Brendan Rauw, MBA, has joined OHSU as vice president, technology transfer and business development, a division of OHSU’s research mission that supports technology commercialization, industry collaboration, and entrepreneurship.
Rauw comes to OHSU from UCLA, where he served as associate vice chancellor and executive director of entrepreneurship. In this role at UCLA, he was responsible for leading a variety of programs designed to advance innovation, entrepreneurship, and the transfer of intellectual property into real-world applications. He also guided the establishment of a separate, nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation – Westwood Technology Transfer – to oversee technology transfer and industry-sponsored research, and served as the founding CEO.
Rauw’s move to OHSU was a natural one. “It is an exciting time to be at OHSU. The Knight Cancer Challenge just shows that world-class research is going on here. I see a lot of opportunity that TTBD can help move forward for the benefit of patients and society.”
The city itself was also a factor in taking the job. “There’s a strong entrepreneurial spirit in Portland. It’s a unique place for collaboration and expansion of ideas. Leading venture firms are becoming interested in the startups being generated in Portland today.”
Rauw added, “The success of TTBD and the greater Portland life science community are closely linked.”
That’s particularly helpful as he steps into this role, given he is responsible for forging a successful, dynamic program to advance OHSU’s goal of substantially increasing the commercialization of its intellectual property and increasing industry research collaborations.
Rauw is no stranger to taking risks. He has been a founder in four startup companies, and prior to UCLA, he helped establish the office of technology transfer and innovation at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, a private university with a $20 billion endowment. He was also a director on the senior leadership team of Columbia Technology Ventures in New York, responsible for Columbia University’s intellectual property investment and management.
Rauw came to university technology transfer after a career in strategy consulting and business development. He was a management consultant in the New York office of the Boston Consulting Group, where he advised major private equity and biopharmaceutical companies on topics such as corporate acquisitions, innovation strategy and R&D design, including two $40+ billion acquisitions. He also worked in corporate development with Genzyme Corporation.
He believes his diverse global experience will help OHSU advance the commercialization of the intellectual property being generated.
“I think the role of technology transfer and business development is to advance commercialization of research for the benefit of patients and society. If we do our job well, the dollars will follow.” He added, “In the end, our success rests on our relationships with faculty. They need to know what we offer and how we can help them, and we need to deliver on that promise.”
Rauw holds an undergraduate degree in biology from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. A native of Calgary, Canada, he has a wide range of interests and hobbies. He is an advanced SCUBA diver, with more than 20 years of experience diving all over the world. He is also a martial artist who became an instructor in high school. Since then, he has studied Shaolin kung fu in China, and Muay Thai kickboxing in Thailand. While working at UCLA, Rauw also completed culinary school at the New School of Cooking.
Rauw has big aspirations for TTBD and OHSU. “There are established biotech clusters in San Francisco, Seattle, and Boston. I hope to help OHSU play a critical role in Portland becoming an emerging cluster.”