Salary: Full time starting salary is normally in the range £45,585 to £54,395 with potential progression once in post to £61,198, Grade 8
Contract type: Fixed term, until 31.07.2027
Closes: 15th October 2023
The Centre for Systems Modelling and Quantitative Biomedicine (SMQB) at the University of Birmingham is seeking an experienced Business Development Manager who will serve as the SMQB’s expert professional for building collaborations with industry partners. This comes at an exciting time for the SMQB with an anticipated move in early 2024 into the Precision Health Technologies Accelerator (PHTA, https://phta.co.uk/), a business innovation facility which is part of the Birmingham Health Innovation Campus (https://phta.co.uk/bhic/). The PHTA provides state-of-the-art incubation and collaboration space and SMQB will be co-located with innovative health and life science businesses, bringing together entrepreneurs, start-ups and scale-ups together with the next generation of academic and clinical leaders, creating unique opportunities to commercialise ideas and accelerate the rapid development of cutting-edge therapies and technologies.
The Business Development Manager will be responsible for driving external partnerships both between other tenants of the PHTA, and external industry partners across the West Midlands, nationally and internationally, creating the deep relationships needed to win work and influence to deliver enterprise objectives. You will lead on income generation against SMQB’s KPIs, growing industry collaborations, consultancy opportunities, CPD and analytical services within the Centre.
Led by Professor John Terry, SMQB’s mission is to transform lives through quantitative biomedical and clinical research. We co-create interdisciplinary research challenges with a range of stakeholders, including industry partners, biomedical researchers, clinical scientists, as well as people with lived experience of disease and members of the public. You will work closely with SMQB leadership and our academics across this unique environment to develop concepts, respond to funding opportunities and to developing high value research partnerships in areas spanning digital health, mathematical and computational modelling, data science and healthcare technologies.
This highly varied role will sit both within the SMQB in the PHTA and within the Business Engagement and Research Impact (BERI) team within the Research Strategy and Services Division (RSSD). BERI is the professional services team which provides an innovative and vibrant hub from which the University engages partners from policy organisations through to industry, to facilitate industry/academic collaboration, deliver impact, income and influence and to broker international and interdisciplinary partnerships.
The Business Development Manager will be responsible for managing, maintaining and identifying new opportunities to enhance our commercial opportunities within and beyond the PHTA regionally, nationally, and internationally. The successful candidate will:
- Be a highly entrepreneurial individual, with the ability to develop effective relationships with academics, healthcare professionals and industry partners.
- Have experience of business development gained in, or working with, the higher education and commercial sectors such as entrepreneurs, start-ups, scale-ups and MedTech.
- Demonstrate business acumen and be able to use sound commercial judgement in negotiations on behalf of the SMQB, the University with funders and partners.
- Have a successful track record of securing income, increasing revenue from existing clients and establishing new partnerships.
- Lead business development and engagement activities within the SMQB:
- Establish and grow commercial partnerships and opportunities both between other tenants of the PHTA, and external industry partners across the West Midlands, nationally and international in areas spanning digital health, mathematical and computational modelling, data science and healthcare technologies.
- To provide business development expertise to the SMQB and its partners to develop concepts and respond to funding opportunities to develop high value research partnerships.
- To develop an active interest in SMQB services amongst SMEs and other potential users on a fee earning basis. To include consultancy opportunities, CPD and analytical services within the Centre.
- To lead on commercially facing income generation against SMQB’s KPIs.
- To develop interest and understanding in the SMQB’s R&D capabilities, brokering relationships between SMEs and SMQB academic & research staff to enable the effective delivery of R&D collaborations.
- To lead on the maturation of business opportunities, development and negotiation to the point where collaborative knowledge transfer projects and R&D collaborations may be launched.
- To provide advice on the applicability of SMQB R&D capabilities to address relevant future market and client specific issues involving the identification of sources of funding where appropriate.
- To champion specific offerings from the University and the SMQB, taking responsibility for their development and continuous improvement with respect to meeting market and SME user needs, ensuring business demand data is regularly and consistently available.
- In collaboration with the University Business Engagement Partners to develop, manage and maintain client relationships with relevant SMEs ensuring that appropriate technical solutions are identified with the potential to meet the clients’ needs.
- To lead on the support of SMQB/SME collaborative projects, providing on-going support to partnerships.
- To lead on the delivery of events / workshops to enhance business engagement and development.
- To attend and report at both internal and external events/meetings, where appropriate.
- Institutional relationships:
- As a member of the newly established Research Strategy & Services Division, to work productively with colleagues from across Professional Services to remove barriers to business engagement, ensuring that the University can deliver to the timelines required by business;
- Support practitioner colleagues across the Research Strategy & Services Division to ensure that business-university projects progress effectively through internal systems and processes, making recommendations for internal business improvement where required and making an active contribution to subsequent change processes;
- Work in partnership with contracts and finance practitioners to ensure that there is a strong and effective link between the development of a business-university relationship and the operationalisation of this via approved contracts and established projects;
- Advocate for research and business engagement across the institution, across the Professional Services and the SMQB.
- Assist in the provision of expert, credible and influential advice to the most senior internal and external stakeholders, including the Chancellor, the Vice Chancellor, Heads of College, SMQB leadership and academic colleagues.
- Be an able and willing internal and external ambassador for the University who can use external networks for personal and institutional benefit.
