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Director, Business Development

Marc Nantel
Director, Business Development, Ontario Centres of Excellence, Canada

How do you spend a typical day?
Mostly typing away at a computer I'm afraid! But it's WHAT I type that's interesting. I run education and training programs that help all types of students, from grade school to grad school, particularly in the science and technology fields. With a team of five or six others, I run the Talent Development Group at the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), which means we invest the Government of Ontario's money in the next generation of innovators through a variety of programs pushing S&T awareness, undergraduate photonics diplomas and degrees at colleges, conference travel and professional development for graduate students - including in the essential skills like project management, supervision, networking and presentations, etc. - and international internships.

Lest one thinks I'm only a computer jockey, I also enable and manage research projects that OCE funds at colleges and universities, which means getting academic and industrial partners together on R&D projects and making sure everyone is working together toward the agreed upon goals. And after the projects are done, I have to harness the success story for the province and the intellectual property to see if we can spawn a new product, service or company out of it.

Finally, I also conduct research at the University of Toronto on laser-matter interactions, but that's about 5% to 10% of my time only.

What (if anything) would you change?
Nothing. I love my job and the sense that I get if making a difference for the students, researchers and industrial partners with whom I interact.

What advice would you give to someone starting their career?
Work hard, but keep a good work-life balance: it'll keep you sane.

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