Dr. Pallaoor Venkatesh Sundareshwar (“PV”) is currently the USAID Science Technology Innovation and Partnerships Advisor and based in USAID’s Global Development Lab, which serves as hub for innovation, and Research & Development policy, and is the agency’s conduit for taking smart risks to test new ideas to harness the power of innovative tools and approaches that accelerate development impact. During PV’s tenure at USAID, he has helped establish and coordinate the agency’s first R&D Council, bringing together representatives of the agency’s Pillar and Regional Bureaus, and he has been the driving force behind the agency’s implementation of the USAID Scientific Research Policy, the formulation of USAID’s R&D Report, and the creation of the USAID Public Access Plan. PV has an MS in Life Sciences from the University of Bombay, and a PhD in Biology and Environmental Science from the University of South Carolina. Prior to joining USAID, he was an Associate Professor, the State Carbon Scientist, and Director of the Biogeochemistry Core Facility at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. He also served as a member of the National Science and Technology Council’s Fast-Track Action Committee on Research and Development Reporting Standards.
USAID is at an exciting juncture to explore how Technology Transfer can help the agency meet its mission to help developing countries on their journey to self-reliance. The very nature of international development is “technology transfer” – to assist our private sector partners and partner countries with tools and methods in our possession as subject matter experts of development, make them available to stakeholders and beneficiaries, and see them leverage those tools and methods for significant development outcomes and improving the lives of the poorest people on our planet, or people who are displaced due to natural disaster or conflict. USAID invests in R&D in developing countries and results of these investments have direct domestic benefit. But USAID is, in T2 terms, a small agency with few resources. I’m interested in ensuring that agencies in similar circumstances band together, cross-pollinate the best practices for actualizing T2 on our level, and then scaling those practices. In addition to bringing that sensibility to bear at regional meetings and the small agency meetings at the National Meeting, a concrete way that I can contribute to the T2 community is by serving on either the Laboratory and Business Systems Committee or the Planning & Policy Committee. The mission of LaBS is very similar to what the Global Development Lab does for USAID – to find, evaluate, deploy tools to assist our bureaus and country posts to accomplish their development mission, and to facilitate connections with private sector actors. We know that our international development mission is impossible without the private sector, and partnering with them is a stated priority of USAID, and there are parallels for how I can serve the T2 community through LaBS in a similar capacity. The mission of the Planning & Policy Committee also aligns with my work at USAID – just as I have been a part of developing USAID’s Research Strategy and implementing USAID’s R&D Policy, I can help FLC think strategically about serving U.S. government agencies and laboratories in their T2 missions. Specifically, I will represent the needs of small agencies who are just awakening to T2 needs, to see how we can best lift up these burgeoning T2 capabilities. Thank you for considering me.