- Demonstrate high level of self-awareness of own impact and modify behaviour accordingly, listen and respond constructively to the realities and needs of others by using a range of communication skills and strategies.
- Display tact, diplomacy and the ability to challenge convention and persuade others to consider alternative perspectives and approaches and gain commitment to a change or course of action.
- Able to deal constructively with conflict to reach a workable consensus and delivery of agreed objectives.
- Performance and Resource Management:
- Ensure that the best possible business development service is delivered to the SMQB, Professional Services, and the University.
- Maintain detailed records on the CRM database.
- Demonstrate experience of working collaboratively with others to deliver goals within an agreed timescale.
- Agree with the MDS Assistant Director for Business Engagement and Research Impact stretching but achievable targets and maintain a clear focus on activity which will achieve them.
- Take personal responsibility, with the College and SMQB senior teams, for ensuring that agreed outcomes are delivered on time and effectively.
- Actively manages equality, diversity and inclusion through monitoring and evaluation and actively challenging unacceptable behaviour.
- Supports the University’s sustainability agenda through resource efficient working.
- Any other duties commensurate with the grade.
Required Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications, Experience
- A proven record of undertaking business development with clearly identifiable contributions to influencing the commercial success of activity.
- Experience of business development gained in, or working with, the higher education.
- Have a successful track record of securing income, increasing revenue from existing clients and establishing new partnerships.
- Ability to summarise complex issues/concepts and present them appropriately for a range of audiences.
- Ability to plan, manage and prioritise own workload, respond to changing priorities and deliver innovative solutions to deadlines maintaining a consistently high standard of service and meeting client needs.
- Proven ability to meet targets, milestones and contracted outputs within agreed deadlines and the ability to encourage others to do the same.
- Ability to work effectively as part of a multi-functional team across partner organisations.
- Excellent client relationship management and interpersonal skills and an ability to work closely with other people at all levels of seniority, both within and outside of the University.
- Excellent communication skills: oral, written and presentational.
- Able to analyse business needs and identify business solutions utilising a range of technologies, summarising key points to other people at all levels of seniority, both within and outside the SMQB.
- Understanding of the higher education research environment, its research functions and markets.
- Understanding of academic research and knowledge transfer practices, funding streams and motivations.
- Understanding and experience of the management, delivery and reporting processes in publicly funded R&D and knowledge transfer programmes.
- Ability to implement processes and identify where processes or procedures might be improved.
- Experience of championing Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in own work area.
- Ability to monitor and evaluate the extent to which equality and diversity legislation, policies, procedures are applied.
- Ability to identify issues with the potential to impact on protected groups and take appropriate action.
Qualification and Experience
- Graduate qualification in a life sciences or science discipline.
- Experience in a management role and/or technology consulting / industrial / commercial environment with senior level interactions with client organisations, ideally SMEs.
- Experience of working in a higher education or research management environment preferred.
Roles at this level provide authoritative professional advice across a range of activities and/or will lead and manage diverse team(s) and resources. You will use your professional skills to resolve problems where the solution is not immediately apparent. Significant evaluation and independent thought is therefore required to resolve ambiguity. You will have wide discretion to decide on direction whilst ensuring activities are broadly consistent with operational policies. You will be able to influence policy through advising on the impact of policy change and implementation in your area of work. You will need to assess the impact of your activities across your area, with related areas and to ensure they fit with the broader objectives of the University.
Core competencies/transferable skills
Working at this level you will be able to develop and successfully use the following core competencies/transferable skills in each of the areas shown below. You will be expected to take ownership for getting things done, including calling on or joining others to assist. You will be expected to be flexible as required in supporting your department and wider University.
Planning and organising
- provide professional expertise, and manage resources and/or a diverse team;
- integrate and co-ordinate work across different parts of the department/university;
- lead and manage staff who are likely to be carrying out diverse duties, and ensure collaborative working to deliver a successful service;
- project manage activities to facilitate major changes;
- develop policy within functional guidelines, and contribute to strategic development within own area;
- be accountable for the quality and professionalism of service delivery, with an appreciation of longer term issues.
Problem solving and decision making
- anticipate, interpret and assess customer needs, identifying trends, generating original ideas and testing innovative solutions;
- deal with significant people management issues such as change programmes;
- resolve issues which may not have arisen before through use of experience and judgement.
- has an excellent understanding of their own working area and a broad understanding of the contribution other areas make to the success of the University;
- has an excellent understanding of how the University operates, together with an understanding of how academia operates in the UK;
- demonstrates empathy with the academic endeavour and seeks to encourage others to do so.
Relationships and communication
- use coaching skills to motivate and develop staff;
- proactively and sensitively manage the performance of their team and create a motivating environment;
- influence others (including across the University) to follow a particular course of action;
- represent the department at internal and external meetings/events/network with colleagues in other institutions to share best practice.
Informal enquiries should be addressed to either Richard Fox, Assistant Director for Business Engagement and Research Impact (BERI), firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr Rebecca Ward, SMQB Programme Manager, email@example.com. This is offered as a fixed term role until 31.07.2027 but we see this as a long-term role underpinned by the income generated by the role.
To progress to the assessment stage, candidates must evidence how they meet the criteria within the Person Specification. Please submit
- A CV
- A cover letter or supporting statement which outlines how you meet all of the criteria within the Person Specification.
Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an assessment and interview at the University of Birmingham the w/c 6th November. The closing date for applications is 15th October 2023.