Anna Grocholsky

Anna Grocholsky, CLP, RTTP, MIP

Director, Commercialisation
The Heart Research Institute

Candidate Biography

A successful strategist, negotiator, leader and practitioner who forged a career devoted to help researchers turn their ideas into reality.  Working in industry, as professional staff within universities, a private consultant and now at a medical research institute, I have streamlined processes and implemented systems, to make it easy for researchers, resulting in numerous deals, partnerships and successful products and services.  In the survey for commercialisation in Australia, Macquarie University (where I headed up the TTO), between 2017 and 2019 had a year on year growth of Licences, Options and Assignments.  We topped the number of LOAs in 2019.   Deals were not only for patents, about 2/3 of deals were of copyright material.... awareness grown about what IP is and from all faculties (not just science and medicine).

I have a unique set of skills as I am a Materials Scientist, creative problem facilitator (studied at Buffalo NY), with a Masters of IP (Law), a trade marks attorney, with RTTP and CLP attainments… who has also completed the Program for Leadership Development becoming an Alumni of the Harvard Business School and most recently studied Behavioural Economics (again at HBS) to 'nudge for good'.  All of this is what I call my “Swiss army knife” skill set, that with empathy and a can-do attitude, makes me the successful IP and commercialisation expert I have grown to become.

Candidate Q&A

What experience do you have working on or with a strategic Board of Directors? 

Since 2015 I have been a non-exec director of MicroBioGen Pty Ltd (+ on their renumerations committee). I am an executive on The Heart Research Institute team reporting directly to the Board. 

Please include a brief description of your volunteer experiences within AUTM. 

Volunteering in metric meetings a couple of years back when I noticed that Australia changed its reporting to not be consistent to AUTM or the same as what we reported years earlier. Active in email discussions and within our LinkedIn community. 

Why do you want to join the AUTM Board of Directors? 

The US has a great history and reputation of Tech Transfer. Australia follows a pendulum swing regarding innovation.... metrics are driven by government desires; start ups, jobs, growth, publications.... Why reinvent the wheel? Work together with what works while investigating new opportunities (be ambidextrous). Globally we can unite and influence government and make powerful TTOs, world class research institutes and impactful outcomes (research being turned into products and services) through commercialisation. 

Have you served in a volunteer leadership role for other organizations? If so, please explain. 

In 2013/14 I was on the LES International Copyright Committee. In 2017-2020 I was the on the LES/ANZ NSW (state) Committee. Since 2019 I have been a Trustee at Large for LES/ANZ. Non-work, I am currently the President of my kids school Parents and Citizen Committee. Prior to that, I was Vice-Pres and a Delegate of the NSW P&C Federation. In my Beekeeping Association Club I have been their Secretary, and Member Liaison Officer. 

If elected by the Membership to the Board, would you consider serving as Chair? Please explain. 

Not at this time. Maybe in a few years. 

Please share personal strengths that you believe would be valuable to the AUTM Board and/or the strategic direction of the Association. 

Great at bringing people along... in a way what we want researchers and start ups to do... articulate the VP to then convince people to join / work... always thank people and provide updates of what the outcome and results are. I also am strong at creative problem solving... nothing is too big of a challenge (baby steps to get there, if chunked down... it is manageable and possible). 

What special experience do you have in driving and implementing a strategic plan? 

As mentioned above. Articulate why, what goal is trying we are trying to achieve... justify the work empirically. Pilot it... if successful, implement fully (with the ability to modify). From growing a TTO in resources (budget and personnel), or moving the dial of the needle (in the positive direction) improving culture of an institute... these are all examples of my experience. 

How do terms of  the position (both responsibilities and time commitment) fit with your other responsibilities? Will you have any conflicts of commitment between your full-time position and your volunteer time on the AUTM Board? 

With Australia being on the other side of the world to America, all can be done outside my normal working hours. I am used to working when needed at all hours. Last year I completed a two week online Behavioural Economics course through HBS... all at night / early morning. Very manageable when known a few days in advance to prepare. 

AUTM is committed to addressing issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion both on the Board and on behalf of our Members. Briefly describe how your experiences can contribute to the Association’s growth in this area.

At Macquarie University I was co-chair of the Dep Vice-Chancellor Research divisions Diversity and Inclusion committee. At HRI I have joined the Diversity Committee. In my experience diversity and inclusion in teams and committees make the best decisions. Often such discussions are not as 'easy' as if all members are similarly minded or of similar experience, however better outcomes result. Working in TT needs researchers to understand that we are here to help them turn their ideas into reality. We may need different people in the team (business, marketing etc.) not just scientists. The same is true with our Association. Diversity of membership and leadership... and asking the right questions, with the right people in the room, will result in continuing and improving this very successful Association. 

Advocacy for the innovation ecosystem is something AUTM has promoted recently.  How do you think AUTM should continue to be involved? 

In all my years knowing about AUTM, I have promoted it and told people how great your deal database is, how great your network is in answering questions, how useful your resources are (template agreements etc.). At every institute, the first thing was to become a member of AUTM. Moving from heading up the TTO at a university to working now at a smaller Medical Research Insitute I will have even more time to support and advocate for ATUM. 

Is there anything else you would like AUTM Members to know about you before they vote? 

Please review my LinkedIn profile for more examples of my work and achievements.