Head of Commercialisation : Heriot-Watt University

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Head of Commercialisation

Job ref: IRC20470

Closing date: 15 Mar 2019 23:00 (UK time)

Salary: £50,132–£58,089 (Grade 9)

Location: Edinburgh

Department: Heriot-Watt University

Category: Professional & Managerial

Status: Full Time


Heriot-Watt is a pioneering University - Established in 1821, Heriot-Watt University is an integrated global university with strong links across Europe and the rest of the world. Since our foundation as the School of Arts, the world’s first Mechanical Institute, we have been outward looking pioneers of education, in pursuit of knowledge for the benefit of society and the world. 

Today we have five campus locations worldwide (Edinburgh, Orkney, Galashiels, Dubai - UAE and Putrajaya - Malaysia) nurturing scholars who are creating transformational solutions to global problems.  Our campuses, coupled with our international community, create a distinct university experience and a springboard for an international career or a route to exports for start-up. Known as leaders in ideas and solutions, we build inventive, entrepreneurial and resilient minds.


About our Team

The GRID @ Heriot-Watt 

 Fascinated by the future and captivated by technology and business innovation?
Smart, ambitious and want to make real positive impact?

We are embarking on a number of flagship digital and data driven innovation investments– in total we are investing over £50M over the next 5 years in these new global initiatives, and we aim to work with selected partners to leverage this further, transforming lives and creating opportunities for all.

The GRID has been designed to connect and inspire the next generation of digitally minded and equipped entrepreneurial leaders.  Our new centre opening in 2019 will feature: Coding Space, Maker Labs, Gaming Studio, Imagineering Zones, Hot Desks and Incubation and a Challenge Zone.

However, it is people that matter and we are creating great spaces where creative and brilliant minds are encouraged to share ideas and explore new concepts – tapping into world-class academic resource to stay at the forefront of rapidly changing technology trends.  Our GRID will be a powerhouse for ideation, exploration and innovation, and a place where you can discover what can be achieved when barriers to creativity are removed.


The GRID connects our leading academics, high growth technology companies and our research partners to build better products and services for future global markets.


Detailed Description

We are seeking an experienced Commercial Manager to generate significant value for Heriot-Watt University by identifying, developing and closing multiple opportunities that will help us to expand our innovation and entrepreneurship activities. The goal being to develop a vibrant innovation ecosystem, which enables both large corporates and spin-out/start-ups to flourish and create new product and services aimed at driving productivity and generating significant revenue through global trade.

An excellent commercial manager has a strong entrepreneurial mind-set together with great leadership skills. The ideal candidate will have led and successfully executed many new commercial activities and have a strong track-record in industry engagement.

Our goal is to develop Heriot-Watt’s capabilities as a global leader in collaborative innovation and entrepreneurship and generate revenues that will lead to sustainable growth.


Key duties and responsibilities

  • Engaging with partners at Board, CxO and senior levels, manage relationships (new and existing) to secure significant investment in commercialisation activities
  • Developing strategic partnerships to advance the University’s vision on supporting accelerated innovation.
  • Develop and execute commercialisation strategies according to Heriot-Watt’s strategy 2025.
  • Manage the commercialisation of intellectual property and generate new revenue.
  • Negotiate licenses and related deals with companies ranging from start-ups/spin-outs to large corporates
  • Work closely with business development, legal and marketing resources that operate within a matrix structure.
  • Liaise with colleagues across the University and develop a comprehensive pipeline of commercial opportunities relating to innovation and enterprise initiatives.
  • Assist in setting financial targets and budget development


Education, qualifications and experience


  1. Educated to degree level
  2. Relevant commercial or industrial experience working in the private sector. An entrepreneurial mind-set, with agility and ability to identify and respond to new opportunities. 
  3. Direct experience of working with start-ups and early stage companies and ventures, with clear evidence of delivering strategies for growth.
  4. Track record in raising finance to support large scale innovation, company growth and scale-up activities.
  5. Track record in developing large scale corporate partnerships and establishing new commercial initiatives within a large organisation.
  6. Substantial experience of managing and commercialising intellectual property with a sound knowledge of patenting.
  7. Significant business development experience within industry 
  8. Strong track record of developing and maintaining positive working relationships with internal and external customers and stakeholders.
  9. Demonstrable experience of building, leading and managing teams.
  10. Excellent influencing skills.
  11. Collaborative and proactive.
  12. Agile and resilient.



  1. Educated to postgraduate level.
  2. Experience operating in a complex global environment.
  3. Direct experience of raising angel or venture capital funding.
  4. Chartered Member of relevant Professional Body.


How To Apply

Applications can be submitted up to midnight (UK time) on  15 March 2019.

 At Heriot-Watt University we understand that being diverse makes us better which is why we support a culture of respect and equal opportunity, and value diversity at the heart of what we do. We want to increase the diversity of our workplace to underpin a dynamic and creative environment.

We welcome and will consider flexible working patterns e.g. part-time working and job share options.



Closing date: 
Friday, March 15, 2019
Originating organisation: