David Gauthier, PhD, MBA

Vice President, Commercialization

David is a strategic, analytical, and highly experienced authority on product and technology viability and market potential. His wide-ranging expertise is built on more than 20 years in the innovation sector. Since his early career as a plant biologist turned business development director for a biotechnology start-up, to his extensive consulting and economic development work in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors, David knows innovation commercialization from every perspective.

Bringing real-world experience to his role at NPC is David’s key strength. He not only understands the science but can translate and mobilize that knowledge to ensure an optimal return on NPC’s private sector Investment Fund. David’s strength is the critical discipline required to identify high potential entrepreneurs, while the organization’s support systems fill in any commercialization gaps through networks, referrals, and other funding programs to move innovators through the ecosystem to commercial success.

As investment lead for NPC, David takes charge of both the overall direction of NPC’s portfolio and the management of the individual investments within it. In close collaboration with the CEO, NPC Regional Directors, and the Investment Sub-Committee of the Board of Directors, David identifies and develops high-potential opportunities; spearheads the creation and refinement of the investment assessment process; performs due diligence; and manages terms, contracts, and relationships with investment partners and entrepreneurs.

David was Vice-President, Central Region of Foragen Technologies Management, a $42MM fund that was the first dedicated to agricultural technology in Canada. There, he invested in, developed, licenced, and acted as management in multiple early-stage companies in Canada and the US. For several years, David ran his own technology commercialization and business financing consultancy, through which he occupied a number of C-suite and director positions in both the public and private sectors and developed key entrepreneurship and economic development resources. David served as CEO for the Entrepreneurial Foundation of Saskatchewan and Regional Director of the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP). In each of these roles, he has been involved in the strategy, implementation, management, and measurement of innovation and commercialization, giving him unparalleled insights into the various programs, policies, and practices that help companies evolve from start-ups to success. As Director of Business Development for Performance Plants, Inc., his first entrepreneurial role, David secured a $2.2MM strategic alliance with a major corporate partner and $2.5MM in venture capital financing.

David’s unique skill set has been honed over a diverse career in research, technology commercialization and regulation, venture capital, government program management, not-for-profit administration and governance, economic development, and management consulting. He has been both an innovator and entrepreneur and as a champion of innovation and entrepreneurship. This broad and deep know-how, coupled with David’s passionate dedication to economic development, makes him an effective relationship broker among multiple types of thinkers and stakeholders.

David is a sought-after speaker at investor events and meetings and has written extensively for both business and academic publications. He has served on several for-profit and not-for-profit boards, including Ag-West Bio Inc., and is former Chair of the Board of Directors of Genome Prairie. David holds a PhD (Biology), MBA, and BSc (Honours) from Queen’s University.