Heather Walsh is the director of external innovation and leads Baxter’s efforts to increase open innovation partnerships across universities, incubators/accelerators, medical centers, and other partners. She supports strategically-aligned transformational innovation for all the global business units and for technology platforms. She previously led technical assessment teams for due diligence of new opportunities for mergers and acquisitions and venture investment at Baxter. She joined Baxter from the University of Chicago, where she was the assistant director and head of business development in the technology commercialization and licensing group at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. She spent nine years developing, protecting, and licensing university-owned intellectual property. In addition to her technology portfolio, Heather supported the efforts of the commercialization team by identifying and managing high-value contacts, coordinating the university’s marketing strategy for the opportunity pipeline, representing the team at multiple partnering meetings throughout each year, and launching a program to cultivate relationships with venture capital groups. She piloted and grew a proof-of-concept fund, redesigned the Polsky Accelerator program and launched several internship programs to leverage the talents of students and postdocs exploring alternative careers. Heather completed a PhD in Neurobiology, Pharmacology & Cell Physiology from UChicago.
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