Essentials of Business Development 29 January-1 February 2019

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Is this course right for me?

This course is for people who are new to business development in HE/research organisations or new to business development altogether.  They may not have much experience of working with business and probably not much experience of how university business engagement works.

Delegates will most likely be working in higher education, public sector research organisations, and potentially in businesses too.  They may have significant experience in aspects of internal management of TT/Knowledge Exchange (KE), but less knowledge and understanding of the specific issues around business development.  They may be focusing on a discipline area or a particular sector e.g. Healthcare, Arts and Culture, Physics, Biosciences.

Why should I attend this course?

Universities are increasingly expecting their academics to diversify income streams, build pathways to impact and support knowledge exchange.  Academics are busy and often don’t have the skills needed to build relationships and engage effectively with business. With Impact as a major new driver, we expect that more staff with a business development or business engagement role will be recruited.

It is easy to make contacts but much harder to turn these into valuable, long-term, productive relationships.  This course aims to make this process more straightforward and efficient and give the delegates tools to help them add value to the academic or scientist with whom they are working.

What will I learn from the course?

  • What is business development all about?

  • The challenge of presenting an offer to a crowded and fragmented market (internal and external)

  • Understanding where your offer fits in the value chain

  • The different ways in which universities interact with business and mechanisms that can be used to facilitate that.

  • How to engage with different markets

  • Hear what industry really thinks of your services and how we can improve them

  • Tips on networking and building a wide and varied network of contacts

  • How to use tools such as marketing databases, client relationship management (CRM), marketing and social media to achieve your goals

  • How to lead conversations with customers to generate interest and enthusiasm and move relationships towards agreements

  • How to define the elements of an efficient deal by focussing on the needs of the parties

  • How to be a successful account manager

Delegates will have the opportunity to hear from (and speak directly with) academic, industrial and business development practitioners. There will also be ample opportunity for networking with other delegates, the course team and other contributors.  Delegates will have the opportunity to solve their own business development problems with the help of the course delegates.

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

View provisional programme (subject to change)


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.

20 ATTP Points

29th January - 1st February


Course fee (Member Price £1,125) £ 1495.00

Meet the Speakers/Trainers

Sean Fielding RTTP

Course Director
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.

Sarah Stables

Co-Course Director
Director, Sarah Stables Consulting
Knowledge Exchange Profile: For the past 15 years Sarah has worked to promote knowledge exchange between HE and industry, her work has been focused on Cumbria and as such her specialist area of understanding is the growth and development of new Universities as place based anchor institutions in rural areas. All of her industry and knowledge exchange work has involved engagement with businesses across a range of sectors, with a specific understanding of the challenges of enabling knowledge exchange in rural areas with a primarily SME business profile. European Funding has enabled much the Knowledge Exchange work, as such Sarah has experience of managing and delivering programmes of over £24M of European structural funds. Over the past 15 years Sarah has worked with and managed teams of up to 26 Knowledge Exchange professionals and as such has a keen interest in the advancement of knowledge exchange professional development frameworks. Sarah’s most recent role has been as Business Development and Enterprise Lead for the University of Cumbria. She has sat on many regional boards encouraging links between Universities and regional growth this includes: Cumbria LEP Technical Officers Group, the Cumbria ESIF committee and the North West Universities European Unit. Sarah was very proud to be an AURIL council member from 2015.

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.

Emma Fadlon

Head of Business Development, Innovate UK

Alastair Banks

CEO, Optix Solutions
Alastair is CEO and one of the founding Directors of Optix Solutions, a Web Design & Digital Marketing Agency in Devon, and has made a name for himself in the Social Media world, both through his personal interactions (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and blogging - he runs a successful blog for young entrepreneurs and business owners at: and those of Optix. Having set up Optix straight from University in 1999, he successfully built the company (with his business partner James Dawkins) to a team of 15 and a turnover of £600k+. He also runs an online Social Networking site/business called and is a partner in reverse auction company Mango Evolution. Alastair has a strong understanding of how Social Media can be utilised within the business community and how it has become a fundamental part of any company’s marketing strategy in the 21st century. He runs seminars all over the UK on the topic of Inbound Marketing and has guest lectured a number of times at the University of Exeter, including on their prestigious OnePlanet MBA course.
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