- Job Title
- Head of Commercialisation
- Post Number
- Closing Date
- 7 May 2019
- Starting Salary
- Competitive salary
- Hours per week
- Months Duration
Main Purpose of the Job
The John Innes Centre (JIC) is a world-leading global plant and microbial sciences research institute. It undertakes a wide range of basic and strategic research supported by the BBSRC and industry and other funders of research nationally and internationally. Its direct industry partners include those from the agri-biotech, plant breeding, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. JIC partners with Plant Biosciences Ltd (PBL) to identify and commercialise JIC intellectual property. JIC aims to expand its range of commercially-funded projects, establish the means to initiate and support start-ups, and contribute to a wider range of public good research. The Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation (KEC) Department works to develop the processes, mechanisms, networks, communications and relationships that support our scientists to share their knowledge, translate and commercialise their research outputs and realise the social and economic impact of their research.
In order to strengthen, broaden and grow its portfolio of commercial relationships and to expand its translational research and innovation activities, JIC now seeks to appoint a Head of Commercialisation to join its Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation (KEC) team where you will work in partnership with the Head of Business Development.
As the Head of Commercialisation you will be required to identify and develop commercial partnerships that will support the translation and commercialisation of research outcomes through collaboration agreements, secure and administer contract research, consultancy and scientific service provision through the management of John Innes Enterprise (JIE), and support the formation and spinout of innovation-based companies; specifically, the post-holder would be the Managing Director of JIE. You will lead contract negotiations and have responsibility for commercial agreements, intellectual property management and licencing. You will play a key role in the development, implementation and delivery of the JIC’s Commercialisation strategy ensuring alignment with JIC science objectives, the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy and regional growth objectives.
In your role you will liaise directly with JIC scientists to identify scientific advances, develop translational research, identify and develop commercial opportunities and secure investment to support their delivery through competitive grant applications. You will support the spinout of new businesses based on JIC’s research outcomes, developing business and investment plans and attract business professionals to lead these new ventures. There will be an expectation that you raise significant external income through these interactions. You will work closely with the Institute Director, the Institute Scientific Programme (ISP) leads, the Head of Business Development, and the Communication, International, Contracts and Finance Offices, reporting to the KEC Strategy Committee and JIC’s Governing Council. You will have, along with the Head of Business Development, responsibility for managing the KEC budget (currently ~£800K pa) and be responsible for the line management of key staff in the KEC office. An understanding of our science, biological research experience, experience in Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation of research, and a keen interest in technology will be essential to this role. You will have the ability to engage with researchers, programme leaders, administrators, KEC and Communications professionals, senior Corporate Executives and legal professionals.
The Institute is located on the Norwich Research Park, together with the Earlham Institute, and the Quadram Institute, The Sainsbury Laboratory, the University of East Anglia and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. The research park has an excellent reputation for research in plant and microbial sciences, interdisciplinary environmental science and food, diet and health. Close links exist between the NRP partners and new opportunities for collaboration in exciting new initiatives are under development. JIC and TSL hope to secure funding for the development of a new 30,000 sq m research facility for JIC and TSL at the Norwich Research Park. This is an exciting time for the internationally-recognised research institutes as they bring together their vision for their Next Generation Infrastructure.
Internal: Reporting to the Director and accountable to the KEC Strategy Committee, the Head of Commercialisation will be a member of the KEC Department and will work closely with all JIC academic staff, scientific platform technologists, Department Administrators and ISP Leaders, as well as the Contracts, Finance and Computing Departments, the Directorate, Governing Council and the Science and Innovation Advisory Board, and members of the JIE Board.
External: Funding agencies, commercial companies, Business Angels, Venture Capital Companies, Investment Groups and Corporate Investors, Plant Biosciences Ltd and corporate legal and intellectual property lawyers.
Other: UK Government – BEIS, DIT and DEFRA, regional development agencies – NA-LEP, GCGP-LEP, Norfolk County Council, South Norfolk District Council.
Main Activities & Responsibilities
Lead the development of JIC’s commercialisation strategy to:
• Raise additional funding and investment to support JIC science;
• Increase the range and depth of industry relationships with JIC researchers, as measured by the nature of those relationships, their magnitude and complexity and their sustainability.
- Innovation and Commercialisation
• Work on a one-to-one basis with Project Leaders and commercial scientists/managers to support the preparation of applications for translational research funding, both internal (KEC or NRP) and external (UKRI, Innovate UK or charitable). It is expected that the post-holder will offer expert commercial advice to Project Leaders that will enable maximisation of impacts from their research.
• Leverage funding where possible to enable collaborative and translational research with industry; it is expected that the post-holder will raise significant external income.
