Chief science officer is a position at the head of research and development and new technology developments at companies with a technology or research focus.
In some organizations, this designation is synonymous with chief technical officer. Most often Chief Science Officer title exists in research oriented companies where as Chief Technology Officer is in place in product development oriented companies. In this instance, a Chief Science Officer commonly has a scientific background and doctoral degree, which is not as common with Chief Technology Officers.
Some academic research organizations, such as Fox Chase Cancer Center , Dana-Farber Cancer Institute  , and the San Diego Supercomputer Center  have adopted a similar title of Chief Scientific Officer. Typically, their role is to and set scientific priorities and coordinate the administrative structure that supports scientists. A Chief Scientific Officer commonly has a scientific or academic background, yet they may or may not be practicing scientists or academics.