Developing Strategic Partnerships 29-31 January 2019

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Is this course right for me?

This course is for anyone with 1+ years’ experience working in a business development role in higher education (HE) and public sector organisations, particularly with responsibility for developing commercial opportunities and research interactions and forming/influencing institutional strategies.  Although this course has been designed for HE, staff in business development roles in other organisations, e.g. public sector research organisations and clinical health organisations, will find many aspects in common. Whilst the course is not directly aimed at industry representatives, they would gain valuable insight, experiencing the academic approach to developing strategic partnerships.

Those who have attended a PraxisAuril ‘core’ course (Fundamentals of Technology Transfer or Research Contracts) might find this to be a valuable next step, especially if they are seeking to develop a more strategic (less ‘case-by-case’) approach, or are expected to help create or manage these relationships.

Why should I attend this course?

Universities and research institutes are increasingly seeking broader and longer-term relationships with single partners, encompassing research collaboration, knowledge transfer, teaching, training, graduate employment and other interactions.

Creating and managing these (sometimes complex) strategic relationships between organisations can often prove challenging, but successful alliances can be transformational for all involved.

This course will enable delegates to be more effective in their partnerships development role, and understand how to build long-lasting fruitful strategic alliances that deliver mutual benefit, enable new outcomes and create considerable societal impact.

What will I learn from the course?

  • Understand the different forms of strategic alliance and how they originate

  • Gain knowledge of the key elements that contribute to building and maintaining these long-term partnerships, and the most appropriate governance/management arrangements

  • Identify opportunities for long-term partnerships, including converting existing relationships into more strategic alliances

  • Develop an internal business case to win senior management support

  • Be aware of the risks, and recognise the main issues that can derail a developing partnership

  • Appreciate what feeds a strategic alliance to make it grow and be sustainable, and what success looks like

  • Instigate appropriate activities to support or lead the development of a strategic partnership.

A highly interactive and participative programme, delegates will also have the opportunity to hear from (and in most cases speak directly with) industrial, academic and business development practitioners from some exemplary alliances. Networking time is included.

PLEASE NOTE: There may be a requirement for delegates to undertake some pre-course work/reading before the course begins.

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The course will be held at Burleigh Court which is located on the Loughborough University campus (West Entrance). Loughborough railway station is three miles away - taxis are available at the station or there is a regular shuttle bus every 20 minutes from the station to the venue. If you are driving, Burleigh Court is one mile from junction 23 on the M1; ample free secure on-site car parking is available. Nottingham East Midlands Airport is just eight miles away.


Discounted bed and breakfast accommodation is available at Burleigh Court at £92 per night, per person. Please book your accommodation direct with Burleigh Court by calling 01509 633030 and quote the PraxisAuril event reference number 321292 in order to receive the discounted rate. Discounted rates are not available when booking accommodation online.  Any bedrooms that are not booked by 1 January 2019 will be released. Accommodation may still be available at Burleigh Court after this date but might not be at the discounted rate.

Please note that the course begins with registration, including dinner and drinks, on Tuesday 29 January 2019 from 1830-2030.


10 ATTP Points

29th January - 31st January


Course Fee (Member price £965) £ 1295.00

Meet the Speakers/Trainers

Dr. Phil Elstob

Course Director
Commercialisation Director, Cambridge Enterprise Ltd
Phil is Commercialisation Director at Cambridge Enterprise where he partners life sciences technologies from the University of Cambridge with industry and investors. Phil joined Cambridge Enterprise from Cancer Research UK, where he spent over fifteen years working on the identification, protection, development and commercialisation of novel cancer therapeutics, ultimately as Head of Commercial Portfolio. Whilst at Cancer Research UK, Phil established a partnership with Newcastle University, and notably worked for both organisations to build a strategic alliance with Astex Pharmaceuticals to discover and develop new cancer drugs. Phil also spent two and a half years as Chief Executive Officer of Demuris Limited, a Newcastle University spin out company focused on antibiotic drug discovery. He has a PhD in developmental biology from the MRC’s National Institute for Medical Research (Mill Hill) and was a delegate on the very first PraxisAuril (then PraxisUnico) course held in Bristol in November 2002.

Dr. Rebeca Santamaria-Fernandez

Co-Course Director
Head of Corporate Partnerships, Engineering, Imperial College London
Rebeca is the Head of Corporate Partnerships for the Faculty of Engineering at Imperial, supporting the development of strategic research collaborations between business and Imperial, with a particular emphasis on the cross-departmental Grand Challenges and focused research programmes for the Faculty of Engineering. In addition Rebeca is responsible for growing the reach and quality of the Corporate Partnerships Engineering team’s support toward the academic and research community in the Faculty. She has College-wide relationship management responsibility for a number of Corporate Partners, such as major oil & gas, automotive, mining and engineering firms seeking to maximise joint value across our Imperial’s activities in research, education and translation. Rebeca joined Imperial in October 2012 - having spent eight years in Industry and five years in Academia - working as a Marie Curie Industry Host Research Fellow in Eurofins Scientific Analytics and then leading the Inorganic Mass Spectrometry team at LGC Ltd, UK followed by two years at the Institute of Photonics Sciences in Barcelona where she led the establishment of the Energy Research Programme and developed strategic partnerships with industry, securing research funding from both public and private sources. Rebeca holds a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Plymouth and completed formal training on Technology Transfer and Innovation Management at ESADE Business School in 2011.

Keith Smith

Alliance Director, GlaxoSmithKline
Keith B Smith has more than 25 years experience in academia, fine & heavy chemical, forestry, music, food and pharmaceutical industries, including 3 business start-ups and various managerial, consultancy, novel technology and business development roles. Currently he manages key collaborations between GSK and academia, biotech and pharmaceutical companies. He studied natural sciences and chemical engineering at the University of Cambridge, UK.

