By Kara Headley
Jon Debling recently joined the MSU Innovation Center team as a technology manager, where he will oversee a portfolio of MSU intellectual property, evaluate the commercial potential, market and license viable technologies. In his new role, Debling will help faculty and researchers through the process of invention disclosure and the technology transfer process.
“We are excited Jon joined our team of technology transfer professionals at MSU Technologies,” said Anne Di Sante, Associate Director of MSU Technologies. “His industrial experience adds depth to our understanding of the commercialization process.”
Debling will support the departments of biomedical engineering, biosystems engineering, chemical engineering and material science, chemistry and geological sciences as well as the College of Nursing and the James Madison College.
“I’m looking forward to making a difference and helping the faculty move their technology forward,” Debling said. “I want to feel at the end of the day that I’ve done something to help MSU. I’d love to see some of these technologies advance to licensing or startups.”
Starting a position during a global pandemic meant joining Innovation Center staff remotely — meeting with most of his new colleagues via Zoom or Teams.
“I wish I could be able to meet people in person, but this will come in the future,” Debling said. “I do miss the social aspects. On the positive side, the commute is much better, and I think I am making coffee at home almost as good as Starbucks now.”
Debling began his career with S.C. Johnson/Johnson Polymer in Wisconsin, developing processes for polymer synthesis and products for coatings, adhesives, packaging, inks and plastics.
“This got me involved in filing in the US and internationally based on the technologies we developed,” Debling explained. “My career evolved, and I was involved in a startup company and had the opportunity to do new business development.”
He spent over two decades in the industry in other roles as well, including nine years in research with BASF Corporation in Michigan and four years in Ohio where he managed the North American Automotive Refinish R&D activities. In these roles he was heavily involved in product commercialization, IP strategy, opportunity assessment, managing external collaborations and joint development agreements.
Debling holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Waterloo – Canada and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.