John Tao

John is a Principal Advisor for Larta’s Commercialization Assistance Programs. He is an innovation expert with over 40 years of experience in leading and growing large organizations. John has strong technical expertise in the agriculture, renewable energy, carbon capture, gas separations, and material sciences sectors. His business expertise lies in business/organizational planning, strategic partnerships, government contracting, and IP licensing strategies.

John is also currently President of O-Innovation Advisors, LLC, an open innovation and licensing consulting firm. In 2011 he stepped down as VP of Open Innovation for Weyerhaeuser, an $8 billion integrated Forest Products Company where he was responsible for crafting the company’s bio-based products portfolio through Early Business/Venture Development, Licensing (in and out), Technology Partnering, Government Contracts, and Intellectual Asset Management. John and his organization also work across Weyerhaeuser’s business units to commercialize economically viable innovation. Within Weyerhaeuser he is affiliated with bio-based products, forest-based feedstock development, and supply bio-based fuels, as well as the economies associated with these technologies. Prior to joining Weyerhaeuser, John was the Corporate Director of Technology Partnerships for Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., a $10 billion chemicals company. He was responsible for worldwide external technology development, intellectual asset management, government contracting, and licensing/ technology transfer. His contributions included a venture that commercialized a new family of polymers, an energy JV that the company profited with over $200MM in invested capital, and IP value extraction of over $100MM in tax credits. John has presented and published over 90 papers and held 9 patents.

John holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University.