Anthony Baxendale

Manager, Future Transport Technologies & Research, Horiba Mira Ltd
Anthony Baxendale graduated in Aeronautical Engineering from Imperial College and with a PhD in Offshore Engineering from Heriot Watt University. He went on to gain an MBA from Henley Management College in 2003. He joined MIRA as it was then in 1991 and has held a number of roles. Research was at the heart of these roles and he is now Head of Horizon Scanning & Research at HORIBA MIRA as the company now is following the acquisition by HORIBA in 2015. The key pillars of HORIBA MIRA research strategy are low carbon vehicle technologies, intelligent mobility technologies and autonomous vehicle technologies. Dr Baxendale has an effective and innovative management portfolio with a proven track record of successfully delivering a broad range of transport related research projects for a wide range of government agencies, commercial organisations as well as internally funded R&D programmes. An important part of HORIBA MIRA’s research strategy is undertaking longer term research to develop new technologies and skills, as well as the innovation pathways inside the business that are needed to absorb and exploit the new technologies. Partnership with universities is a vital component in this strategy.

Jeff Skinner RTTP

Executive Director, Deloitte Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, London Business School
Jeff is the Executive Director of the Deloitte Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at London Business School. He also directs a variety of MBA entrepreneurship electives and co-curricular student activities at the School. Prior to this, as Commercial Director at University College London, he conceived, built and ran UCL‚ Technology Transfer division - including the creation of two early-stage seed funds and separate units managing consultancy, collaborative research and new venture creation. Working alongside research students and academics, he has co-founded over thirty technology-based spinouts that have, in aggregate, raised over £30 million first round finance and returned over £20 million to UCL. He is past President of and remains closely involved with the leading UK & European tech transfer associations, PraxisUnico & ASTP-Proton. He talks, trains and consults widely throughout Europe in the field of technology commercialization. He chairs the Professional Recognition panel for the worldwide "Alliance of Technology Transfer Professionals" (ATTP). Before joining UCL, he was Technical Marketing Manager at Hoechst Celanese Corporation in New Jersey and prior to that, Photonics Research Manager at General Electric. His first degree was in physics and he holds a Ph.D. in thin-film photonics (UCL) and an MBA from London Business School.

Sean Fielding RTTP

Director of Innovation, Impact & Business, University of Exeter
Sean Fielding / Director of Innovation Impact and Business, University of Exeter Sean’s team handles the University of Exeter's support for collaboration with external partners whether for research, education or commercial business such as spin-outs and licensing. He is also responsible for strategic alliances, regional economic development and the generation of impact from the University’s research. Sean is chair of the SETsquared Management Board. He is a former member of the Board of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership and the European Association for Knowledge Transfer. He is a Director for The Exeter Science Park.

Nadia Danhash

Director, Innovation RCA, Royal College of Art
Nadia is a manager and business developer who has spent ten years at the Royal College of Art developing enterprise and entrepreneurship programmes and supporting graduate entrepreneurs. Prior to that she held a number of roles in the biotech sector with senior positions in business development, strategic marketing and general management at GE Healthcare Life Sciences with worldwide responsibility for its industrial molecular biology business which manufactured in plants in Europe and the USA. Working for the world's leading nucleic acid chemistry players, she oversaw the development and introduction of new ground-breaking drug development and manufacture compounds and equipment and new labelling molecules for the diagnostics industry. She led successful product launches, instigated and led process control implementation and change management, supply chain optimisation, and also delivered due diligence and valuations on technology and corporate acquisitions. Nadia‚ experience also includes relationship management and licensing. She gained valuable experience of working in Asia- establishing and then managing important distributor relationships and was based for two years in the USA where she directed an industrial product centre. At the RCA, Nadia leads the Royal College of Art's enterprise and entrepreneurship centre, InnovationRCA and in this role, she is responsible overall for the development and commercialisation of Royal College of Art Intellectual Property as well as the InnovationRCA incubator which incubates design-led start-ups founded by graduates of the RCA. She founded the RCA‚ angel investor network, AngelClubRCA in 2015 and directs the operation of this venture which connects investors to the most promising start-ups emerging from InnovationRCA. A PhD life scientist, with a Master's degree in Business Administration, Nadia's 11 years' international business experience, gained at international corporates and at a start-up, have given her a breadth of rich experience that serves as a valuable resource both when mentoring early stage graduate start-ups at the RCA, but also in directing all of InnovationRCA's programmes.

Dr. Jennifer Thompson

Consultant, Jennifer Thompson
Jennifer is an independent consultant, having previously been at Teesside University as Associate Dean (Enterprise & Business Engagement) in the School of Science, Engineering & Design. Prior to that she held the role of Head of Business Development in Durham Business and Innovation Services (DBIS) at Durham University (2009 -2017). In both these roles her responsibilities have included building and maintaining alliances with a range of strategic partners in the private and public sector. Teesside University (TU) is well known for its enterprise activities and close ties with industry in the Tees Valley and beyond and acts as an Anchor Institution in the Tees Valley region working closely with the Tees Valley Combined Authority. TU has only recently identified Strategic Partnerships as a key element of its strategy and is developing and implementing a new approach to nurturing and managing strategic partnerships. Over the last eight years the DBIS Business Engagement team has focused on the development of long-term mutually beneficially partnerships in support of the University’s strategic objectives of excellence in research and teaching. Jennifer has a PhD in Applied Physics from the University of Bath (1987), in her early career she worked on the development of analytical instrumentation for quality control applications in the Pharmaceutical Sector with a large multi-national end-user and an instrumentation manufacturer. This led to 10 years as a Quality and Compliance Consultant to the Pharmaceutical Sector with ABB Ltd. prior to moving to the HE sector.
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