Head of Innovation and Business Development

Are you an experienced and ambitious Research and Innovation Development professional looking to further your career in one of the UK’s leading research-intensive universities? Are you a confident leader capable of building excellent working relationships with academic colleagues, funders and senior stakeholders to drive innovation, business collaboration and successful research translation?

The University’s Academic Strategic Plan (2020-2030) aims to create a research culture and environment that places the University of Leeds at the centre of a global research and innovation community, delivering truly transformational fundamental and challenge-led research that advances knowledge and creates solutions to local, national and global challenges. Within this, improving links with external partners, including industry, to facilitate collaborative research, drive opportunities for innovation and ensure our research can be effectively translated to deliver economic and societal value is seen as essential.  We have a strong track record in delivering innovation, business partnership and research translation and this post aims to further increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our innovation portfolio.  

The Head of Innovation and Business Development will need to quickly establish a University-wide profile, forge strong links with key academics, build networks across the University and work in partnership with Heads of other University support functions. Strong leadership and team working skills will be needed to create and embed change effectively in a complex and changing environment. The post holder will lead a team of Innovation Managers who seek to grow new collaboration and partnership opportunities with businesses and the Research Translation team to progress proven science into technologies that can be validated in a given application and successfully progressed as new licences, spin outs and knowledge exchange opportunities. 

Working with other senior managers across the Research & Innovation Service, the Head of Innovation and Business Development will contribute to an area of strategic importance to the University: increasing and diversifying innovation related income and maximising the value of funding opportunities from Innovate UK, industry and collaborative research partnerships with companies. The individual will be expected to identify and develop new opportunities for innovation and collaborative research income generation and provide strategic oversight of the development of high value innovation focussed proposals developed in partnership with academics.  

Relevant experience of implementing and managing complex innovation related programmes is required, along with knowledge and experience of the various funding sources that are available to support successful innovation and research translation.

The post holder will work with colleagues from across the University to ensure the provision of a coordinated service across the full range of research and innovation activity: from knowledge-led innovation support to businesses (contract/collaborative research, consultancy and access to equipment) to commercial exploitation of intellectual property.  The post holder will also need to be a confident communicator and be able to take responsibility for establishing and managing high-level relationships with a range of stakeholders. 

This will require working closely with academics, research leaders and other Research and Innovation Development professionals across all disciplines to identify research with the greatest potential for innovation and translation.

The post holder will also work with the wider Research and Innovation Development Team and in particular the Research Development Team where collaboration with an external organisation will strengthen a research and innovation proposal for fundamental or applied research.  The post holder will also work closely with the Commercialisation and Contracts Team who provide support for contract development, the identification and protection of Intellectual Property and its commercialisation. 

To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact: 

Dr Ceri Williams, Director of Research and Innovation Development 

Tel: +44 (0) 773 487582

Email: c.j.r.williams@leeds.ac.uk 

Interviews are expected to take place on 7th or 8th July 2021


Due to the current Government Coronavirus lockdown and social distancing measures, the interviews for this role are likely to be conducted remotely using Microsoft Teams or Zoom.  It is also expected that relevant work within these roles may be done remotely, within the UK, while these restrictions remain in place.

Please note: If you are not a British or Irish citizen, from 1 January 2021 you will require permission to work in the UK. This will normally be in the form of a visa but, if you are an EEA/Swiss citizen and resident in the UK before 31 December 2020, this may be your passport or status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Closing date: 
Sunday, June 27, 2021
Originating organisation: