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Dr David McGovern, Senior Business Development Manager at IPIC, shares his path to career success

Posted on: 16 Nov 2021

Dr David McGovern, Senior Business Development Manager at IPIC, shares his path to career success

Dr David McGovern, Senior Business Development Manager at IPIC (SFI Research Centre for Photonics), shares the path that led him to his current role and the people and culture that supported his rise to success.

David McGovern,
Senior Business Development Manager,


What is your current role?

I am the Senior Business Development Manager in the Irish Photonic Integration Centre (IPIC). I work to support existing partnerships and to develop new collaborations with industry and research institute partners in diverse areas of photonics research. My role involves supporting our research teams at all stages of these partnerships and to drive the commercialisation of opportunities that arise. My work encompasses fostering entrepreneurship within the photonics community, for example through training programmes which help develop the necessary skills and knowledge of our research teams and industry partners. 


What path led you here?

Before my career in business development, I have previously held a number academic teaching roles following completion of a PhD in Chemistry at TCD. I particularly enjoyed working in the commercialisation of research and I realised if I was to work in this area for my career that I would really benefit from industry experience and therefore in 2011 I joined Intel Ireland. Following a number of years at Intel I joined UCC in 2014 in the Technology Transfer Office as a Commercialisation Case Manager which was an excellent introduction to the breadth of activities at UCC. In 2015, I joined Tyndall National Institute where I continue to work in the areas of commercialisation of research and business development. 


Did you have a role model who influenced your career choice?

I have been fortunate to have had a number of role models throughout my life that have helped guide my career path. My father worked in a commercial role as a company director which gave me insight into that world early on in my life. My mother also worked in the legal field which influenced me greatly, particularly in undertaking a law degree in recent years. My academic supervisor at TCD, Prof. John M. Kelly, remains a world leading researcher in photochemistry and his approach to research excellence, teaching and outreach helped guide my early academic career and still influences me to this day.


How has working at Tyndall enabled you to fulfil your potential?

Tyndall has really given me the opportunity to fulfil not only my potential, but has also given me the space and opportunity to grow my career continually. If you have an idea, for example, for creating a training programme or developing a new collaboration or commercial approach, Tyndall provides both the platform and the support structures to help you drive that opportunity forward. Things never stand still at Tyndall and so there are always opportunities to grow and develop your career.


What advice would you give your younger self?

I would say that you should seek out mentors from an early stage in your career as you can learn for their successes and avoid some of the pitfalls they may have encountered on the way. I would also say that you will certainly have a number of different stages to your career during your working life and the best way to learn is take on something totally new. It can be hard to get out of your comfort zone but it’s really the best way to develop new skills.