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Business and Innovation Manager

Requisition ID:  9304

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Open Ended
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  19-Jul-2021


We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.


Salary: £51,034.00 - £54,131.00  per annum

Closing Date: 03 August 2021


The Role


The Driving the Electric Revolution Challenge (DER) is aimed at enabling and equipping the UK to seize the economic opportunities stemming from the global transition to clean technologies and electrification by accelerating the development of a UK based supply chain for Power Electronics, Machines and Drives (PEMD). The DER Challenge Programme is funded by Innovate UK and is a core part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy.  £33m of funding has been awarded to Newcastle University to create a network across the UK of four DER Industrialisation Centres of Excellence (DER-ICs) in PEMD.  The four DER-ICs are based at the National Manufacturing Institute of Scotland (Strathclyde), Warwick Manufacturing Group, the CSA Catapult (Newport) and Newcastle University.  Together, they coordinate access to 35 partner facilities across the UK as part of a national, open access network of PEMD capability and equipment, worth over £300m. The DER-IC’s are expected to be self-financing from March 2024 as well as generating £110m of industry co-investment from the PEMD market.  The DER-IC North East will be responsible for contributing £22.8m towards the £110m target. 


You will be responsible for developing and executing plans to deliver the £22.8m revenue target  for the DER-IC North East and helping to ensure the sustainability of the Centre beyond 2024.  This will be critical in ensuring the ongoing success of the National Driving Electric Revolution (DER) Challenge Programme and the DER-IC North East.  The postholder will be a key member of the national DER-IC Delivery Team, reporting into the Chief Operations Officer (COO) for the DER-IC North East on a day to day basis. The postholder will also be part of the University’s wider Business Development and Enterprise (BDE) team and in this respect will also report into the Head of Strategic Partnerships in BDE to ensure alignment with wider University priorities.


Form  informal enquiries please contact Rachel Chambers on rachel.chambers@ncl.ac.uk or Karen Allenby on Karen.Allenby@newcastle.ac.uk


Interviews will be held on 9th and 10th August.


Key Accountabilities


  • Assume responsibility for delivering £22.8m of industry co-investment through the DER-IC North East by March 2024. 
  • Deputise as required for the DER-IC North East COO in their absence.  
  • Working closely with the other three national DER-IC Business Development/Innovation Managers, create a joined up, complimentary and supportive team, committed to sharing information and business leads for the advancement of the DER mission and delivering the national DER programme.  
  • Maintain records in a Customer Relationship Management database (CRM) for the DER-IC North East documenting all business opportunities from engagement to delivery.  Produce relevant business development data/reports to support internal and external stakeholder management (to include portfolio management, business performance).  Maintain an up to date pipeline of all opportunities and monitor these activities.  Maintain an accurate forward business forecast. 
  • Working with the other three DER-ICs, ensure that the DER-IC North East’s customer database is integrated and assimilated into a national Capability and Consortium database. This database aims to identify, verify and record the national capabilities across academia, RTOs and industry in PEMD research and development in the UK.  This will include both the existing installed capability and new capabilities as they come on-line.  
  • Lead discussions and collaborations with industry to expand the PEMD supply chain by introducing new innovative opportunities to companies working in allied and/or associated sectors. Growing the size of the overall UK PEMD market is a key objective of the DER programme - forging strong relationships across the sectors will be one of your most important KPIs.  
  • Working with the DER-IC North East COO, identify key strategic industry partners and assume responsibility as a point of contact for DER-IC North East’s customers. 
  • Assume responsibility for identifying and flagging new market trends and competitors to identify potential new sectors and industry needs 
  • Promote the capabilities of the DER-IC North East and partners working in coordination with the wider DER-ICs to attract funding and realization of industrial impact as well as working closely with the marketing team to ensure there is full representation at relevant regional, national and international events. 
  • Maintain open and accessible channels of communication with the other DER-ICs to ensure the postholder is able to knowledgeably discuss and promote the products and services offered by all the national DER-IC’s and the wider PEMD network in order to provide a national picture of how the DER-IC’s are able to provide products/services across the UK to address industry challenges/gaps. 
  • Assume a key role in supporting the implementation of the DER-IC’s strategy – shaping activities that align with the strategy, reviewing and reporting progress of the Collaborative Research and Development (CR&D) projects against the strategic objectives. 
  • Responsible for making a significant contribution to grow commercial income, collaborative R&D funding and strategic investment to achieve the financial targets for the DER-IC North East. 
  • Lead on the development of internal and external stakeholders, including regional, national and international industrial partners. Investigate and implement joint ventures, multi-partner arrangements and other commercial opportunities arising from these relationships to meet the DER-IC Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) reporting back into the relevant University and other DER-IC organisations as necessary.  
  • Work with the relevant Deans, Business Development Managers and other senior staff within the University’s Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering (SAgE), to contribute towards the development and implementation of an overall strategy for the industrial commercialisation of Faculty activities in PEMD research and development and how these can benefit from, or contribute to, research and development activities in the DER-IC’s.   
  • Work closely with all four DER-IC’s COOs and the other DER-IC’s Business Development/Innovation Managers to formulate and coordinate product and technology development collaborations between the DER-IC North East and companies from across the UK involved in developing the next generation of PEMD technologies.   
  • Provide leadership of CR&D projects where required. This will include signposting activity and introductions to potential partners to companies and help build a consortia; supporting them into the PEMD supply chain, which will drive sustainable financial growth through private income and collaborative R&D. 
  • Lead on the identification and implementation of opportunities to support greater integration of other complementary key projects across the University by building strong working relationships with the School of Engineering, specifically the key academics in the School of Engineering, the senior management team, professional service directorates and other academic units. 
  • Lead specific projects of strategic significance and ensure performance measures are in place for the monitoring and delivery and to capture benefits against the DER-IC KPIs. 
  • Identify opportunities for external funding, exploit opportunities for public funding, monitoring appropriate networks to enable efficient and proactive identification and prioritisation of project opportunities. 
  • Where required support the coordination and submission of compelling project proposals/briefs/bids; where appropriate, working in conjunction with external partners, researchers and where applicable other University administrative groups including Finance, Legal and Procurement. 


