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Michael and Debbie Donaldson Business for Scientists Speaker Series

Many people with technical degrees move into management or executive positions over the course of their careers, or start their own businesses. Because business training is not typically included in technical degree programs, Mr. and Mrs. Donaldson are funding this series to help provide some of that knowledge and to encourage more students in science and other technical areas to include business training in their course of study.

Intellectual Property: Principles and Pitfalls

Presented by Jeremy Tamsen, Director, Office of Technology Transfer, UI Office of Research and Economic Development

3:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Teaching & Learning Center (TLC) 031

Learn intellectual property principles in the context of institutional research activities, including information about the importance of public disclosures, rules regarding publishing, the patent application process, the value of intellectual property assessments, the need for market feedback, the distribution of licensing royalties from the University of Idaho and more.

Past Presentations

Career Planning for Scientists - Why Business is Important to Your Future

Presented by Michael Donaldson, retired president and CEO of Valent BioSciences Corporation
Thursday, March 31, 2016
Download the presentation slides (PDF)

Michael Donaldson retired in 2014 as president and CEO of Valent U.S.A. Corporation, Valent BioSciences Corporation, and Pace International, and executive officer for Sumitomo (parent company of Valent). Prior to assuming these roles in 2009, he served as president and COO of Valent BioSciences Corporation since 2000, when Sumitomo Chemical acquired the business from Abbott Laboratories. Mr. Donaldson’s career has focused on both biorational products and conventional chemicals for agriculture, forestry and public health. His pioneering work in the area of biorational products spanned more than 35 years and included research and development and business management positions with Sandoz Crop Protection, Abbott Laboratories and Sumitomo. In these roles, he led efforts to integrate biorational products as partners with conventional chemistries for pest management and the enhancement of crop quality and yield. During his last 14 years with Sumitomo, Michael’s leadership significantly increased the global footprint of the Sumitomo biorational portfolio, culminating in the construction of the first world-class, dedicated manufacturing facility for biorational products located in Osage, Iowa. Mr. Donaldson earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in microbiology and bacteriology at the University of Idaho.

Characteristics of Initiative and Innovation in New Product Development

Presented by Brian Hill, Ph.D., Center Business Leader (retired), 3M Company
Monday, May 02, 2016

Dr. Hill discussed examples showing the important characteristics of initiative and innovation in the recognition of unmet or unrecognized new product opportunities. These were illustrated by tracing the history of a series of commercial new products leading to the introduction of Scotch Tape, the development of Post-it Notes, and more recent examples of optical films. The characteristics are important if considering a job or managing a laboratory or business.

Brian Hill earned his B.S. in chemistry at Idaho and Ph.D. at Montana State University. He spent his career at 3M, working in several different divisions of the company, and retired as center business leader in 2003.

About the Business for Scientists Speaker Series

The Business for Scientists Speaker Series is designed to provide students in science and other technical disciplines with information about the importance of business skills and knowledge for career success. The series is funded by Michael ’76, ’79 and Debbie ‘80 Donaldson, and comes out of Mr. Donaldson’s own career experience, in which he started as a scientist and researcher and then moved on to managerial and executive leadership positions, and found that having some business training would have been very helpful as his career progressed.


College of Science

Physical Address:
Mines 321

Mailing Address:
111 Perimeter Drive MS 3025
Moscow, ID 11111-3025

Phone: 111-111-6195

Fax: 111-111-6904

Email: [email protected]

Web: College of Science

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