Head of Commercialisation: UK Research and Innovation


Purpose Specific to UKRI Head of Commercialisation reporting to Deputy Director of Commercialisation of Research

UKRI is expanding its senior commercialisation team and the role of Head of Commercialisation of Research is a unique opportunity to influence research policy and delivery on a national stage, within the UK’s largest public research funding organisation.

As Head of Commercialisation, you will:

  • Work with the Director and Deputy Director of Commercialisation of Research and across UKRI to develop, champion and deliver its vision and approach for commercialisation
  • Lead UKRI commercialisation policy and projects to develop how UKRI leads the world in harnessing and exploiting research – irrespective of the source of its original funding – in order to deliver economic impact for the UK and contributing towards strong inward R&D investment as part of the UK ambition for 2.4% GDP in research and innovation
  • Lead on agreed interactions within UKRI and with partner organisations (including universities, business, and government departments, charities and others) to ensure that UKRI is working effectively within the broader research and innovation ecosystem and to create the best possibly commercialisation environment
  • Provide effective management, working with the Deputy Director, to the cross-council commercialisation team providing a central UKRI commercialisation function
  • Lead an agreed range of initiatives and work-streams, which includes working across UKRI, to ensure an accessible continuum of responsive funding for translation and commercialisation, ensuring innovative businesses can access the finance and support they need to grow, developing the commercialisation ecosystem (including for example skills, IP, promoting commercialisation within UKRI institutes and faculties)
  • Work to increase UKRI’s commercialisation profile
  • Contribute to the evaluation of UKRI’s success in commercialisation and plans for realisation of benefits.

Purpose – As a Head:

  • You will be given responsibility for managing specific strategic relationships with key partner organisations
  • You will be required to take on specific projects/programmes, and representational roles
  • Line manage several direct reports expected to be approx. 3 individuals
  • Contribute to UKRI’s success through the appropriate participation in key strategy and governance structures with colleagues
  • Contribute to UKRI’s transformation programme, embedding into the
  • Organisation a set of common values and approaches that help turn UKRI’s vision into reality.

Main Outputs and Activities

Strategy Development

  • Develop and implement policy and strategies for UKRI commercialisation of research.
    Analysis and Use of Evidence
  • Be able to identify and evaluate the success or otherwise of commercialisation activities.
    Communications and Influence
  • Build networks, communicate and engage with others effectively in a wide range of settings internally across UKRI and externally
  • Communicate effectively with and gain the respect of the UKRI senior colleagues,  commercialisation leads and teams across UKRI, senior academics, universities, industry, Government Departments.

Programme Management

  • Lead and deliver streams of work in complex environments
  • Set up and direct programmes which address UKRI’s goals in commercialisation which draw support or are delivered in partnership with other parts of UKRI, government agencies, industry and other parties.

People Management

  • Good leadership, management and coaching skills, including working with and directing flexible and high performing teams, as well as leading people through change.

Financial Management

  • Financial management and budget control
  • Understanding of the principles of public sector finance, including the need to demonstrate efficiency, effectiveness and value for money.

Corporate Governance

  • Uphold the principles of public service through personal actions and as a role model for others.
  • Manage strategic relationships with some key partner organisations in the research commercialisation ecosystem
  • Represent UKRI in working groups and with other research funders, and wider Government bodies
  • Represent UKRI through building relationships with key partners and industry sector groupings in commercialisation.

Working Relationships

  • Reporting to Deputy Director of Commercialisation, UKRI, and working with the Deputy Director and Director of Commercialisation
  • Direct reports, up to 3 band Es
  • Directors and Deputy Directors of research and innovation or equivalent across UKRI
  • UKRI-funded researchers.
  • Universities (including pro-Vice Chancellors, and university commercialisation offices)
  • Representative or other organisations with an interest in thriving business and economic success, such as the British Business Bank, the CBI, Institute of Directors
  • Relevant government departments, including the Department for International Trade and the Science and Innovation Network.



Organization Description

What is UK Research and Innovation?


Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £7 billion, UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. UKRI will build on the successful elements from the current funding system and maximise the contribution of each of the component parts to create the best environment for research and innovation to flourish.

Building on success

The UK has a world class research and innovation system. Our expertise spans all fields of knowledge, from the discovery of penicillin and monoclonal antibodies, to the jet engine and the world-wide web. Our inspirational creative industries are strong in art, design and the innovative use of new materials and technologies. Our universities and laboratories produce a disproportionate percentage of the world’s top research, and their academics are highly-sought as international colleagues and co-authors and are among the world’s best at attracting overseas students Nor is this excellence confined to university campuses and research centres. Our engineering, automotive and pharmaceutical industries are successful in part because of the superb graduates they can hire and the top rate researchers that support them.

Our partners

The nine UK Research and Innovation partners each bring unique assets to this cooperation. Innovate UK helps businesses to identify the commercial potential in new technologies and turn them into the new products and services that will drive economic growth and increase productivity; Strong discipline-facing Research Councils encourage breadth and diversity, curiosity-driven research, and priority-driven initiatives; Research England’s work on knowledge exchange will focus on capacity and culture in universities and provide balance to the funding system. It will drive quality and impact through the REF and work closely with its counterparts in the devolved administrations.

Closing date: 
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Originating organisation: