae

2) Letter of Application/Cover Letter

3) Contact Information for Three References

If you have questions regarding this application process, please email or call 515-294-4800 or Toll Free: 1-877-477-7485.

Original Posting Date:August 28, 2020

Posting Close Date:

Job Requisition Number:R3123

Iowa State University ( is classified as a Carnegie Foundation Doctoral/Research University-Extensive, a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), and ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top public universities in the nation. More than 30,000 students are enrolled and are served by over 6,200 faculty and staff.

Iowa State University is a global and culturally diverse university committed to providing an inclusive, equitable, and diverse environment for both learning and employment. We know that diversity in experience and perspective is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and building an inclusive academic community. At Iowa State, we translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience working with diverse students, colleagues, and constituents. The university has an expectation that all employees will demonstrate a contribution to diversity and inclusion as embodied in Iowa State University’s Principles of Community ( .

All offers of employment, oral and written, are contingent upon the university’s verification of credentials and other information required by federal and state law, ISU policies/procedures, and may include the completion of a background check and/or a consumer credit check.

Iowa State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, marital status, disability, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against. Inquiries can be directed to the Office of Equal Opportunity, 3410 Beardshear Hall, 515 Morrill Road, 515 294-7612, email

If you have questions about the application process please email or call 515-294-4800 or Toll-Free at 1-877-477-7485. Iowa State University provides reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities. Applicants with questions about access or requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process should email or call (515) 294-4800 or Toll-Free: (877) 477-7485. TTY users are welcome to use the Iowa Relay Service number by dialing 7-1-1 or (800) 735-2942.

General ISU compensation information can be found here: