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Durham Business & Innovation Services

Business Engagement

The remit of the Business Engagement Team is to work closely with the research base to develop and engage in substantive business and industrial research collaborations and partnerships.

The team is working to streamline processes for dealing with business and to nurture multi point of contact relationships across a broad research base with strategic business and industrial partners.

Key Contacts:

Business Development

Dr Jennifer Thompson - Head of Business Development

To provide a ‘broker’ or ‘link’ service to bring business and industrial partners together with relevant academic staff, research groups or research institutes, and to then support and nurture the relationships. Core responsibility to deliver Private Sector Business and Industry engagement. Responsible for supporting specific business sectors as informed by review of key research strengths and opportunity horizon scanning . Line management for Analytical Services, Consultancy, DIBF, employer engagement activity and delivery of HEIF reporting. Contact Jennifer.


Dr Pam Robinson - Consultancy & Analytical Services, Business Development Manager

Provide link service to bring business and industrial partners together with academic staff or research groups/institutes with special focus on engagement through consultancy/analytical services. Provide leadership and guidance for devolved consultancy/analytical services process. Some prospect research and business relations stewardship activities. Contact Pam.


Mrs Julianne Emborg - Higher Skills & Engagement, Business Development Manager

Marketing and event organisation, prospect research and business relations stewardship activities. Core responsibility in business/employer engagement. Provides link service to bring business and industrial partners together with academic staff or research groups/institutes with special focus on engagement through teaching and learning consultancy services and CE, CPD and bespoke courses. Management and delivery of DIBF.  Contact Julianne.


Heather Allinson - Senior Business Development Manager

To provide a ‘broker’ or ‘link’ service to bring business and industrial partners together with relevant academic staff, research groups or research institutes, and to then support and nurture the relationships. Core responsibility to deliver Private Sector Business and Industry engagement. Responsible for supporting specific business sectors as informed by review of key research strengths and opportunity horizon scanning. Specific focus and expertise in Physical Sciences. Contact Heather

Julie Swinbank - Senior Business Development Manager

To provide a ‘broker’ or ‘link’ service to bring business and industrial partners together with relevant academic staff, research groups or research institutes, and to then support and nurture the relationships. Core responsibility to deliver Private Sector Business and Industry engagement. Responsible for supporting specific business sectors as informed by review of key research strengths and opportunity horizon scanning. Specific focus and expertise in Physical Sciences. Contact Julie

Alison Collins - Business Development Manager

To provide a ‘broker’ or ‘link’ service to bring business and industrial partners together with relevant academic staff, research groups or research institutes, and to then support and nurture the relationships. Core responsibility to deliver Private Sector Business and Industry engagement. Responsible for supporting specific business sectors as informed by review of key research strengths and opportunity horizon scanning. Contact Alison

Ms Nicola Hall - Business Engagement Officer

CRM data entry and management; initial point of advice and guidance to external contacts and academic staff. Opportunity prospecting. Administrative support to BPM including meeting and event organisation, preparation of promotional material, travel planning. HEBCIS administrative support. Administrative support for the devolved Individual Consultancy process and assisting with troubleshooting. Contact Nicola.


Business Partnerships

Mr Richard Parker-Smith - Business Partnerships

To provide a link service to bring external partners together with relevant academic staff, research groups or research institutes, and to then support and nurture the relationships. Core responsibility to deliver Public Sector, including NHS, Central and Local Government, emergency and armed services, and also 3rd sector (e.g. social enterprise) engagement. Responsible for supporting specific business sectors as informed by review of key research strengths. Project development and management of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and Knowledge Transfer Secondments.  Contact Richard


Mrs Annisa Crich - Business Development Manager (KTP)

Delivery of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and Knowledge Transfer Secondments, working with Head of Business Partnerships. Business relations stewardship activities related to KTP and KTS and main operational resource to support CRM activity for business relations.  Data management and reporting on KTP and KTS. Contact Annisa.