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Sean Flanigan

Sean Flanigan

Director, Technology Commercialisation - King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia

Sean Flanigan is a lawyer, an accredited knowledge translation professional, and a Past-President of AUTM, the largest professional organization of technology transfer professionals in the World.

He studied law at the University of Ottawa and has been a member of the Ontario Bar since 1993. 

Upon joining KAUST he has lead the Technology Transfer team responsible for intellectual property management, research business development and the strategic investment of resources in technology development. Prior to joining KAUST he was, for four years, the Director of the Industry Liaison Office at the National University of Singapore where he also served as Director of IP and Commercialisation for AI Singapore, a national level research centre of excellence committed to creating a global hub for artificial intelligence research. Sean spent the previous 13 years responsible for industry liaison, technology transfer, new company creation and student entrepreneurship at the University of Ottawa. He has created student incubator programs, applied research programs for small and medium sized enterprises and personally attended to the negotiation of dozens of early stage technology licenses. Sean has served as a Board member of more than a dozen early stage deep-tech companies. 

In 2012 he was elected as President of AUTM. During his Presidency in 2013-2014 he championed a wholesale strategic shift in the organisation’s structure including development of an entirely new governance structure and strategic plan while overseeing one of the most financially successful year and annual meeting in AUTM history. From its inception in 2010 he has served on the Board of the Alliance of Technology Transfer Professionals (ATTP), the Global certification body for Academic Technology Transfer Professionals and between 2015 and 2017 he was Global Chair of ATTP. 

Sean has lectured extensively on technology transfer around the world and has published studies of the profession and the practice.