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Jacob Smith

Jacob Smith

Innovation Advisor


PhD, Chemistry, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
BA, Chemistry and Spanish, Austin College


Jacob Smith is an Innovation Advisor with RTI Innovation Advisors, a business unit of RTI International. Working with food, consumer product and federal clients, Dr. Smith leads research efforts that include technology scouting and landscaping, partner identification and assessments, and technology commercialization assessments. Whether evaluating a next-generation propulsion technology for commercial potential or landscaping high barrier enabling coatings for more sustainable food packaging, Jacob collects, organizes, analyzes and delivers the research and results clearly and concisely, and enables clients to easily evaluate the big picture and also drill down to investigate the supporting details.

Leveraging his knowledge of synthetic chemistry, polymer chemistry, and biotechnology, Dr. Smith manages projects related to sustainable plastics and packaging and identifies solutions for more sustainable packaging. He cuts through marketing claims to deliver data-backed recommendations on evaluating compostable resins and additives that claim to enable biodegradability, blown and cast film manufacturer capabilities, and high-barrier enabling coatings for film and paper substrates. Additionally, he works with clients across sectors to develop strategies to address and stay ahead of emerging chemicals of concern (e.g., food additives, packaging materials, plastic additives, preservatives) in a variety of different food and consumer products.

In his work with NASA, he assesses the commercial potential of cutting-edge technologies. Dr. Smith conducts in-depth primary and secondary research. He manages conversations with inventors, technology transfer professionals and industry experts to gauge commercial potential and identify market applications for new high-tech innovations. His insights help clients develop strong intellectual property, investment, and commercialization strategies for their technology portfolios. 

Prior to RTI, he worked at the University of North Carolina’s Office of Technology of Commercialization. Dr. Smith speaks Spanish and is a member of the Institute of Food Technologists.

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