Technology Development Specialist

The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST; see is a dynamic new graduate university of science and technology in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. The university is located on 85 hectares of protected forestland overlooking beautiful shoreline and coral reefs. The campus is striking architecturally, and the facilities are outstanding (OIST campus video tour). There are no academic departments, which facilitates multidisciplinary research. Outstanding resources and equipment are provided and managed to encourage easy access and collaboration. English is the official language of the University, and the university research community is fully international, with more than 60 countries represented. OIST is rapidly gaining recognition in the worldwide academic community as a model for excellence in education and research.

Position Summary:
The OIST Technology Development & Innovation Center (TDIC) promotes technology development through the Proof of Concept (POC) Program, an internal, competitive grant program that provides funding to OIST researchers to help bridge the gap between lab discoveries and commercial applications. The POC Program supports a range of research activities, from applied research to establishing feasibility, developing prototypes, and exploring scale up, and also supports individual fellowships for entrepreneurial-minded scientists. The goal of the Program is to develop technologies towards licensing to industry or startup companies and is a key part of the broader strategy at OIST to seed an innovation ecosystem in Okinawa that is linked to technology transfer, industry partnerships, and startup incubation. 

OIST is seeking a Technology Development Specialist with a strong scientific background and skills appropriate to manage technology development projects and with interest and enthusiasm to foster the effective transfer of cutting edge OIST technologies to successful commercial development.

The ideal candidate will be a motivated and resourceful self-starter, able to find opportunities and build connections within a university setting. The candidate will also be an adaptable team player with excellent interpersonal skills, able to work within the broader TDIC division to achieve IP protection and licensing, business development, and the establishment of an innovation ecosystem around OIST.


1919‐1 Tancha, Onna‐son, Okinawa, Japan 904-0495


  • Work with OIST faculty and researchers to support research on innovative technologies with the potential for commercial development. 
  • Monitor proper project budget execution with POC Program awardees and administrative sections. 
  • Monitor and provide support to the POC Program awardees in achieving their technical milestones. 
  • Effectively manage the application, review, implementation, and evaluation of POC Program projects.  
  • Assist in negotiation of agreements with industry, including NDAs, MTAs, Collaborative Research Agreements, and Licensing Agreements needed to support POC research. 
  • Manage relationships with researchers, consultants and contractors, vendors, and potential industrial partners. 
  • Organize entrepreneurship training, mentoring, and other professional development opportunities for POC project team members. 
  • Work in coordination with other professionals in TDIC, including licensing and business development specialists, to identify and establish relationships with potential industry licensees or investors. 



  • PhD in science or engineering fields or, 5 years of relevant research experience. 
  • Experience in program or project management, including planning, monitoring of budget and deliverables, and reporting. 
  • Business-level English, including high level of reading comprehension and writing skills in English for research documentation and research agreements.  
  • Effective communication skills to develop relationships between researchers at the university and industrial partners in Japan and abroad. 
  • Excellent time management, teamwork, and organizational skills. 


  • Relevant experience in positions involving technology transfer or business development. 
  • Experience in patenting, either as an inventor or as an administrator. 
  • Business-level Japanese, including a high level of reading comprehension and writing skills in Japanese for research documentation and research agreements. 

Report to 

R&D Cluster Programs Section Manager

Starting Date 

As early as possible

Term & Working Hours 

Term: Full-time, fixed term appointment for 1 year/2 years. Contract initially with 3-month probationary period (inclusive).

Working hours: Flextime (core time 10:00-15:00) 7.5 hrs per day (Multiplied by prescribed working days per month)

Compensation & Benefits 

In accordance with the OIST Employee Compensation Regulations


  • Relocation, housing and commuting allowances
  • Annual paid leave and summer holidays
  • Health insurance (Private School Mutual Aid )
  • Welfare pension insurance (kousei-nenkin)
  • Worker's accident compensation insurance (roudousha-saigai-hoshou-hoken)
  • Access to Child Development Center
  • Access to Schooling Options
  • Language Educateion
  • Recource Center (Daily Life Support in Okinawa)

How To Apply 

Apply by uploading your submission documents HERE*. 

*This is a secure file uploading system for handling confidential materials. 

Submission Documents 

  • Cover letter in both English and Japanese (if possible)
  • Curriculum vitae in both English and Japanese (if possible)

* Japanese nationals are required to submit both documents in English and Japanese

* Please be sure to indicate where you first saw the job advertisement.
* Up to 3 references may be requested during the final interview stage.
* Prior to the start of employment all new hires are required to successfully complete a background check. Personal information including employment history and academic background should be submitted to third-party administrators after a conditional offer of employment.

Application Due Date 

2022/07/18 *Application will be screened upon arrival, and the selection will end once the position is filled.


  • OIST Graduate University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action educator and employer and is committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty, students and staff. The University strongly encourages applications from underrepresented groups.
  • Information provided by applicants or references will be kept confidential, documents will not be returned. All applicants will be notified regarding the status of their applications.
  • Please view OIST policy for rules on external professional activities
  • Further details about the University can be viewed on the OIST website