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Merchant Scientists: Deal Structuring and Pavement Pounding Are Part of Technology Transfer

Richard Gill Richard Gill runs the biosciences division of a global technology transfer company, calling himself "a mercenary technologist." It's an aggressive line of work--mining unsung discoveries at universities, drug companies, and eccentric inventors' garages; obtaining licensing agreements; and getting finished product out into the marketplace. "I use harsher language to describe what I do than 'merchant scientist,'" the popular moniker for his job, says Gill, the senior vice president

Arielle Emmett


Richard Gill
Richard Gill runs the biosciences division of a global technology transfer company, calling himself "a mercenary technologist." It's an aggressive line of work--mining unsung discoveries at universities, drug companies, and eccentric inventors' garages; obtaining licensing agreements; and getting finished product out into the marketplace. "I use harsher language to describe what I do than 'merchant scientist,'" the popular moniker for his job, says Gill, the senior vice president and general manager of biosciences at BTG International Inc., Gulph Mills, Pa. "When we [employ] folks, we're looking for someone who understands technology, but is not a technojock. We want someone to drive the technology into product."

A United Kingdom-based company, BTG holds more than 8,500 patents in 250 different technologies. Gill is one of a team of 40 scientists, patent attorneys, and finance and business people at BTG in the United States (the London office has 140), all of...

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