New Director Joins LSU Innovation & Technology Commercialization

February 14, 2022

BATON ROUGE – The LSU Office of Innovation & Technology Commercialization has welcomed a new director, Alex Valiaev. Valiaev is a technology commercialization professional who has worked in commercializing early-stage technologies, identifying, negotiating and realizing high-value strategic collaborations among universities and industry for the past 12 years. He has international experience from working in different industries and organizations across three continents and five countries. 

“We are excited to bring Alex’s vast experience in technology commercialization and leadership to LSU in support of technology commercialization. Alex will be a great addition to the office and will help LSU do some really great things in innovation,” said Andrew Maas, the associate vice president for research - technology transfer and the director of the Office of Innovation & Ecosystem Development, who oversees the LSU Office of Innovation & Technology Commercialization.

Alex Valiaev

Alex Valiaev, the new director of the Office of Innovation & Technology Commercialization.

– Credit: Katherine Seghers, LSU

Valiaev has helped numerous scientists and researcher entrepreneurs secure millions of dollars in funding for innovative research and technology development from public and private sources. He negotiated high-value licensing and sponsored research agreements, facilitated alliances with companies and advised senior academic management on strategies to increase academic-industry partnerships.

“Over many years working in research institutions, I have found the intersection of new technology development, commercialization and academic industry partnerships to be rewarding both personally and professionally. I really look forward to providing exceptional service to LSU innovators to help them translate inventions from research labs out into the marketplace,” Valiaev said.

Prior to joining LSU, Valiaev served Oklahoma State University from 2017 to 2022 where he led the translation of the university’s biomedical technologies and managed diversified intellectual property portfolios in areas ranging from pharmaceuticals and medical technology to veterinary medicines and animal nutrition. He helped build a business mentoring program for inventors, facilitated multidisciplinary technology development collaborations and worked on spinning out startups. 

In his previous role at the Sydney Medical School, he led the strategic development of emerging industry partnerships to increase industry revenue and grant funding for clinical research. During his tenure at the University of Sydney’s Commercial Development and Industry Partnerships office, he orchestrated master collaboration agreements with medical technology and agrochemical companies, and licensed various software, biopharmaceutical and defense-related technologies. There, he worked with university startups including successful biomedical ventures such as Elastagen, which was acquired by Allergan in 2018 for $95 million. Throughout 2014-15, he was part of a startup team developing a novel therapy for dry eye, a disease that affects over 16 million Americans. While in Australia, he also co-founded and led a startup from concept to productization based on new applications of web-to-print technology.

Prior to joining the technology transfer profession, Valiaev worked at Procter & Gamble where he managed a multi-million-dollar account by building win-win partnerships with large retail chains and implementing joint customer business plans. When he started his career as an engineer at a leading scientific instruments company, Valiaev worked internationally focusing on business development, research equipment installation and customer training in Hungary, South Korea and other countries. 

He received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Moscow State Institute of Electronic Technology where he investigated effects of ion beam treatment on material properties. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in materials science from Duke University for his research into stimulus-responsive polymers and elastin-like polypeptides. His research has resulted in several peer-reviewed papers published in leading journals such as Langmuir, Vacuum and the Journal of the American Chemical Society. He is also a registered patent agent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

“My goals and vision for the Office of Innovation & Technology Commercialization are built upon excellence in three core areas: education, relationships and outreach, and performance. ‘Education’ incorporates a range of activities focused on increasing communications with research faculty, staff and students. ‘Engagement and outreach’ is aimed at building strong relationships between LSU and an industry sector, and identifying opportunities for new technology development, industry partnerships and licensing of intellectual property. Lastly, ‘performance’ is focused on providing technology transfer services to LSU’s inventors, increasing standard performance metrics for technology transfer, such as the number of licenses and options, licensing income, new disclosures, patent applications and startups, as well as helping streamline execution of strategic partnerships between academia and industry,” he said.