Developing Strategic Partnerships

Build long-term transformational alliances

Training outcomes

Discuss different forms of strategic alliance and how they originate
Understand how to build and maintain long-term partnerships
Understand the most appropriate governance/management arrangements
Know how to identify opportunities, including converting existing relationships into more strategic alliances
Develop an internal business case to win senior management support
Recognise the main issues that can derail a developing partnership

The course also focuses on networking, providing a valuable platform to meet peers, discuss best practice, and interact with the course team and other contributors.

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


Who should attend?

  • Relevant job titles: Partnerships managers, roles involved in developing strategic alliances that include commercial opportunities, research and teaching interactions
  • Relevant sectors/organisations: Higher Education (HE), public sector research organisations, clinical health organisations, industry
  • Experience needed: 1+ year experience in a business development role
  • Supporting courses: Essentials of Business Development
  • Other: Especially helpful for those seeking to develop a more strategic (less ‘project-by-project) approach to business development, and those expected to help create or manage these relationships or form/influence institutional strategies


Event description

Universities and research institutes are increasingly seeking broader and longer-term relationships with strategic partners with multiple touchpoints, encompassing research collaboration, knowledge transfer, teaching, training, graduate employment and other interactions. Creating and managing these (sometimes complex) relationships between organisations can often prove challenging, but successful alliances can be transformational for all involved. This course will guide you through the different steps and skills involved in identifying potential strategic partners, building the relationship, understanding each other’s needs, creating relevant governance and management structures, and avoiding the pitfalls. The overall aim is to enable delegates to be more effective in their partnership’s development role and have the skills to build long-lasting fruitful strategic alliances that deliver mutual benefit, enable new outcomes and create considerable societal impact.


Course Directors

Phil Elstob

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.


Rebeca Santamaria-Fernandez

Rebeca is the Director of Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation for the Faculty of Engineering at Imperial, leading the Faculty’s Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation (IPC) team in maximising the impact of Imperial’s academic discoveries by stimulating, identifying and progressing opportunities to develop research and technologies through collaboration and commercialisation. The IPC team promotes College’s capabilities and secures collaborative research and commercialisation income, supports the assessment of research discoveries, analysis, evaluation, and advancement of those technologies through to market adoption via collaboration with industry, access to translational funds, licensing or spin out and manages industry partnerships and key stakeholder relationships.