Essentials of Business Development 27 February-2 March 2018

This event is currently full. However you can register now and get added to a waiting list. You will be notified if spaces become available.
Following attendance on this course, delegates will have practical skills, information and insight that will help them become more effective University/ PSRE business development professionals so that they can pro-actively add value to the work of academics, clinicians, and researchers.


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 and build pathways to impact.  Academics are busy and don’t usually 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.

What makes this course different to others available in the sector?

PraxisAuril is able to deliver this training from the unique perspective of KE practitioners. We see the world from the same angle as you do!

We draw on a wide pool of experience and expertise from within the profession and build them into the course content, ensuring we are always delivering up to date, sector leading training and development.

PLEASE NOTE: This course has been updated in light of feedback from earlier deliveries, to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of each of our delegates. The highly participative and interactive programme uses a new range of interactive techniques to engage delegates in an immersive, memorable and enjoyable learning experience.

View programme

20% discount on group bookings

Make a 20% saving on course fees by registering five or more delegates from your organisation for this event.

The course fee includes:

  • Attendance at all lectures and workshops
  • Training and reference materials (electronic or otherwise)
  • Registration event (including buffet dinner & drinks) on Tuesday 27 February 2018
  • Networking event (including buffet dinner & drinks) on Wednesday 28 February 2018
  • Morning and afternoon refreshments and lunch every day

View Venue, Accommodation & Further Information

Book now


27 February 2018 6:30 PM   to   2 March 2018 3:15 PM
Burleigh Court
Loughborough University
West Park
Loughborough, LEC LE11-3GR
United Kingdom
Phone: 01223 659951
Business Development
Course Fee £ 1175.00
Course Fee with Member Discount £ 1045.00
ATTP information
ATTP Points for this event 20

Course Trainers

Alastair Banks

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.


Elaine Eggington

Elaine Eggington has over 16 years´ experience in commercialising early stage technologies through venture capital investment and consultancy. Since joining IP Pragmatics in 2009, she has conducted well over 100 individual projects involving business development support, partnering, market research, competitive intelligence and IP landscaping of opportunities across a wide range of technology sectors for public and private sector clients. She has led a number of public sector funded reviews of different aspects of the university knowledge exchange landscape, including the impacts of the Lambert toolkit, the Easy Access IP initiative, in-depth studies of selected KE activities in Ireland and indicators for KE benchmarking. Elaine also successfully managed delivery of the Interact Partnership, a £1 million government-sponsored initiative to identify, develop and exploit tangible and intangible intellectual property from 6 UK government research organisations, Before IP Pragmatics, Elaine was the Investment Manager with day to day responsibility for the Lachesis Fund, the £8m University Challenge Fund for the East Midlands, managing a portfolio of 30 start-up companies and development technologies. Previously, she spent 12 years as an information manager in the life sciences industry, working in the NHS, at Peptide Therapeutics and Schering Agrochemicals. She has an MA from the University of Cambridge and an MSc from City University London.


Helen Lau

Helen Lau is the Head of Knowledge Exchange at Coventry University. Helen initially joined Coventry University as Project Manager as part of the initial HDTI (Health Design and Technology Institute) team supporting the development of the research centre and overseeing the build of the multi-million pound inclusively designed facility. She is now responsible for running the UK and European government funded knowledge transfer programmes (such as KTP), contract research, industry funded postgraduate studentships and a substantial percentage of the business engagement activities undertaken by the University Group including some European Regional Development initiatives.
The KE Unit is frequently the first point of contact and engagement for SMEs and larger companies. Helen is working within the Enterprise and Innovation Group at Coventry to develop successful academic relationships with the business community that meet business need and address academic impact. She specialises in delivering transactional projects which meet the needs of the client and the academic team involved in projects, linking to research impact and University metrics.
Helen has worked in research commercialisation and business engagement for 13 years across roles at Coventry University, Keele University and Yorkshire Forward and directly in an SME environment. She has expertise across a wide range of project, and client types and has developed a range of new initiatives at Coventry to build, and retain client relationships and research impact pathways.
Outside of her role at the University Helen has been a Trustee for AgeUK Coventry and a member of the Institute of Engineers and Technologists.


Mrs. Jennie Shorley

Jennie joined the Centre for Enterprise in July 2010. As Head of Bids and Partnerships Jennie has led the bids team to secure £3M of funding for business growth and innovation support for small firms, as well as successful research council bids to the ESRC, AHRC and EPSRC. As a senior member of the management team she represents MMU and the Centre for Enterprise throughout the UK and Europe.
Jennie led the award-winning £2.5M ERDF-funded Knowledge Action Network project across the North West. This flagship project worked with 214 small companies across the North West, supporting these firms to create 71 and safeguard 61 jobs.
Jennie leads partnerships across Europe for the Centre for Enterprise, including heading the £0.5M Leonardo Transfer of Innovation Programme with 10 EU business and university partners. She currently leads MMU’s involvement in 3 Erasmus+ programmes. She has strong university and business connections in Croatia, France, Poland, Finland, Spain, The Netherlands and Germany.


Jeff Skinner RTTP

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.


Sarah Stables

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.


Ian Tracey

Ian is the Head of Access to Funding & Finance at Innovate UK. He is responsible for growing and developing strategies for assisting innovative companies through the application and raising of finance be it lending, grants, or equity based. A key project that his team delivers is the Venturefest Network, as well as a national network of Entrepreneur Forums. Ian co-created the UK Innovation Forum (, to find the management required by UK research institutions to fill posts in their spin-outs, or otherwise participate in the commercialisation of new technologies.


Course Director

Sean Fielding RTTP

Sean Fielding is the Director of Innovation Impact and Business at the 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. Each year his team works on c1000 projects worth around £40-50million.

He is also responsible for strategic knowledge transfer projects such as the University’s Innovation Centre and the new Exeter Science Park.

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.

Sean previously worked for national University bodies where he setup and led joint-ventures for commercialising and marketing national and international HE services. He has been Managing Director and Director of several companies.

Sean studied languages at University College London.

Course Director

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