Vacancy Details: Knowledge Exchange & Commercialisation Officer

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Earlham Institute

Earlham Institute is a vibrant, contemporary research institute and registered charity, working in an area of rapid technological development and innovation.

Earlham Institute is strategically funded by the BBSRC to lead the development of a skill base in bioinformatics and a genomics technology platform for UK bioscience. The Institute is located on the Norwich Research Park, together with its partners: the John Innes Centre, the Institute of Food Research, 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, to which Earlham Institute contributes strengths in genomics and bioinformatics. Close links exist between the NRP partners and new opportunities for collaboration in exciting new initiatives are under development. The NRP recently received £26M of government investment to facilitate innovation and further develop infrastructure to attract science and technology companies to the Park to enhance the vibrant environment and realise economic impact from research investment.

Earlham Institute is a UK hub for innovative Bioinformatics through research, analysis and interpretation of multiple, complex data sets. It hosts one of the largest computing hardware facilities dedicated to life science research in Europe. This has been boosted recently by an e-Infrastructure grant to expand the data storage capacity to a multi-petabyte unit, deploying a high performance cluster and large-memory server enabling the allocation of processes requiring several terabytes of computing memory.

Earlham Institute’s state of the art DNA sequencing facility operates multiple complementary technologies for data generation that provide the foundation for analyses furthering our fundamental understanding of genomes and how they function. We aim to be at the forefront of technological advances and are developing and implementing technologies to generate and analyse new types of data. We also develop novel platforms to provide access to computational tools and processing capacity for multiple academic and industrial users and promoting applications of computational bioscience. Earlham Institute has one fully owned subsidiary, Genome Enterprise Ltd (GEL) via which it offers genomic and bioinformatics services on a trading basis and works with commercial providers on a partnership basis. Earlham Institute also receives specific funding to enable knowledge exchange programmes which are supported across the institute teams.

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Post Number1003283
Job TitleKnowledge Exchange & Commercialisation Officer
Closing Date1 Aug 2017
Starting Salary£30,750 - £37,750
Hours per week 37
Expected/Ideal Start Date 20 Aug 2017
Months Duration Indefinite
Main purpose of the job The Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation (KEC) Officer supports the Institute’s Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation activities, encouraging the sharing of best practice, providing effective and efficient support to a number of projects through implementation of EI’s Knowledge Exchange and impact strategy. The role includes identification and investigation of commercial opportunities, stemming from cutting edge research work and supporting projects through to successful exit as part of helping colleagues to realise the impact of their research.
Department Business Development and Communications Group
Group Details The Business Development and Communications Group works to develop the processes, mechanisms, networks and relationships that support our scientists to share their knowledge and realise the social and economic impact of their research.
Advert Text The Earlham Institute (EI) is looking for a motivated, enthusiastic and professional Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation (KEC) Officer to join The Business Development and Communications Group. The successful candidate will provide operational management and delivery of an evolving portfolio of projects and processes associated with the commercialisation of research and knowledge exchange. Responsibilities include encouraging the sharing of best practice and providing effective support to a number of projects through implementation of EI’s knowledge exchange and impact strategy. The post holder will be required to identify and investigate commercial opportunities, stemming from cutting edge research work, supporting projects through to successful exit and helping colleagues to realise the impact of their research.

With a relevant degree and an understanding of our science, you’ll have experience of working on research commercialisation and knowledge exchange projects and of delivering training in the associated processes to colleagues, as well as more general experience in managing a range of different projects. A keen interest in technology and experience of software commercialisation would also be beneficial to this role. Excellent communication skills are essential as is the ability to initiate and nurture close relationships with researchers, academic leaders and industrial partners.
Key relationships Internal: Reporting to the Head of Business Development & Communications, the Commercialisation Officer will be a member of the Operations Division and will work closely with all EI staff.

External: Enterprise and Business Development champions on Norwich Research Park and other KEC Networks. Funding agencies, e.g. BBSRC, innovate UK, EU; the Department of Business, Energy, & Industrial strategy and charitable organisations; Local Government and other key stakeholders. Representatives from local and national business organisations. Industrial Partners and Collaborators

Other: EI's Trustee Directors and Patrons.   
Main Activities & ResponsibilitiesPercentage
Work with the KEC team to deliver the EI KEC strategy.10
Support colleagues with the grant application process through impact and exploitation plan development, exploring opportunities and signposting to new funding opportunities from public and private sector sources.10
Project manage successful translational projects from a KEC perspective, including liaison with industrial partners.10
Take a lead on administering projects through the IP Management software system.10
Be a point of contact for the disclosure process, liaising with colleagues from contracts and legal functions.10
Provide a support and advice service for all EI staff across all internal and external KEC activities, including the development of tools and resources.10
To assist with the identification and progression of potential KEC opportunities, including but not limited to: o contract and collaborative research with industry o development of new innovations o securing and licensing of intellectual property, o industrial studentships o consultancy o role/opportunities for EI subsidiaries 10
Undertake bespoke research activities for market analysis and IP stance purposes.5
Promoting awareness of the importance of IP protection and exploitation and related impact.5
To provide scientific knowledge and support for interdisciplinary and collaborative projects 5
To support the development of networks within the bioscience and technology industries, building secure relationships with key industry sectors, enabling access to EI’s expertise in genomics and computational bioscience.5
Coordinate events internally and with industrial partners to promote knowledge transfer. Work in close collaboration with both the innovation and science community across the NRP to deliver a job and wealth creation agenda that translates science excellence into enterprise. 5
Any other duties, commensurate with the grade of the post.5

Education & QualificationsRequirementImportance
Educated to degree level in the biological or life sciences. Essential
Background in genomics or bioinformatics science fields. Desirable
Relevant professional qualification (MBA for example)Desirable

Specialist Knowledge & SkillsRequirementImportance
Understanding of The Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation agenda and its components.Essential
Understanding of processes surrounding knowledge exchange and the commercialisation of research.Essential
A knowledge of IP protection, IP rights law and IP policyEssential
Understanding of the challenges and processes facing the setup of new commercial operations.Essential
Knowledge of bioinformatics / computational science and perspective on the technological opportunities for growth in these areas. Desirable
Up-to-date knowledge of the research/knowledge exchange funding landscape and UK funding opportunities for scientific research translated into KEC activities.Desirable
Some understanding of IP issues related to commercialisation of software.Desirable
Knowledge of support organisations such as Knowledge Transfer Networks and Partnerships (KTNs & KTPs). Desirable
Experience of liaising with staff in small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).Desirable

Relevant ExperienceRequirementImportance
Experience of working in and/or undertaking research, or supporting research/knowledge exchange/translational activities.Essential
Demonstrable experience of supporting a portfolio of projects and processes associated with the commercialisation of research and knowledge exchangeEssential
Experience of industry engagement and networking with a range of stakeholders including private and public sector organisations.Essential
Project management, coordination of collaborative working.Essential
Experience of working with contractual agreements such as NDA’s and collaboration agreements.Desirable
Experience of identifying funding and supporting the grant writing process for KEC activities.Desirable
Experience of working within a Research Institute or Higher Education Institute in a Knowledge Exchange role,Desirable
Experience of working within a commercial, translational role within a private sector organisation.Desirable
Planning, organising and delivering events.Desirable

Interpersonal & Communication SkillsRequirementImportance
Excellent communication and people skills, including an ability to interact with internal and external stakeholders at all levels of seniority.Essential
A proactive self-starter capable of supporting a portfolio of evolving projects.Essential
An ability to translate scientific research into accessible communications of a wider audience.Essential
An ability to be an effective networker and ambassador for EI to build on existing and create new contacts through which to deliver EI objectives. Essential
Effective in presenting to small and large groups with varied backgrounds. Ability to prioritise tasks and work to tight deadlines; attention to detail.Essential
Able to undertake the administrative requirements of the role including the collation and analysis of KEC data and impact metrics for effective for internal and external reporting.Essential
Able to undertake desk research to support market research activity.Essential
A positive attitude to work, and desire to achieve the best for the EI, its staff and its stakeholders.Essential
An ability to be creative and innovative within the corporate framework. Essential
Creative communication skills, including ability to utilise photoshop and digital communication methods.Desirable

Additional RequirementsRequirementImportance
Promotes equality and values diversityEssential
Willingness to be flexible about working hours in order to attend/host appropriate events.Essential
Willingness to travel in UK and abroad and be away from home for short periods.Essential
An ability to fully support the type of research undertaken by the EI and the wider Norwich Research Park. Essential
A commitment to Professional developmentDesirable