Cleary out as BNL commercialization manager

A Cleary departure: Connie Cleary is no longer managing tech-commercialization efforts at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Connie Cleary is no longer Brookhaven National Laboratory’s commercialization director.

Although some BNL webpages showed her as an active laboratory employee and Cleary’s own LinkedIn account still listed her as manager of BNL’s Office of Technology Commercialization & Partnerships, Lee Cheatham, BNL’s director of strategic partnerships, confirmed to Innovate LI Thursday that Cleary was no longer employed by the laboratory.

Lee Cheatham: The search is on for a new commercialization pro.

Lee Cheatham: The search is on for a new BNL commercialization pro.

Multiple independent sources from within Long Island’s tech-commercialization community told Innovate LI that they’d learned Cleary had left her post last month. None of the sources could say if Cleary had resigned or been terminated by BNL.

Before coming to the Department of Energy’s Upton laboratory in August 2013, Cleary spent just over two years as a business-development executive at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. That followed a year-long stint as interim manager of Argonne’s industry-partnership operations.

She also spent the better part of a decade helping to direct the University of Illinois’ Office of Technology Management and logged 16 months as associate director of Intellectual Property & Research Development at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center.

While he could not share details of Cleary’s BNL departure, Cheatham did confirm that his assumption of her tech-commercialization duties was an interim fix.

“We will be filling that position,” Cheatham told Innovate LI. “We’re going to do a search, as we should.”

Replacing the New York City native with the extensive tech-commercialization résumé will be a long-term challenge, but Cheatham – referencing the new multi-year laboratory-management contract the DOE engaged in 2015 with Brookhaven Science Associates, a partnership between the SUNY Research Foundation, SBU and Ohio’s Battelle Memorial Institute – sees a silver lining.

“The new BSA contract can go for as long a 20 years,” the strategic partnerships guru said. “This is a great opportunity to confirm that our tech-commercialization functions align well with that new scientific direction.”

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