The Person


Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Extensive proven experience as a business development manager, sales executive or a relevant role
  • Proven track record in delivering revenue targets within a commercial technical environment, preferably within PEMD/Engineering.
  • Demonstrable experience of effective and successful leadership, with a proven track record of leading with clear direction
  • Extensive project and programme management experience in a commercial setting, a significant amount of which gained at a senior level with the ability to design and successfully manage projects, including the development of business cases and relevant project documentation.
  • Substantial experience of the management of complex and extensive stakeholder relationships across a range of organisations.
  • Have experience of levering public funding mechanisms to support R&D and innovation.
  • Intellectual capacity and strong influencing skills able to gain ‘buy in’ to new opportunities and to facilitate changes in behaviour and direction at both a strategic and operational level across organisational boundaries
  • Strong influencing and negotiation skills with the ability to obtain agreement to proposals (bids) and delivery of complex projects involving multiple stakeholders.
  • Experience of University and/or governmental administrative, financial and other procedures
  • Relevant leadership and management experience at a senior level within a large and complex organisation
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, including highly developed verbal and written communication skills and the ability to deliver formal presentations to a range of audiences

Attributes and Behaviours

  • Able to create a vision for own area and explain how it fits in with the overall strategic vision of the DER-IC and the University.
  • Leads on the development of objectives, plans and performance measures that ensure that the relevant KPI’s are achieved.
  • Plays a significant role in creating opportunities for teamwork across departments and functions in        order to deliver process improvements and to develop people.
  • Builds relationships with key players both internally and externally in order to build support for change             and to instil a culture of continuous improvement.
  • Represents and proactively promotes the University and Faculty acting as an ambassador.               
  • Projects a positive attitude through personal confidence and enthusiasm in order to achieve organisational success. Inspires the trust and confidence of others.          
  • Generates a range of viable options and decides on an appropriate course of action that best fits organisational and area goals



  • Educated to degree level with a professional / postgraduate qualification or equivalent standard by experience
  • Substantial relevant managerial and leadership experience.
  • Project management qualification e.g. Prince2 (Desirable)


Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.


The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.


Requisition ID: 9304