• Nurture innovation, the creation of spinout companies and the attraction of specialised biotechnology companies to collocate at the Norwich research Park.
• Support the spinout of new business based on JIC’s research outcomes, developing business and investment plans, attract business professionals to lead these new ventures and secure early stage investment to establish the ventures.
- John Innes Enterprise
• Manage JIE (i.e. serve as Managing Director of the company), the John Innes Centre’s wholly owned subsidiary company, developing a portfolio of contract research, consultancy and platform services contracts.
• Review and evaluate approaches from external organisations and match with JIC expertise.
• Identify and develop commercial opportunities for JIC research outputs and scientific platforms.
• Oversee the administration of commercial projects, including agreements, delivery, reporting and invoicing.
- As agreed with line manager, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the role.
Education & Qualifications
- Biological or life sciences degree or substantial experience in life sciences research.
- Educated to PhD level in the biological or life sciences.
Specialist Knowledge & Skills
- Significant experience of working in/with industry and strategic vision, as proven by successfully leading industrial research alliances or developing compelling propositions involving the application of science, research and technology.
- A strong understanding of IP and technology transfer – IP policy and protection, technology development and commercialisation issues.
- Significant experience of setting up strategic collaboration agreements.
- Significant experience with legal contracts and intellectual property protection and management.
- Academic and industry biosciences research background.
- A track record of developing and managing relationships with industry.
- Experience of preparing case studies and impact reports.
- Experience of managing multiple functional relationships, building strong networks of influence, and navigating complex stakeholder dynamics.
- Experience of working in a relevant industry environment, e.g. agri-biotech or pharmaceutical industries.
- Commercial project management.
- Preparation and negotiation of agreements.
- Postdoctoral research experience in a life science.
Interpersonal & Communication Skills
- Ability to understand, communicate and function in the different cultural environments of academia, business and the public sector.
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
- An innovative thinker, with the ability to unlock the commercial potential of ideas and concepts.
- A genuine customer service orientation.
- Team spirit and a high degree of approachability.
- A commitment to high levels of professionalism in their approach and presentation.
- Self-motivated with the ability to work independently.
- Mission driven with a passion for and knowledge of research and science.
- Willingness to be flexible about working hours.
- Willingness to work in ad hoc teams recognising leadership and contribution of others.
- Promotes equality and values diversity.
- Promotes equality and values diversity
- Willing to undertake international travel to attend meetings.
Who We Are
John Innes Centre
The John Innes Centre is an independent, international centre of excellence in plant science and microbiology, carrying out fundamental and strategic research, to train scientists and making our findings available to society.
Our research makes use of a wide range of disciplines in the biological and chemical sciences including; cell biology, biochemistry, chemistry, genetics and molecular biology.
We pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive working environment for all. We have a diverse and multicultural scientific community and thrive on our European and international links. We are proud to hold a prestigious Athena SWAN Gold award, recognising the impact of our work in promoting gender equality in science. We are also a proud member of the Stonewall Diversity Champion’s programme and, as a Disability Confident employer, guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the post.
The John Innes Centre is a registered charity (No. 223852), limited by guarantee (registered in England No. 511709) and is an Equal Opportunities Employer.
The John Innes Centre (JIC) is a world-leading plant and microbial sciences research institute. We undertake a wide range of basic and strategic research supported by the Government, charities and industry. To strengthen, broaden and grow our portfolio of commercial relationships and expand our range of commercially-funded projects, translational research and innovation activities, we are looking to appoint a Head of Commercialisation.
This new role is key to the development and implementation of JIC’s Commercialisation strategy, working with JIC scientists and horizon scanning to identify emerging technologies and innovations and manage the translation and commercialisation of research outcomes. The Head of Commercialisation will utilise their networks to access translational research funds, establish commercial partnerships and support the spinout of new businesses. Developing business and investment plans and attracting professionals to lead these new ventures will be a key part of the role, alongside leading contract negotiations and responsibility for commercial agreements, IP management and licencing. The Head of Commercialisation will also be responsible for running a commercial contract organisation.
The ideal candidate will have a degree in biological or life sciences or substantial experience in life sciences research and significant experience of working in or with industry. With excellent negotiation skills, you will also have a proven track record in the management and delivery of commercial contracts, the establishment of new companies and the securing of early stage investment. A good understanding of IP policy and management, experience with legal contracts and excellent networking and interpersonal skills will be critical to your success in the role, as well as the ability to develop effective relationships with industry, academics, business and the public sector.
An attractive and competitive package is available to the successful candidate.
We are an equal opportunities employer, actively supporting inclusivity and diversity. As a Disability Confident organisation, we guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for this vacancy. The John Innes Centre is also proud to hold a Gold Award from Athena SWAN and is a member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme.